By Neto Baptiste
The Ministry of Sports, up to midday Monday, had received nominations for this year’s National Sports Awards from only one association.
This is according to Director of Sports Heather Samuel-Daley who, with just days to go before the close of nominations, urged the sporting bodies to finalise and make their submissions.
“So far, we have only had one nomination form in, and it’s for bodybuilding, but we have had numerous calls from associations enquiring and trying to verify certain things of which we were able to do. I know that many of the associations are doing their forms and so on, so I am hoping that they can meet the deadline because we will not be accepting anything after Friday,” she said.
The Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation, the only body to have made submissions, named IFBB Elite Professionals, Bernard Percival and Sher-Rhonda Braithwaite as their male and female nominees for this his year.
However, Daley is not too alarmed, calling the delayed submissions a “norm”.
“It’s the norm really, but what I don’t want is to be waiting here [Ministry of Sports] until after three on Friday because on Friday the office closes at three. We have done that in the past that we are waiting here at 3:30 pm until 4 pm, waiting for persons to bring the forms and that is why we painstakingly send out that information since early September. We have done follow up calls, we have done follow up emails, we have called persons personally to verify whether or not they had received the forms and yes, they were able to confirm,” the Director said.
The former national track athlete revealed also that two associations had long indicated they would not be making any submissions this year.
“They have done some things in terms of training and so on but they have not had any competition but they indicated that — table tennis and handball — they are not sending in anything. I will give another update by Monday. What I usually do is get all of the information and send [it] to the Minister [Daryll Matthew] so he is aware as to how many nominations from the associations we have received,” she said.
The 2019 Vita Malt National Sports Awards is scheduled for February 15th 2020 at a venue to be announced. Swimmer Stefano Mitchell and shot put athlete Jess St John were the male and female senior winners for 2018.
Tiger Tyson of sailing copped the junior male award, while Soniya Jones was the junior female winner. Edith Clashing of swimming was the official of the year while Marlon Mack from athletics was the coach of the year. Basketball’s Carlton Brodie won the top administrator award with Jason King of domino named the senior sportsman of the year. The Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association captured the association of the year accolade.