By Neto Baptiste
Head of the judges’ panel for the recently hosted Vita Malt National Sports Awards, Agatha Dublin, has called on the Ministry of Sports to incorporate and honour the memory and contributions of those late former players and or administrators who would have contributed to the growth and development of sports in Antigua.
Dublin made the plea while recently speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, and named four individuals who would have recently passed but would have made their contributions in various fields.
“They were the venerable Fitzroy Brann who was a king maker and responsible for many scholarships; September Christian who was a warri grandmaster; Emerald Matthew who was probably lesser known but she was a past president of the Antigua netball association and a warrior in that sport; and last but not least, I don’t know how many people would have known that Vaughn Walter, in his day, was a top shot-putter for Antigua and Barbuda and these persons should have been remembered for the year past,” she said.
Lifetime achievement awards are given out to past athletes and administrators during the annual awards ceremony, but these individuals must be nominated by the various associations. The segment is however not judged.
Dublin also praised the ministry for publicly honouring a number of the country’s Special Olympics athletes during the February 15 ceremony.
“I want to just congratulate the ministry for the involvement of the Special Olympics athletes on Saturday evening and I would hope that they would make it an annual event to highlight their performances and to engage them further by highlighting whatever they may have accomplished throughout the year and letting them feel a part of the national sports team,” the chief judge said.
The former administrator also made a number of suggestions on how the associations could improve the quality of their submissions for the National Sports Awards.
“Number one, that we would attempt to get the associations together in a room to actually interact with the judges so that they could get a feel of what is said because sometimes, what is written and what is spoken may be assimilated in different ways,” Dublin said.
“Number two, I would suggest template — because the ministry receives nominations all the time — so maybe it would help if a template could be issued to indicate what is expected and how you should probably lay out your argument for your nominee,” she added. Athletics dominated the National Sports Awards with sprinter Cejhae Greeneand high jumper Priscilla Frederickclaiming the senior men’s and women’s award. Junior sprinters, Joella Lloydand Ajarni Daleywon the boys and girls top prizes.