By Neto Baptiste
Former athletes and administrators from 13 national sports associations will be rewarded for their sterling contributions to sports in Antigua and Barbuda after the Ministry of Sports opted not to extend its December 31, 2020 nomination deadline following the slow response from associations.
Deputy Director of Sports, Evans Jones, who made the disclosure during an interview with Observer media on Monday, added that the associations would have had enough time in which to make submissions for the National Sports Honours given that the awards will not follow the traditional format.
“We gave them the amount of time and it is not like it was for athletes who would have competed [last year], so you have to rattle up stats over the duration of so many months. The persons we are recommending would have played an integral part in the development of sports over the years and would have not been recognised before so we thought the tie that we gave them was enough time for them to get in those names,” he said.
The award, which is slated for February 13, will honour past players and administrators who would have contributed significantly to the development of sports both on and off the field.
Jones, however, expressed disappointment over the fact that more associations did not seek to have their past players and administrators honoured in the upcoming awards.
“Since we decided to change, I have been looking in associations because I have been around this awards from its inception until now and I have been looking at persons who would have not been recognised for their services and there are quite a few persons I’ve looked at in various sports. I’ve looked at football, cricket, netball, basketball an even swimming,” he said.
Athletics, bodybuilding, chess, cricket, cycling, domino, draught, football and sambo have all made nominations. The others are sports medicine, swimming, taekwondo and triathlon.