By Neto Baptiste
Changes have been made to the judging period for next year’s National Sports Awards ahead of its intended February 15th host date.
This was revealed by Director of Sports, Heather Samuel-Daley, who said this year’s judging period will run from January 1 to November 30.
The December month will be considered for the 2020 awards.
“The deadline for the return of the forms would be the sixth of December so we’re not including December in this year’s eligibility for performances; but what we will do for next year – because now that we are having it consistently in February – we have to give the judges enough time so they can go through the forms and make an adjudication so the period under consideration would be January 1 of 2019 to November 30 of 2019. For 2020 we will have December 1 to November 30 so it will be a consistent period for which we are asking the associations to nominate the athletes,” she said.
The ministry began the distribution of nomination forms on September 3rd in an effort to give associations ample time in which to make good on their nominations.
“So far, we have gotten acknowledgements from five associations in drag racing, domino, athletics, bodybuilding and triathlon, and so that’s an improvement from previous [times] where we have not really gotten any acknowledgement save for one or two persons,” she said.
“When we sent out the emails we had some that bounced back so we were following up that immediately with phone calls and did not get any reply, but we will wait until next week before we follow up with phone calls,” she added.
The awards, over the years, have been plagued with the late or non-submission of nominations by some associations which usually results in the late staging of the annual awards.
Daley said the ministry will continue the hard-nosed approach it took ahead of last year’s awards as it seeks to meet the goal of hosting next year’s awards on the stipulated September 15th date.
“We are very early in terms of sending out the forms and that would give them [associations] ample time to make their selections and have the forms returned. This is the first in a long time that we have had such an early start and early distribution of the forms, so we won’t be accepting any late nominations because it makes our job a little more difficult and puts pressure on the judges,” the former national sprinter said.
Swimmer Stefano Mitchell and shot-putter Jess St. John were the senior male and female winners, with kite-surfer Tiger Tyson and sprinter Sonia Jones capturing the boys and girls junior awards.