No sports awards for second straight year: Ministry of Sports says event on the backburner due to COVID 19

Pundits believe that bodybuilding’s Kimberly Percival would have taken this year’s top female accolade and West Indies cricketer Hayden Walsh Jr was out front for this year’s male prize.
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By Neto Baptiste

There will be no National Sports Awards celebrating the achievements of athletes between the months of January and December 2021.

This was confirmed by Minister of Sports Daryll Matthew during a recent interview in which he pointed to the ongoing Covid pandemic as the chief reason for the ministry’s decision.

“No, given the current circumstances we continue to live under, there are no imminent plans for a National Sports Awards,” he said.

This would be the second straight year that the awards have been cancelled due to the global pandemic.    

Last year’s celebrations were scheduled to be replaced with a scaled downed version of the event. 

However, in February this year, Deputy Director of Sports, Evans Jones, announced that the National Sports Honours Awards ceremony, geared at recognising former athletes and administrators who would have given years of service to sports and its development, had been postponed for an unspecified period.

The award had been slated for February 13 at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium.

So far this year, there have been a number of outstanding performances from some of the country’s top athletes to include bikini fitness competitor Kimberly Percival who recently captured her division at Arnold Classic Europe held in Seville, Spain.

There has also been credible performances from sprinter Joella Lloyd who, in May, set a new national record in the 100m at the Tennessee Challenge at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville.

Her time of 11.19 not only broke Heather Samuels Daley’s Antiguan record of 11.20 set in May 1993, it was also the World U-20 leading time.

In the men’s category, cricketers Hayden Walsh Jr and Rahkeem Cornwall have all had commendable performances this year, while young all-rounder Essan Warner, who was awarded the cricket association’s player of the tournament for the Super40, could also be in the running.

Warner amassed 341 runs and grabbed 24 wickets in the Super 40 tournament as Bethesda clinched the title on the last-ball in a thrilling final against Anderson Carty Empire Nation in February this year in Bethesda.

Kite-boarder Tiger Tyson who is currently training and attending school in Europe has also had some notable performances, while sprinter Cejhae Greene could also be considered.

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