By Carlena Knight
Just days after the world celebrated International Women’s Day, the National Olympic Committee (NOC), more specifically the Women Commission of the NOC, held a Woman in Sports lunch to honour and recognise female athletes, administrators and media personnel in Antigua and Barbuda.
Sprint Queen and national female record holder in the 100m Joella Lloyd, along with Director of Sports and former national sprinter Heather Samuel-Daley were recognised from athletics.
Sports Ambassador Kimberly Percival was also recognised.
Dianne Hillhouse and Dojn Kentish from tennis, Devikka Tittle and Anik Jarvis from football, Lindsay Duffy and Vanessa Kelsick from cycling, Rayanna Regis and Seymone Parkes from netball, Tyke Hawkins from volleyball, Pam Roberts and Marilyn Gayle from dominoes, Zahra Lake from warri, Jalese Gordon from sailing, Edith Clashing from swimming, Ornette Gore from table tennis, Joetta Smith of handball, and Alisha Cabral and Kennesha Antoine from fencing were all honoured.
Observer media’s own Carlena Knight was also recognised for her work in sports journalism.
Also present at the event was NOC President EP Chet Greene.
“The whole idea of recognising contributions is at the core of this event. It is not necessarily a part of our culture to say thanks and pause for appreciation, and in the Olympic Committee we are going about doing this.
“Yes, we understand the importance of medalling and premier performances, but also we do have pride and priority in place on the very aspect of representation and contributing.
“All our athletes will not medal; let’s not fool ourselves but there is nothing that says that those who represent this country should not be recognised.
“Those who help to keep the fabric of sports in this country together should be recognised and so this is what this event is about, recognising the outstanding performances and contributions and, on this occasion, celebrating women in sports and we are using this platform to do just that,” Greene said.
He not only congratulated all of the honourees but also called on administrators, officials, athletes and female journalists alike to continue to work towards improving sports in the country.
This is the second time the NOC is hosting such an event, with the last one held before the Covid pandemic.