By Neto Baptiste
Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, is standing by the decision to cancel the National Sports Awards for a second straight year
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Matthew said the ministry’s decision is hinged on the fact that only a handful of associations have been able to host any form of competition during the judging period of January to December 2021.
“I think it’s only logical because we did not have any sporting events last year to any great degree or so far this year and I think we may have only had two or three associations that were even able to participate in anything. The basis on which a fair athlete could have been chosen for sportsman and sportswoman of the year was just not there, you just didn’t have a pool of athletes from which to choose,” he said.
The awards recognizing athletes who would have excelled in 2020 was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry had then announced it would host a ceremony recognising individuals who would have contributed to the growth and development in sports throughout the years but this too has since been shelved.
Matthew assured that athletes will get their just due.
“It’s not just the athletes alone because remember you have administrators, you have so you have a plethora of awards and prizes to be given so to give two awards out of seven, eight or nine just wasn’t enough. We had a sports awards in 2020 which recognized 2019 and we didn’t have one this year because no activities took place in 2020 and 2021 is not yet complete,” he said.
“It is not that the athletes would not be recognized because at some point, the athletes who, in 2021, recognition will be given to them in the appropriate way at an appropriate awards ceremony,” the minister added.
Athletics dominated the 2019 Vita Malt sponsored awards with sprinter Cejhae Greene and high-jumper Priscilla Frederick being named Sportsman and Sportswomen of The Year in the ceremony held in 2020. Junior sprinters Joella Lloyd and Ajarni Daley copped the Junior Sportswoman and Sportsman titles respectively.