The Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) recently hosted its awards ceremony at the Antigua and Barbuda Health and Fitness Club to recognise its top performers for 2019 in a variety of categories.
The ABSF awards was conceived as a way of recognising the Federation’s athletes for the dedication and the hard work they put into the sport during the year under review. The awards also feed into the annual National Sports Awards held by the Ministry of Sports.
According to the President of the ABSF, Dr Derek Marshall, “The awards process guarantees transparency and impartiality.
“It is important to note that ABSF Executive members do not nominate swimmers or coaches and they do not vote on the nominations. This is a process that is driven by the clubs for their benefit and for the benefit of their members.”
The age group category winners for this year’s ABSF Awards were: Keitonya Skepple (female) and Zahid Derrick (male) for 8 & Under; Selah Wiltshire (female) and Adrian Karam (male) for the 9 – 10 age group; Jermaria Jackson (female) and Tivon Benjamin (male) for the 11 – 12 age group; Hailey Derrick (female) and Tony Goodwin (male) for 13 – 14 age group; and Olivia Fuller for 15 – 17 females.
The ABSF also provided age group awards for “Most Improved” swimmers. In the 8 & Under age group, Anushree Sapute (female) and Leo Warne (male) were recognised for their improvement over the year. The 9-10 age group saw Madison MacMillan (female) and Osahar Browne (male) top the lists of worthy recipients, while Mila Slekis-Monton (female) and Arianna John (female) took home the most improved swimmer awards for the 11 -12 and 13-14 age group categories, respectively.
Coach of the year went to Mark Mitchell of the Antigua Swim School/Riptide and Club of the Year went to the Riptide Swim Club.
The overall junior and senior swimmers of the year went to Jadon Wuilliez and Olivia Fuller for Junior male and Junior female, respectively, while Senior male swimmer went to Noah Mascoll-Gomes and Senior Female Swimmer of the Year was awarded to Samantha Roberts.
ABSF Vice-President of Pool Based Swimming, Darren Derrick, congratulated all of the nominees and winners, saying, “Swimming is growing and on the rise. I would like to congratulate all of the nominees and the eventual winners. They are all deserving. Our crop of junior and senior sportspersons of the year awardees are strong contenders. They have all broken several national records this year and continue to excel. I am very proud of the slate of nominees that we will present for consideration at the National Awards.”
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the two-time, past Vice-President of Pool Based Swimming, Mr Roy Bento in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments, contributions and dedication to the sport of swimming in Antigua and Barbuda.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, Daryll Matthew, complimented the ABSF for its good work in advancing the sport of swimming in the twin-island nation and the consistent performance of the ABSF.
He said, “The ABSF should be commended for consistently being one of the top associations in the country”. The Minister also pledged to work alongside the swimming fraternity to promote the sport and to help realise the dream of establishing an aquatic center in Antigua and Barbuda.