By Neto Baptiste
Chair of the planning committee for the National Sports Awards, Cleofoster Harris, said the body will reach out to those associations that have failed to meet the November 30 deadline for the submission of nominees for next year’s ceremony to honour outstanding athletes and administrators for 2023.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo sports show, Harris said although they are pleased with the submissions received from 14 of the 20 associations and or federations, the committee is keen on ensuring that all are given a fair opportunity to reward their athletes.
“I must, at this time, give kudos to those federations and associations who submitted their nomination forms and they did a great job and we thank them for adhering to the deadline date. We are achieving to have all 20 federations or associations make submissions so at least, if they submit somebody for coach of the year, athlete of the year, administrator of the year, then at least they would have submitted something. The six or so federations or associations that did not submit their nominees, this week we are going to reach out to them, see what their challenges were and see how best we can work with them,” he said.
The Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) and the Antigua and Barbuda Golf Association (ABGA) were recently listed among seven associations that did not meet last Thursday’s deadline.
Also notably absent from the list of nominations is the Antigua and Barbuda Boxing Association (ABBA), the Antigua and Barbuda Drag Racing Association (ABDRA) and the Antigua and Barbuda Table Tennis Association (ABTTA). There were also no nominations from the handball association and the horse society.
Harris said this will have no impact on the planning of the awards.
“We have already started looking at our guest speakers so we have a list of persons we are thinking of and we’ve already submitted those to the minister. The minister will now revert back to us and tell us let’s go with this person and then we will have our guest speaker,” he said.
The committee chair also addressed the payment of outstanding prize monies for winners of the 2022 awards.
“Myself and Heather Daley have had discussions and we are going to go back to Mr Roberts at the Treasury. We know there were some financial setbacks in terms of the payments from the Treasury. Government just completed its November salaries and they are now going into the Christmas, early December payments which is normally by the middle of December, so any time after that we can speak to that but we are hoping to have it concluded, if not by the end of the year, before the awards,” Harris said.
Bikini Fitness Pro athlete, Kimberly Percival and West Indies cricketer Alzarri Joseph were named Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year for 2022 while swimmers Ethan Stubbs-Green and Ellie Shaw were junior male and female awardees.
The National Sports Awards is slated for March 2 at the St John’s Pentecostal House of Restoration Ministries located on Lauchland Benjamin Drive.