February 23, 2007
‘2006 Sports awards lacked pomp, glitter of previous years’

It was reward time last Saturday night for athletes, officials and other contributors to sports in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The yearly exercise was held at The Methodist Church Hall and although it lacked the glitter and pomp of previous years, there was no shortage of awards.

Middle distance athlete Kineke Alexander won the newly introduced category of International Sports Personality of the Year. The US based athlete in 2006 copped this country’s first medal at the Senior Central American and Caribbean Games, when she placed third in the 400m in Colombia.{{more}}

Squash player James Bentick was adjudged Senior Sportsman of the Year. He reached the plate finals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Australia.

Also sharing the limelight was Coach of the Year, Ian Allen. The former St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Windward Islands and West Indian fast bowler got the nod over Rosmund Griffith – athletics; Desmond Matthews body building, Onike Spann- tennis and Bentick – squash.

And after deliberately not participating in the 2005 awards the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association captured the Association of the Year title, on the back of another successful period of administration in 2006.

The others, which were in contention, were the SVG Squash Association, Team Athletics SVG, the SVG Netball Association and the SVG Football Federation.

Those who operate off the field enjoyed their moment of recognition.

E. Glenford Prescott in the opinion of adjudicators Lance Neverson, Richard Neverson and Fitzroy Rogers snapped the best sports photograph for the second year in succession. William Anthony won the award of Sports Journalist of the Year, and Terry Arthur collected the Groundsman of the Year award.

J. G and Sons and Ferdies Footsteps were the two recipients of the Firms award. Three special awards were presented to the Special Olympics, Clayton Ollivierre and Lauron Baptiste. Ollivierre has been a sports stringer with the National Broadcasting Corporation for over twenty years, reporting on sporting activities on Bequia.

Baptiste has performed services to the National Sports Council over the years in the area of the development of the London Playing Field located in the North Windward constituency. A surprise plaque was presented to Gloria Ballantyne, a former long-standing president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association.

Last Saturday’s ceremony was addressed by chairman of the National Lotteries Authority Murray Bullock, chairman of the National Sports Council Carlton James and Minister of Tourism, Youth and Sports Glen Beache.

The featured speaker was Barrister at Law Andrew Cummings who spoke on the topic “ Linking Sports with Education”.

The ceremony’s theme was “ Pride and Patriotism in Sports”.