2001 National sports award ceremony …
Minister Teixeira lauds performance of women
Guyana Chronicle
March 3, 2002

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TOP honour: Yvonne Eversley receives the Sportsman-of-the-Year award for her world-famous son, Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis, from acting President Samuel Hinds.

TWO outstanding sportspersons received special awards, along with the 2001 National sports awardees, during the presentation ceremony at the National Cultural Centre, Friday night.

Minister of Sport Gail Teixeira conferred the special awards to middle-distance queen, Marian Burnette, and bodybuilder, Horace Steele.

Burnette was presented with the Minister’s Award, which was received by independent television producer Carwyn Holland, while Steele had the Honourable mention.

In the feature address, Minister Teixeira lauded the performance of women, highlighting the progress the ministry had made over the past year to promote Women In Sport.

The Minister disclosed plans of her ministry for the development of sport, including a draft to initiate formulating a sports policy.

Minister Teixeira highlighted the non-progress of transforming the adjacent grounds owned by the Georgetown Cricket Club and Georgetown Football Club in one big facility of international standards.

Minister Teixeira stressed that the West Indies hosting the World Cup in 2007 is dependent on that facility becoming a reality.

“It is no longer a club issue,” Minister Teixeira said, hinting that if the issue is not resolved soon, higher intervention might be necessary.

The minister spoke of the ministry’s work in the hinterland, especially in the Pakaraimas where a successful football tournament was staged for nearly 20 villages. She said players had to walk or cycle long distances to get to the venues, thus were strong to be good athletes.

Minister Teixeira also mentioned obstacles to local sport development, identifying poor administration and the absence of long-term plans.

“Our associations are still working with one-year plans,” Minister Teixeira said, pointing out that countries like Australia have been working with 20-year plans. She lauded the Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association for suspending all other events to concentrate on preparing for the Commonwealth Games.

In delivering the Director of Sports report, Neil Kumar, pointed out that the country was not lucky to inherit large stadia and swimming pools from the colonial masters, thus ways must be found for development.

Kumar also focused on the achievements of the department over the past year, and highlighted shortcomings to overcome in the future.

REAL special: Sportswoman-of-the-Year Nicolette Fernandes gets a warm hug and the award from Minster of Sport Gail Teixeira.

The function was attended by acting President Samuel Hinds who presented the Sportsman-of-the-Year award to mother of World Boxing Association welterweight champion, Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis, the 2001 recipient.

Lewis could not accept the award personally because he is now in camp preparing for his third title defence since he created local boxing history by capturing the country’s first world title on February 17, 2001.

Runner-up Sportsman-of-the-Year, Carl Hooper, was also not at the function, as was Sports Coach Charles Woon-A-Tai whose award was received by Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year, Justin Jairam.

The runner-up Junior Sportswoman, Cassandra Lall, was also represented at the ceremony.

All other recipients were present at the function, which started behind schedule, waiting on the arrival of the acting President.

Sports Journalist-of-the-Year, Isaiah Chappelle, delivered the response on behalf of all recipients.

USA-based professional boxer, Vivian Harris, made an appearance on stage to display a championship belt he has already won in his relatively brief overseas campaign.

The Master of Ceremonies was international sports commentator, Joseph ‘Red’ Perreira, in place of Vic Insanally as programmed. Unfortunately, Perreira had no documented information on the awardees, but did well to use his general knowledge in highlighting the achievements of some recipients.

Netball coach Lavern Fraser-Thomas moved the Vote of Thanks.