Cream of Guyana's US-based sportsmen and women honoured
By Orin Davidson
in New York
March 30, 2003
Guyana's sport enjoyed one of its best years in 2002 by virtue of a number of world class performances by individual sportspersons who were honoured by the Guyana New York Year of Sports Awards Committee last Friday (March 23) in Manhattan.
Boxers Wayne Braithwaite and Vivian Harris who won world titles led the list of awardees which comprised athletes Aliann Pompey, Marian Burnette, bodybuilding legend Laura Crevalle and the Guyana New York Red Stripe Cricket Team.
The function attracted an impressive array of Guyanese and New York sports personalities and officials of the Guyana government.
Former New York Knicks basketball great Earl "The Pearl" Munroe was a guest speaker along with Guyana's ambassador to the United States Odeen Ishmael.
The awardees were presented with beautiful 14-inch trophies, plaques and certificates of proclamation, which were well received by the winners, of which the cricket team and Crevalle were unavoidably absent.
Braithwaite who won the World Boxing Council (WBC) cruiserweight crown in Italy told Stabroek Sport was very happy with the honour and added that the trophy was one of the best he has received in his career.
Harris, the World Boxing Association (WBA) junior welterweight champion, Pompey who won Guyana's first Commonwealth Games gold medal in 53 years and Burnette, the 2002 National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) indoor 800 metres winner, were all high in praise of the Guyana New York Year of Sports Committee's gesture which was formed specifically for the occasion.
It comprises union executive Chuck Mohan, former Commonwealth champ and world ranked featherweight boxer Patrick Ford and freelance journalist Gary Timm, among others.
Crevalle was recognized for her sterling contribution to Guyana's sport over the years through winning several international female bodybuilding titles while the cricket team was runner-up in the New York Red Stripe competition and comprised several players from New York which won the United States national title.
In his address Munroe urged the recipients to fully capitalize on the opportunities they have given themselves and stressed that sport can open the doors for a much better life for successful participants.
Ambassador Ishmael, based in Washington congratulated the awardees who he said kept the Golden Arrowhead Guyana flag flying high. He also referred to a famous quote by boxing legend Muhammad Ali of "never looking down on the people who have to look up to you". "A lot of people will be looking up to you now and in order to inspire them, you must always never look down,'" the ambassador urged.
The event was held at the Bob McEnroe hall of the District Council 1707 Building in Manhattan.
Also in attendance were District 19 senator John Sampson of Brooklyn and Mike Smith, a member of the Fighters International Support Training organization (FIST) for retired boxers, formed by ex world champions Gerry Cooney and Larry Holmes. City Council member Leroy Comrie was also present.
Notable contributions to the staging of the function were provided by Singh's Sporting Goods, Edgar Henry of ENG Caribbean Vision Center and the District Council 1707 organization.