Deadline looms for sports awards nominations By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
January 7, 2004

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Nine days remain for local sports associations to submit their nominees for the 2003 National Sports Commis-sion's, National Sports Awards.

According to a source at the commission, to date no association has submitted their nominees, though they were served with notices three weeks ago. The deadline for submission of nominees is January 16.

Based on performances last year, athletes in with a chance are among others, Guyana and West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul who was voted Guyana Cricket Board's (GCB) `Cricketer of the Year', Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) Wayne `Big Truck' Braithwaithe and `Vicious' Vivian Harris and Guyana Football Federation's (GFF) Randolph Jerome (Sportsman), Amateur Athletic Association of Guyana (AAA) Aliann Pompey and Marian Burnette (Sportswoman), AAA's Cleveland Forde and Guyana Squash Association's (GSA) Damien DaSilva, (Junior Sportsman), AAA's Jennifer Chichester and GSA's Kristina King (Junior Sportswoman), GSA's president Khalil Alli, Guyana Rugby Football Union's (GRFU) President Christopher Kit Nascimento and AAA's President, Claude Blackmoore (Male Sports Personality).

The toss up for Team of the Year could see a close battle between the GFF's national under-23 Olympic team and the GRFU's national under-18 team.

For the Sports Association of the year, three associations come to mind, the GSA, GRFU and GCB. Marian Burnette

Andre Blackman and Cleveland Forde were voted AAA's senior and junior male athletes of the Year respectively while Michelle Vaughn and Jennifer Chichester got the nod among the women.

The GSA, which won the Sports Association of the year award for 2002, has not nominated their sportsmen or women and according to Alli, a meeting was scheduled for last evening and the matter was to have been sorted out. However, national men's champion Shawn Badrinauth and Caribbean Junior under-17 champion DaSilva are likely to be nominated on the male side, while Nicolette Fernandes and Kristina King, who won the Caribbean under-15 title, could be nominated among the ladies.

Wayne `Big Truck' Braithwaithe who won the Sportsman award for 2002 made two successful defences of his World Boxing Council cruiserweight title. On February 21 he scored a fourth round knock-out victory over Ravea Springs and on December 13 he knocked out Luis Pineda in the first round.

Harris on the other hand, who was the 2002 runner-up for the sportsman award also successfully defended his World Boxing Association junior welterweight title. He scored a 12-round points decision over Souleyman Mbaye on July 16.

Jerome for his part scored the most goals in the Trinidad and Tobago professional league in 2003. His effort carried his team, North East Stars, to the Trinidad and Tobago professional league title. He is indeed the number one striker in Guyana and arguably the best in the Caribbean.

Pompey and Burnette won bronze medals at last year's Pan American Games in Santo Domingo. Pompey placed third in the women's 400m while Burnette also placed third in the women's 800m.

Pompey won the Sportswoman award for 2002 with Nyota Peters, another track and field athlete, settling for the runner-up spot.

The second place finisher in the women's 800m was unofficially disqualified after tests proved that she had used steroids.

However, Blackmoore explained that officially Burnette is still the third place finisher since there is some controversy surrounding the second place finisher's participation in an international meet two weeks after the Pan Am games.

Forde's most recent success came when he won the AAA's Golden Mile. He also placed first among the juniors in the South American 10K. He won the Junior Sportsman award for 2002.

DaSilva won the under-17 category of the Junior Caribbean Squash Champion-ships last year.

Chichester chalked up a number of victories locally while winning medals at several international meets, while King copped the under-15 title at the Caribbean Squash Championships. With regard to the sports association of the year, the GSA successfully hosted the Junior Caribbean Championships which attracted eight regional teams with over 100 competitors. This tournament was staged during a period when other sports associations were afraid to host international tournaments due to the crime wave that Guyanese were experiencing then.

The Guyana Cricket Board also successfully hosted the Regional Carib Beer tournament while the GRFU hosted the North America West Indies Under-19 World Cup Qualifier between Guyana, Jamaica and the United States.

Apart from hosting the rugby tournament, Guyana won the Southern Caribbean under-18 title in Trinidad and Tobago in October, then took the West Indies title here in Guyana last month when they defeated Jamaica in an Under-19 World Cup Qualifying match. Jamaica is the Northern Caribbean champions.

The GFF for their part successfully made it to the second round of the 2004 Olympic Qualifying competition, while hosting several international teams for warm-up and qualifying matches.

The 2002 Team-of-the-Year award was won by the Guyana Cricket Team which won the Busta Challenge Trophy, while Dianne Perreira-James won the Female Sports Personality Award. The 2002 Male Sports Personality Award went to Yale Holder of the Guyana Amateur Bodybuilding Association and the Sports Coach award was won by Carl Ince (Squash).