Braithwaite leads sportsman of the year nominations
By Michael Da Silva
Stabroek News
January 28, 2004

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In another two days, members of the National Sports Commission and representatives of the various media houses will deliberate on the choices for Guyana's sportsman and woman of 2003.

Despite not being nominated by the Guyana Boxing Board of Control, World Boxing Council cruiserweight champion Wayne `Big Truck' Braithwaite heads the lists of nominees of the 16 associations that have submitted their choices.

According to the list, Braithwaite has been nominated by six associations. He is followed by West Indies middle-order batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who has been nominated by four associations.

Five other sportsmen have been named: Mahendra Persaud (rifle shooting), Shawn Badrinauth (squash), Howard Eastman (boxing), Andre Blackman (track and field) and Aubrey Gordon (cycling).

In the race for the sportswoman award are Common-wealth Games 400-metre gold medallist Aliann Pompey and Pan American Games bronze medallist Marian Burnette. Pompey and Burnette were each nominated by three sporting associations, but neither was selected by the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) of Guyana. Nicolette Fernandes (squash) the 2001 sportswoman and junior sportswoman of the year and AAA's Michelle Vaughn were also nominated for the 2003 award. Fernandes won the 2003 junior sportswoman award also.

The AAA's nominee for the junior sportsman award Cleveland Forde has also been nominated by six other associations. His closest rival is Damien DaSilva, the Caribbean under-17 squash champion who has so far been nominated by three associations, including the Guyana Squash Association.

Caribbean junior girls table tennis champion Jody-Ann Blake has been nominated by four associations for the junior sportswoman award. Meanwhile, squash player Kristina King and track and field athlete Jennifer Chichester have each been nominated by two associations.

King is the Caribbean girls' under-17 champion, while Chichester participated in several regional and international meets. She won silver and bronze medals at last year's Junior Carifta Games.

Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) president Kit Nascimento heads the lists of nominees for the Male Sports Personality award. He has been nominated by three associations. Claude Blackmoore of the AAA and Lenny Shuffler of the volleyball association have been nominated by two and one association respectively.

FIFA referee Dianne Ferreira-James who won the Female Sports Personality award last year heads this year's list of nominees. She has been nominated by three associations. Dr Maxine Parris-Aaron (netball) and Dr Karen Pilgrim (swimming) have been nominated by one association each.

In the race for the Sports Association award are the Guyana Cricket Board, Guyana Table Tennis Association, GRFU, Guyana Squash Association (GSA) and AAA. GRFU has been nominated by five associations. The GSA and the AAA have been nominated by three and two associations respectively. The other two have one nomination apiece.

AAA and the Guyana Netball Association have two nominations each for the Most Improved Association award.

A lot of deliberation is also expected for the Coach of the Year award. Squash coach Carl Ince and rugby coach Laurie Adonis received two and three nominations each. Ince won the award last year.

In the race for the sports team award are GSA's junior team, which won the junior Caribbean title; GRFU's under-18 team, which won the Southern West Indies title as well as the West Indies championship; and Guyana Football Federation's under-23 team, which reached the second round of the 2004 Olympic qualifiers.

Stabroek News' Lawrence Fanfair heads the lists of nominees for the Photographer of the Year award. Journalists Claude David of Kaieteur News and Alana Johnson of the Guyana Television Broadcasting Company head the lists of nominees for print and electronic wards.