Kudos to sports awards winners Sports Scope.....Our Opinion

Stabroek News
February 1, 2004

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The panel to select the winners of the National Sports Commission annual (NSC) sports awards met on Friday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and Sportscope would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the various winners and runners up and to say to the others keep on striving for there's another year upcoming.

Chairman of the NSC, retired Commissioner of Police Laurie Lewis chaired the meeting with his customary skill and wit.

The panel was graced by the presence of Ian Mc Donald, whose knowledge of sports is as extensive as it is extraordinary.

Despite being absent from the panel for a few years, Mc Donald immediately made his presence felt with a few pertinent questions regarding measuring the weight of achievements of athletes locally as against internationally.

Also playing a most important part in the discussions were former NSC chairman Conrad Plummer and secretary general of the Guyana Olympic Association Ivor O'Brien.

These two persons brought to the panel the wealth of knowledge in sports related matters that they have gained over the years.

Stephanie Fraser and Debbie Bunbury also brought their particular expertise to the discussion which caused Director of Sports Neil Kumar to declare that this was the first time that the process had run smoothly.

It was good to hear from the chairman that a committee comprising himself, Kumar, Plummer and O'Brien met to help look at the process and Sportscope would like to commend the panel for the fine job they did.

It was evident however, that there is still much work to be done to help our athletes achieve their full recognition at home.

Perhaps, were the six national footballers as well known as Wayne Braithwaite, they might have not been robbed. But that is another Sportscope topic where we will deal with whether robbers pay any attention to race, popularity, or other such matters when selecting their victims.

To return to the subject there is probably need for sports associations to hold their own awards before nominating persons for national awards. This might help to smooth out the process.

And there is need for clearer guidelines as to exactly who is eligible for national awards since the panel ruled that the Guyana Boxing Board of Control's nominee for sportsman of the year Howard Eastman did not qualify according to the criteria.

The media also should play a greater role or probably hold their own awards ceremony where they can use their own criteria to select their top sportsmen and women for the year.

What the chairman pointed out and it was duly noted by the media, is that there is a need to highlight the achievements of all Guyanese sportsmen and women.

In a way it was a bit unfortunate that representatives from Kaieteur News, the Mirror Newspapers, the New National newspapers and the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation did not attend as their contribution would only have helped to improve the process as our country strives to give due recognition to sportsmen and women who continue to keep the Golden Arrowhead fluttering proudly on the uneven playing field that is international sports.

But as the chairman pointed out this is an ongoing exercise and he hopes to keep the panel together and to have other discussions which will help to improve the way we view and celebrate the achievements of our sporting heroes.

Let's hope that the end result of this exercise is a more united Guyana not only in sports but in the conduct of our daily lives.