Outstanding sports persons for 2006 to be named today By Isaiah Chappelle
Guyana Chronicle
January 26, 2007

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PANELLISTS appointed by the National Sports Commission (NSC) will today cast votes to decide on national recognition for sports persons whose performances were outstanding during the past year.

The prestigious Sportsman-of-the-Year and Sportswoman-of-the-Year have clear leaders in nominations from the various national sports associations, namely Cleveland Forde and Nicolette Fernandes.

Other names surfacing are basically from their parent association, such as Ramnaresh Sarwan by the Guyana Cricket Board, Norman Madhoo by the Guyana Darts Associaiton, Onan Thom by the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association, Neville Holder by the Guyana Japan Karate Association and Nigel Codrington by the Guyana Football Federation.

Former world boxing champion Gairy Sinclair was nominated by the Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association.

On the distaff side, Nathalie Gibson was nominated by the Guyana Japan Karate Association and Christina Sukhram by, surprisingly an individual, Frank De Abreu.

The nominations for Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year are many, with swimmer Niall Roberts leading the field. Other names include karateka Samuel Ming, cricketers Steven Jacobs and Gajanand Singh, weightlifter Yannick Noah, squash player Alex Arjoon, badminton player Narayan Ramdhani, rugby player Randell Keiler and table tennis player Nigel Brian.

Trenace Lowe leads the nominations for Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year, followed by distance runner Alika Morgan, with one nomination each for karateka Kristina Cheeks and squash player Keisha Jeffrey.

The Sports Team-of-the-Year award has attracted interesting debate and as expected the senior national football and the national Twenty20 cricket teams stand out. Nominations put the football team in the lead, with two direct nominations going for the Twenty20 team and two others mention their performance.

Football again is in the limelight for Sports Association-of-the-Year award, going head to head with the Guyana Rugby Football Union, Guyana Cricket Board and the Guyana Squash Association, with one nomination for the Guyana Hockey Board.

The Guyana Football Federation is also named for the Most Improved Association award, but the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association is ahead of the nominees, with more nominations for the Guyana Hockey Board and Guyana Table Tennis Association.

Cricket’s Albert Smith and rugby’s Sherlock Solomon lead the nominations for Coach-of-the-Year title, with one nomination each for football - Wayne Dover, squash - Carl Ince, and table tennis - Linden Johnson.

Four active players are among the nominations for Sports Personality awards. They are squash player Nicolette Fernandes, her brother Robert Fernandes and Tiffany Solomon, and cricket’s Ramnaresh Sarwan.

But Lennox Shuffler of volleyball and Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira lead the nominations for Male Sports Personality, with one each going for Noel Adonis of rugby, Chetram Singh of cricket and K.A. Juman-Yassin of the Guyana Olympic Association.

Dr Karen Pilgrim of swimming and football referee Dianne Ferreira-James are neck-to-neck in the nominations for Female Sports Personality. Others nominated are football referee Cynette Jeffrey, Dr Maxine Parris-Aaron of the Guyana Netball Association and administrator and coach Stephanie Fraser of swimming.

In the reporting category, Leeron Brumell leads the field for non-print, Rawle Welch for print and close calls for photography among Winston Oudkerk, Claude David and Lawrence Fanfair..

Many times the more reported performances by popular names get the nod of panelists over those who might not get the space or airtime, like that of football’s Nigel Codrington whose heroics might be shadowed by the team display.

Panellists should carefully weigh the actual merits over popular reporting so that each awardee is deserving of the eventual national accolade.