Forde, Fernandes cop top sports awards for 2006
… Twenty20 cricketers - Sports Team of the Year

Guyana Chronicle
January 27, 2007

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OVERSEAS-based national middle distance athlete Cleveland Forde and national squash queen Nicolette Fernandes were named 2006 Sportsman and Sportswoman respectively when a panel chosen by the National Sports Commission (NSC) decided on the top sports personalities yesterday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

The Kenya-based Forde’s choice of Sportsman-of-the-Year award came from a 12-2 score when the 14-member panel voted him ahead of Australia-based world-rated boxer Gary St Clair.

Forde won the South American Games gold medal in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last November then lowered that record and became the first Guyanese to do so while he placed second in the 1500m. He also won the South American 10Km race held in Guyana.

Boxer St Clair must consider himself unlucky not to get the title after becoming world champion last year despite not holding on to it when he lost in a title defence also last year.

He, however, was awarded the runner-up spot by claiming eight votes, bettering darts champion Norman Madhoo, West Indies cricketer Ramnaresh Sarwan and national footballer Nigel Codrington, who each got two votes.

From the outset, Guyana’s most decorated squash player and world rated Nicolette Fernandes was a runaway winner for the top sportswoman prize. The squash queen secured nomination by all the panellists ahead of the other nominees.

Her world number 25 ranking is the best ever in the country’s history and she remains the best player in the Caribbean.

National female national golf champion teenager Christine Sukhram won the runner-up spot after gaining 12 of the 14 votes cast with the other two being spoilt.

For the Junior Sportsman award swimmer Niall Roberts, who set seven national records last year, won from Under-19 cricketer Gajanand Singh 7-4 with Alex Arjoon gaining two votes and Steven Jacobs one.

The runner-up position went to Singh who won by 8 votes to Arjoon’s 6. The Junior Sportswoman winner was table tennis queen Trenace Lowe with a 9-5 vote advantage over athlete Alika Morgan.

Lowe earned a US rating after her participation at the North American Open table tennis championships where she won all her matches and gained a ranking of 1 865.

She is the national women's champion and won gold at the inaugural Caribbean Cadet and Mini Cadet table tennis championships in Trinidad, winning gold in the Under-15 and Under-18 categories and copping the Zhin Ye Open championship in New Jersey in the United States also along with a number of local titles.

But Morgan was the clear winner of the runner-up spot with all votes cast in her favour.

The Guyana Twenty20 cricket team which won the inaugural Allen Stanford cricket championship was awarded with the Sports Team-of-the-Year title after getting nine votes ahead of the Senior National football team with three and one each for the Guyana Carib Beer cricket team and the National Rugby Sevens male team.

The Sports Coach award went to Guyana senior cricket team coach Albert Smith who won after two rounds of voting by a 7 to 6 margin over rugby coach Sherlock Solomon.

The male Sports Personality award went to veteran sports commentator Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira after the panelists were forced to go into two rounds of voting with Perreira gaining seven of the 14 votes cast over Noel Adonis.

The female Sports Personality winner was Dr Karen Pilgrim who also had to wait for two rounds as she pipped international referee Dianne Ferreira-James 8-6.

The Most Improved Sports Association winner was the Guyana Swimming Association (GSA) after they got 8 votes. Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) each got three votes.

The Sports Association-of-the-Year title winner was the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) after two rounds of voting with 8 votes while the runner-up spot went to the GFF with 6.

Rawle Welch of Kaieteur News was adjudged the Sports Journalist (Print) ahead of Stabroek Sport’s Mike Da Silva while the non-print Sports Journalist winner was National Communications Network’s Leeron Brumell with 11 votes as against another NCN sports reporter Avinash Ramzan with one spoilt vote.

The Sports Photographer-of-the-Year award was won by veteran photographer Winston Oudkerk of the Guyana Chronicle after two rounds of voting with a 9-5 score ahead of Lawrence Fanfair of the Stabroek.