Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 14, 2016 (SKNIS): Outstanding performances by student athletes in St. Kitts were honoured on Wednesday (July 13) at Government House, which was the venue for the 2015-2016 Department of Sports Excellence Awards.
The top three male and female performers in basketball, cricket, football, netball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball received enthusiastic applause from the audience, as they accepted their respective awards. The awardees were selected from all public primary and secondary schools, as well as the Immaculate Conception Catholic School (ICCS). The awards were presented based on statistics from their respective sports performances. Principals, teachers, corporate sponsors and Department of Sports staff were also recognized at the ceremony.
“As a Department, we are aware of the commitment of our young athletes, who proudly represent their respective schools. What better way to honour their achievements?” Director of the Department of Sports, Anthony Wiltshire stated.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Honourable Shawn Richards said the decision to revive the award ceremony, after a more than decade-long hiatus, “was an easy one.” He pointed out that traditionally, national awards tend to recognize young people for their academic achievements and contributions to the community or culture, such as the 25 Most Remarkable Teens Award or the prize giving ceremony for National Carnival.
“I do believe that there should be no exception pertaining to sports, and so to have this occasion here at the Governor General’s Residence, to give due recognition to all of our sporting persons, I think it is only fitting,” Minister Richards said.
However, the Minister of Sports said the students were the “real prize” to the Government and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Your presence here this evening makes every parent, every coach, every teacher, every family member and every community a winner,” he said. “By your participation in sports, you are already a winner and you are the prize. … Your positive achievements and accomplishments inspire us with hope for a better tomorrow for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Tonight, we celebrate with you and we applaud you.”
Sportsman of the Year is Jermaine Francis of the Charles E. Mills Secondary School, and Sportswoman of the Year is Shafiqua Maloney of the Verchild’s High School. The Primary School of the Year is the Dr. William Connor Primary School while the Charles E. Mills Secondary School is the High School Year.
Sports Department staff members who were recognized include Coach of the Year, Ludis Francis; Auxillary Staff of the Year, Joan Claxton, as well as Elvis ‘Pepe’ Isaac and Noel Guishard who both received the Elvis ‘Star’ Browne Long Service Award. Elvis ‘Star’ Browne was a beloved, longstanding football coach with the Department before his passing in September 2011.
Business entities awarded were Sun Island Clothes, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, St. Kitts Breweries, RAM’s Trading Ltd, TDC Group of Companies, The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and Island Purified Water.
Minister Richards said the Department of Sports Excellence Awards will be held annually.