THIS year’s National Sports Awards ceremony will be held on February 13 at the National Cultural Centre.
The event will be presented in three main categories: Association Awards (individual sports personalities), Community Awards (movers and shakers of sports in the community) and Prestigious Awards (cream of the crop of our sportsmen and sportswomen in the country).
Other awards will be presented to coaches, administrators, technical officials, national associations and team of the year.
The Ministry of Sports has taken away a number of categories and placed them in the school sports awards in order to give them greater recognition and prominence.
The front runners for the top categories have been shortlisted, from the list of 38 nominees submitted by the 13 National Sports Associations. Eight national sports federations did not submit nominees: Bodybuilding, Cycling, Taekwondo, Judo, Karate, Life Saving, Domino and Darts.
Still there are 13 shortlisted nominees in the categories, with a number of athletes having been in the national sports awards spotlight in the past. Amongst the 13 are three junior women: Katie Kyle representing Swimming; Meggan William from Tennis, and a third individual from track and field. That name has not been released as the St.Lucia Athletic Association will stage their awards night next Saturday.
In the Junior boys leading the charge is last year’s winner Adriel Bousquet from Tennis who narrowly defeated cricketer Johnnel Eugene who again made the cut this time around. The two athletes like the junior women will have to wait to see who the third competitor will be from track and field.
The senior ladies nominees are Yasmine St. Ange representing cricket and Skye Mondesir from volleyball.
In the senior men category cricketer Johnson Charles, boxer Lyndon Marcellin and swimmer Jordan Augier round up the top three awaiting for the SLAA nominee.
Director for Youth and Sports Jim Xavier said he was pleased with the short listing process, but was disappointed with the level of competition in the female category”.
He said: “We need to impress upon the national federations to do more work. We need to ensure the level of coaching, training and technical skills imparted so it could be more competitive. It is more glaring in the female category, but we believe it should be across the board, more national sports federations should be doing their work and vying for the more prestigious awards”.