OLYMPIC duo Keshorn Walcott and Michelle-Lee Ahye won the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year accolades at the First Citizens Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards 2016 at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, on Friday night.
The highlight of 2016 for both athletes came at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Walcott got Trinidad and Tobago’s only medal at the Games, when he earned a bronze medal in the men’s javelin event with a top throw of 85.38 metres.
Ahye advanced to three finals at the Games, finishing sixth in both the women’s 100m and 200m events and helping the women’s 4x100m team to a fifth place finish.
Walcott and Ahye also won the Athletes of the Year awards at the 2016 Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee Awards and at the 2016 National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Awards.
Kabir Hosein, chief administrative officer at the NAAA, who collected the award for the absent Walcott said, “I think the future is limitless for him, as we know he is extremely young, he is a dedicated athlete, he is hard working, very humble person. He is now a twotime Olympian, very experienced, so next Olympics he should be at his prime in terms of his chronological age.” Hosein said he is looking forward to Walcott putting on a top performance at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, England.
Ahye’s mother Raquel, receiving the award on her daughter’s behalf said, “I am very proud and blessed right now for First Citizens giving my daughter this award. It is a special award, she works very hard to represent this country so I am very proud today.
“The award gives her more strength and drive to complete what she wants. She would say accomplish what you want and don’t give up. One of her goals is to show the youths that if she could do it, anybody could do it.” In the feature address, president of the TT Olympic Committee Brian Lewis said sport is a positive aspect of TT in a time where the country is enduring its most difficult social and economic times in decades.
Lewis said, “It is a time and a period where we must put on our armour of hope, bridge the gap, take a leap of faith and let’s dream for one minute. Soar into the future and paint a picture of a safe, stable, prosperous Trinidad and Tobago. Sport is one of the pillars of our economic diversification, where every child in every school and community experiences the joy of sport, physical education and the physical literacy.
“The First Citizens Sports Foundation Awards are a symbol of the hope, the inspiration that motivates champions on the field of sport and in life.” Other than the presentation of awards, a video of athletes with their coaches and parents was shown which was well received. A tribute to TT athletes who died over the past year was also showed to the audience, along with bloopers of the athletes preparing for the event which brought laughter to everyone.
HONOUR ROLL Sportswoman of the Year 2016 - Michelle-Lee Ahye (Athletics) Sportsman of the Year 2016 - Keshorn Walcott (Athletics) Top 10 Athletes of the Year 2016 - Men: Dylan Carter (Swimming), Khaidem Neblett (Taekwondo), Njisane Phillip (Cycling), Keshorn Walcott (Athletics), Akeem Stewart (Athletics); Women: Nyoshia Cain (Paralympics), Merissa Aguilleira (Cricket), Michelle-Lee Ahye (Athletics), Felice Aisha Chow (Rowing), Vanessa Hill (Bodybuilding).
Lystra Lewis Award (Top Team) - TT women’s cricket team.
Jeffrey Stollmeyer Award (Top National Sporting Organisation) - Small Category - TT Chess Association; Big Category - TT Cycling Federation.
Athletes providing Wow moments of 2016 - Michelle-Lee Ahye (Athletics), Dylan Carter (Swimming), Machel Cedenio (Athletics), Nicholas Paul (Cycling), Keshorn Walcott (Athletics), Njisane Phillip (Cycling), Akeem Stewart (Paralympics), Tyriq Horsford (Athletics), Nyoshia Cain (Paralympics), Khalifa St Fort (Athletics), Britney Cooper (Cricket), Levi Garcia (Football).