Athletic sensation Sada Williams was the star of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) / IGT Global Services Ltd Spirit of Resilience Sports Awards on Thursday night.
The 400-meter national record holder received the female athlete of the year award, the president’s award, as well as the audience’s top prize after outstanding performances at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the Wanda Diamond League .
After last year’s event was canceled due to the global pandemic, the ceremony was presented virtually via Facebook and YouTube, and televised on CBC TV 8.
“We all had to make adjustments, but many positive lessons have emerged from the COVID-19 experience. Most important of all is that this pandemic has shown us how resilient we are as a people “
Master of ceremonies Marsha Boyce produced a stellar display with her eloquence and engaging language throughout the event.
In her welcoming speech, President of the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) Sandra Osborne acknowledged the virtual presence of the Patron of the BOA and President of Barbados, Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason and praised the efforts of the staff who worked tirelessly to produce the awards show, following the cancellation of the 2020 event.
President Osborne indicated the theme of the awards; Spirit of Resilience, is a fitting tribute to the athletic community that has braved and overcome many obstacles caused by COVID-19 over the past 20 months.
The BOA chief acknowledged the inconvenience caused by the pandemic and praised those who weathered the storm with ingenuity, resilience and commitment.
“We all had to make adjustments, but many positive lessons have emerged from the COVID-19 experience. Most important of all is that this pandemic has shown us how resilient we are as a people.
The cancellation of many sports competitions and the blocks, curfews and other restrictions have made competition non-existent or very difficult and yet we have seen sports administrators and coaches come up with innovative ways to keep running, and we have seen our athletes overcome challenges, demonstrating incredible resilience, commitment and discipline to give their best ”.
Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Minister The Honorable Dwight Sutherland echoed President Osborne’s sentiments in his opening remarks at the awards ceremony, and paid tribute to the whole sports fraternity for their resilience, dedication and commitment during a very difficult year.
“It’s such a commitment and dedication that not only exemplifies what it is to be Barbadian, but secures the legacy which, like the proverbial staff, must be carried on with a sense of deep appreciation and care. mental vigilance by our Barbadian youth.
That, along with their exuberance, positive mindset and hardworking work ethic, must prove to everyone that Barbados remains in good hands, ”said Sutherland.
Sports enthusiast and participant, Minister Sutherland revealed that sport attracts many challenges, but with the right ingredients, these encounters can be conquered and turned into great rewards.
“Sport is not easy. Sport is never playing sport.
Succeeding in sport requires time, commitment, adequate financial resources, effective communication, consistent quality practice and above all a deep determination to succeed through thick and thin.
While some sports can be viewed as mere recreational activity, research has shown that sports have the ability to positively shape the minds of spectators and participants, transform struggling youth into responsible citizens, uplift communities. vulnerable and create viable careers in various occupations. areas that exist in the sports sector.
Sport therefore has the potential to contribute to the social development and social integration of any society and to be an essential generator of foreign currency and to contribute significantly to economic development ”.
Former Olympian and current Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Nicole Hoevertsz praised the efforts of the BOA and the Barbados Sports Fraternity for their efforts and commitment over the past year.
The Aruban sports administrator asked for continued support from the government and the cooperation sector, especially over the next 12 months, where she said we will be involved in a very busy sports calendar with many challenges that will keep us busy. wait.
While reminding athletes, coaches and administrators of their responsibilities, Hoevertsz encouraged them to continue on the Olympic path by striving for excellence in their respective roles.
“We hope you’ll realize that while you aren’t winning medals right now, winning gold medals isn’t the only goal we have ahead of us.
What we’re trying to accomplish in the Olympic movement is strive for excellence, which means we’re trying to be better today than yesterday and that’s something we’re celebrating tonight as well.
We hope that at the end of this exciting but very difficult year 2021, we look forward with optimism and with great aspirations to the year 2022 and we hope that this year 2022 will perhaps be a year of new memories, new adventures and new achievements to come. we.
We hope 2022 will be the best and most exciting ever and I hope tonight can be a night of celebration, a night of camaraderie and a night of continued friendship ”.
The BOA recognized the outstanding contributions of sports journalists Anmar Goodridge-Boyce, Kenmore Bynoe and Morissa Lindsay, with the Sports Journalist Recognition Award.
Swimmer Jack Kirby won the Male Athlete of the Year award for his outstanding performance at the Pan American Junior Championships in Cali, Colombia. The University of Southern California Junior was third in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 56.18 seconds.
The Spirit of Resilience Award had an individual winner, Paralympic swimmer Antwahn Boyce-Vaughn and the Barbados Squash Association; recognized for their perseverance and determination in sport.
The final prize for the evening went to the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association (BABA).
They were honored for their success in the FIBA Esports North & Central American tournament, which they won undefeated on their first appearance in the competition.
This exceptional achievement enabled BABA to win the International Award of Excellence.
Best Male Athlete
Jack Kirby (swimming)
Best female athlete
Sada Williams (Athletics)
Public Prize –
Sada Williams (Athletics)
Antwahn Boyce-Vaughn (swimming)
The Barbados Squash Association
International Excellence Award
Barbados Amateur Basketball Association
Sports Journalists Recognition Award
Anmar Goodridge-Boyce (Nation Publishing)
Morissa Lindsay (Barbados Today
Kenmore Bynoe (Nation Publishing)