CHAMPIONS ALL: Express Individual of the Year 2012 winners take a group photo with their awards following yesterday's ceremony at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Invaders Bay, Port of Spain. From left are Keshorn Walcott (Individual of the Year), Aaron Duncan (Youth of the Year), Collis Hazel, president of the Roxborough Police Youth Group (Youth Group of the Year) and Sherwin Ruiz of the Grande Riviere Environmental Awareness Trust (Community Group of the Year). —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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Keshorn humbled

Javelin thrower receives award

By Julien Neaves

ON August 11, 2012 at the London Olympics javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott became the second Trinidadian to achieve Olympic gold after sprinter Hasely Crawford.

He followed in those footsteps again yesterday when he also received the Express Individual of the Year Award 2012 at a function hosted by the Trinidad Express Newspapers Ltd at the Marriott in Port of Spain.

In 1976 Crawford had also received the Express Individual of the Year title after winning this country's first Olympic gold medal.

In a brief address after receiving the award from Caribbean Communications Network (parent company of the Express and TV6) chief executive officer Shida Bolai, Walcott described the 2012 award as an "honour" and thanked his family, friends, support team and "everyone who has been behind me throughout the years".

"I would like to thank the Express for putting all my achievements in the papers throughout, I hope they continue to follow my career. And last, but not least, I would like to thank God for everything," he added.

In his address, Express general manager Gilbert Ramkissoon described Walcott's victory as "a landmark occasion for each and every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago". He noted that Walcott was the first athlete to win an individual Olympic title and a world junior title in the same year.

"Such is the class, unsurpassed and un-surpassing, of the 2012 Express Individual of Year," he said.

After receiving the award, the Express asked Walcott about the house promised to him by Government for his achievement.

He responded: "I'm not rushing anything. I know they are working hard and they are going to be doing what they have to do. So, I'm comfortable at the moment and I know they are working."

Walcott was given a house in Federation Park after his Olympic feat but subsequently said it was too small and the government agreed to relocate him.

After the presentation of the awards, Duncan performed the calypso "Aim High" dedicated to Walcott which brought a smile to the Olympian's face.

After receiving his award, the nine year-old calypsonian, who has performed in Barbados, England, New York, Montreal, Toronto and Boston, thanked Almighty God for giving him his talent.

"I'd like to thank my parents for pushing me and guiding me all the way. I'd like to thank the people who nominated me for this award and last but not least I would like to thank my fans for supporting me and I'm proud and glad to be the Youth of the Year 2012 Trinidad and Tobago," he said.

On the Grande Riviere Environmental Awareness Trust, Ramkissoon noted that the group had "played a heroic and vital role" in rescuing turtle hatchlings on the Grande Riviere beach, notably when the critically endangered leatherback turtles faced being wiped out by remedial works to the stream of the river in July last year.

Sherwin Ruiz of the Trust noted the importance of exposure for the group which had been in the "background all the time". He reported that the group's membership had fallen from 18 to two but though "little" they were very effective. He invited citizens to join the Trust "to save the leatherback turtle that dies by the thousands in the sea every year offshore".

Some of the achievements of the 22-year-old Roxborough Police Youth Group include their night football tournament, youth scholars homework centre, and its most recent project, services for the elderly.

Club president Collis Hazel thanked the Express, the country's "leading newspaper", for the "signature event in recognising the work of civil society organisations and individuals for their contribution to human and social development". He said the club was "honoured" and "humbled" by the award.

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