Female powerlifter Giselle Ann Jackman was a shock winner of the 2013 Sportswoman of the Year award as track and field athlete, hurdler Jehue Gordon expectedly walked away with the men’s equivalent when the First Citizens Sports Foundation hosted its annual awards function Friday at the Queen’s Hall, Cascade, St Ann’s.
At the ceremony themed “Elightenment”, many experts expected Gordon and fellow track and field athlete, shot putter Cleopatra Borel to clinch the two awards after they earned the Senior Male and Female Athletes of the Year titles respectively of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) awards in January.
Gordon of Memphis Pioneers also emerged Male Athlete of the Year at the Spirit of Sports Awards (SOSA) produced by the Ministry of Sport and the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT), followed by the Sportsman of the Year at the T&T Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) awards for his golden win at the IAAF World Championships held in Moscow, Russia, back in August in a time of 47.69.
When he set foot on the track at the Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium, last September, he also mounted the top platform of the podium.
“Right now it is back to the drawing board for me in school back at the University of the West Indies,” Gordon said on receiving his latest accolade. “That is my main focus at this point in time, finishing up my undergraduate degree in sports management and just to continue working hard, starting all the way from the bottom and trying to get back to that number one spot.”
Borel’s performance at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games earned her the NAAA nod as well as the Sportswoman of the Year at the T&T Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) awards back in December. Borel was not present but was represented by her mother Marcelle Borel.
But the Foundation’s selection committee, headed by chairman Dr Keith Clifford, worked through their criteria process in deciding the female winner.
Among the women, Borel was considered a slight favourite ahead of table-tennis ace Rheann Chung, volleyballer Sinead Jack, hockey player Alanna Lewis and cricketer, Stacy Ann King. Overall, 52 athletes were nominated for the top awards, 22 women and 30 men.
Other major nominees among the men were swimmer George Bovell, Soca Warriors captain Kenwyne Jones, cyclist Njisane Phillip, table tennis veteran Dexter St Louis, and volleyballer Daneil Williams.
In addition to the top individual honours, the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) won out over the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board for the Jeffrey Stollmeyer award—accepted by the TTCF president Rowena Williams, for the best sporting administration. The 4 x 400 women’s relay team at last year’s CAC Championships gained the Lystra Lewis award for the Team of the Year award, accepted by the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette. The quartet of Shawna Fermin, Sparkle McKnight, Alena Brooks and Romona Modeste smashed a 26 year-old national record with that effort.
The one hour and 20 minute long show was interjected by a “WOW” moments segment, a video production displaying the 2013 sporting highlights that was chosen by the media.
Calypsonian David Rudder brought down the curtain on the event with a lively rendition of his hit song High Mass that he modified to include references to the athletes.
President of the Republic Anthony Carmona, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association president and Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee and Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, who deputised for Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, were all present at the event.
Sportsman of the Year—Jehue Gordon (Track and Field)
Sportswoman of the Year—Giselle Ann Jackman (Powerlifting)
Top 10 Nominees
Giselle Ann Jackman (Powerlifting), Jehue Gordon (Track and Field), George Bovell III (Swimming), Njisane Phillip (Cycling), Sunil Narine (Cricket), Cleopatra Borel (Track & Field), Adrian Brown (Powerlifting), Roger Daniel (Shooting), Monifa Sealy (Golf), Lenn Hypolite (Taekwondo)
Lystra Lewis Award—T&T Women’s 4 x 400 relay at CAC Championships.