A big shock and monumental. That’s how the 2013 Sportswoman of the Year Giselle Ann Jackman described her feelings on copping the prestigious award at the First Citizens Sports Foundation hosted annual First Citizens Sports Foundation Sports Awards for 2013 Friday at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.
Friday night on stage when master of ceremonies Wendell Constantine asked for her reaction, Jackman could only say: “I am so shocked right now, I just want to take this moment to thank my mom and dad who couldn’t be here tonight for everything...” before she broke down in tears.
Yesterday, Jackman was more composed but she was still overawed by the magnitude of her achievement.
“It was a big shock because I wasn’t expecting to win anything actually. I didn’t expect to get nominated or even (be) in the top 10, so to win Sportswoman of the Year was a big shock to me, honest to God,” she said.
The 20-year-old Jackman, who resides in Chaguanas and only took up the sport two years ago when she was still enrolled at Hillview College, said when she was hard at training in 2013, she was doing it for self-fulfillment and not for any award or prestige.
“Anything else I guess, any award that comes along is just a lagniappe...I just do what I am doing well without any expectations of going out and winning something or beating somebody. I just go out to do my personal best to make myself and my family proud and the Federation proud,” she said, adding that she would have been satisfied to make the top 10 nominees list.
“When I hear that (top ten ), I was in shock just to get up and go on stage to hear my name called for the award. That was monumental for me. I didn’t think I would get recognised on that level. It wasn’t on my mind...so to get nominated and to be in that position was very big for me,” she said.
Jackman, who is nearly eight months pregnant and expecting to deliver at the end of April, placed second in the Junior category at the Caribbean and Pan American Championships last year, eventually earning first overall with a total of 372 kg lifted.
Locally she won her 72kg class and the Open category.
Jackman, who trains out of Extreme Fighting Gym in Chaguanas, says she is keeping a positive mind towards returning to training, which she last did in August 2013, shortly before learning she was pregnant
“I do have my coach Maurice (Pierre) on standby, so when I am ready to get back out to training once I get that clearance from my doctor, it will be back in the gym,” she said.
As soon as she recovers from her pregnancy, Jackman is planning to compete in the National Championships so that she can qualify for the Caribbean and Pan American Championships in July.
“I really don’t know how hard it is to get back to that position (of fitness) because my mindset is not really on how hard it will be to get back to that position, but my mindset is more on getting back in gear to compete again,” she said. “I am not thinking about how hard it is going to be. I want to get back to a competitive level again, it doesn’t matter who I am competing against, once I do good enough for myself.”