LONG JUMPER Andwuelle Wright and heptathlon athlete Safiya John have captured the top awards at the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) 2019 Sport Awards.
On Thursday, athletes, sporting organisations and sporting administrators were honoured for their performances within the period of December 31, 2018 – November 30, 2019 during the awards ceremony, hosted by the Division of Sport and Youth Affairs, at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, Lowlands.
Bestowed with the title of Sportsman of the Year, Wright is currently preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. He shattering the national long jump record to cop the NACAC Under-23 title in 2019.
The 22-year-old from Signal Hill told Newsday: “I feel elated… it just comes to show that all the hard work and dedication is paying off.”
John, the Sportswoman of The Year, Safiya John, said that she was in shock when she received the news that she was nominated for such an honorary award.
“So, emerging as the winner is just an overwhelming blessing for me,” she said.
“I am grateful to have been recognised for my efforts on the track in 2019 amongst the other deserving nominees also.”
The 19-year-old John is currently on an athletic scholarship at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in the United States. The three-time national high jump champion, who hails from Goodwood, copped heptathlon gold for TT at the 2019 CARIFTA Games.
As a student athlete, she dominated the competition at 2019 Southwestern Athletic Conference in both the pentathlon and heptathlon, as well as establishing school and conference records.
Both Wright and John are attached to the Kaizen Panthers Athletic Club.
The Club’s coach, Arlon Morrison was also the recipient of the Coach of the Year award, sharing this title with coach of the Tobago YMCA Aqua Warriors, Mosi Denoon.
Meanwhile, the Tobago YMCA Aqua Warriors was the recipients of two awards – Sport Administrator of the Year as well as Club of the Year.
Happy Haven School student, Sapphire Jackson, was also one of the evening’s awardees. Jackson, from Plymouth was the recipient of the Special Athlete award. In 2019, she took silver at the National Special Olympic Games for soft ball throw, then went on to cop gold in soft ball throw and silver medal in 100m walk during the International Special Olympic Games in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
In the Sport Media category, the award went to Tobago Sport Live, while Janelle Edwards was awarded as the Sporting Official of the Year.
The Community Sport Programme/Project award was presented to the Ball Blasters Youth Academy, a dynamic football organisation that is passionate about enriching the lives of its members, both on and off the field. The Academy hosts Saturday Academic Sessions for primary and secondary level students. To date, over 100 athletes have benefitted from the programme, which is designed to identify and fill any academic gaps they may have.
Fourth Form student of Scarborough Secondary, Jayden Scott walked away with the Secondary School Male Student Athlete of the Year, while Kelelicia George took the female equivalent.
In the Primary school category, multi-faceted athlete Malique Young walked away with the award for Primary School Male Athlete of the Year, while there was a tie for the female Primary School Female Athlete of the Year between Scarborough RC students Q-Jhea Stewart and Daija Reid.
The Secondary School Female athlete of the Year was awarded to 13-year-old Janaè De Gannes while the male versin went to Jaydon Scott.
Additionally, two icons were awarded posthumously – Eric Hovell and Ignatius “Metty” Trim.
Hovell was described as a sportsman par excellence and a community leader from Calder Hall who embodied what it meant to be committed and dependable, while Trim was described as a faithful and committed servant of cricket, who challenged the national structure and administration and, through his successful negotiations, Tobago was able to host the West Indies Under-17 Regional Tournament for three consecutive years.
The Secretary’s award was presented to the Tobago Netball League, one of Tobago’s longest standing sporting organisations that administrates 25 registered teams and actively contributes to the development of 324 players. A Special Recognition award was presented to paralympic record holder Akeem Stewart.