TT cyclist Teniel Campbell and swimmer Dylan Carter won the sportswoman and sportsman of the year awards respectively at the 26th Annual TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) Awards, on Tuesday. The award ceremony was held virtually because of the covid19 pandemic.
Carter competed creditably alongside the world’s top swimmers at the International Swimming League (ISL) in Hungary in October and November.
The TT swimmer represented his club team Los Angeles Current.
At the ISL Carter set personal bests and broke two national records.
Campbell, the first women’s TT cyclist to qualify for the Olympics, had a busy year compared to her fellow TT athletes.
In her professional cycling debut, Campbell earned bronze in the 94K circuit at the Vuelta CV Feminas in Valencia, Spain, in February. Campbell was racing for Italian club Valcar Cylance (Travel & Service).
In October, Campbell switched clubs as she signed a two-year contract with Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott team.
Both athletes spoke briefly after receiving the awards.
Campbell said, “Hello TT. Thank you TTOC for the award. I am very happy to be your sportswoman of the year for 2020. As you can see, I am currently in Spain very far away from TT.”
Campbell said she is “looking forward to the season.” She is anticipating the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games which starts in July.
Carter said, “Thank you TTOC, thank you TT and thank you to my parents, my family and everybody else who supported me throughout this challenging year.”
Among the speakers on the night were President Paula-Mae Weekes, TTOC president Brian Lewis, acting permanent secretary at the Ministry of Sport and Community Development Beverly Reid-Samuel and former TT footballer Kenwyne Jones.
Jones, who delivered the feature address, encouraged athletes to have resilience.
“Resilience is something that we are made off,” Jones said.
The 2006 World Cup player spoke about the mental fortitude he needed to achieve what he did.
Jones, who played professionally in England for years, said, “It depends on how we bounce back, how we rebound from those setbacks determine the type of characters that we are.” Jones said he was not always chosen to represent TT as he was overlooked but remained determined.
“I was cut a few times on various occasions, but the passion, the drive, the willingness to overcome got me my spot on the national Under-17 team in 2001.”
Jones also urged the athletes to prepare at a high level despite obstacles. “That preparation is what teaches us that resilience that we have. I could remember explicitly again. I was never the fastest. I was pretty fast, but I was never the fastest…I was never labelled as the next Dwight Yorke, the next Russell Latapy or the next Stern John.”
Weekes urged the athletes to put 2020 behind them as the covid19 pandemic affected their schedule.
“I encourage all our athletes to remain focused on their goals as we welcome the new year using the disappointments and setbacks of 2020 as fuel for renewed zeal, energy and spirit.”
LIST OF AWARDS
Sportsman of the Year- Dylan Carter (swimming)
Sportswoman of the Year – Teneil Campbell (cycling)
Junior Sportsman of the Year – Nickolai Blackman (swimming)
Junior Sportswoman of the Year – Abigail Vieira (skiing)
Sports Personality of the Year – Aisha Chow (rowing)
Future is Female Award – Samantha Wallace (netball)
People’s Choice Award – Abigail Vieira (skiing)
Alexander B Chapman – Nigel Grosvenor (posthumously – football coach)