One of Barbados’ most popular sport personalities, World Champion hurdler, Ryan Brathwaite. (FP)??

Some outstanding sportspersons from various disciplines will have their moment to shine this weekend when the eagerly anticipated National Sports Council’s (NSC) Awards Ceremony comes off at the Frank Collymore Hall.

The 29th Awards Ceremony will be held tomorrow, Saturday, January 28, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, will deliver an address, while International Olympic Committee member, Austin Sealy, who has been involved in sports for over five decades, will give the feature address.

During the night, the coveted Minister’s and Sports Personality of the Year awards will be presented, as well as the Community Award, Media Award, School’s Award, Club Award, Coach of the Year, Emerging Athlete and the Alvin Burgess Award, among others.

Giving the background to the ceremony, Director of the NSC, Erskine King, explained: "The Council thought that sports people, having made significant contributions in a particular year or over several years, needed to be recognised for their hard work and perseverance…It has grown over the years from eight or nine categories to well over 20."

Mr. King pointed out that some of those new categories introduced within recent years were the Family Award and Groundsman of the Year. He added that several special awards would also be given to some persons who had made noteworthy contributions to sports.

Underscoring the importance of this prestigious awards ceremony which salutes the athletes for their exceptional accomplishments, the Director stated emphatically: "The Council could not decide not to have a sports awards ceremony in any one year. People would have worked hard over the year and looked forward to … the culmination of their year with a national sports award. It would be a disconnection between ourselves and the sports people if we took a decision to discontinue the annual awards ceremony even in these harsh economic times.

"… I know there are disappointments when persons don’t get an award. Sometimes some awards are crystal clear, but others are not, and when there is a closeness people say, I thought it would have been so and so. It generates a lot of discussion among the associations and … it is eagerly looked forward to by all sports people."

Corporate Barbados continues to render great assistance to the NSC in the production of the awards ceremony, and Mr. King commended those companies for their public spiritedness. He continued: "There are some sponsors who have been loyal to us and even at this point in 2012 they have come forward. Some of them have been with us for aeons, and as we write them, they not only respond yes, but the cheques are enclosed at the same time and we are grateful to them…"

He promised that the Council would continue to work with Corporate Barbados to ensure the ceremony, which always attracts local, regional and international speakers of merit, maintains its very high standard.

The sports people have worked hard and excelled in their particular area. Therefore, it is only fitting that their efforts are rewarded at the national level, since, in many cases, they have brought glory to Barbados, while inspiring their peers and others – to reach for the stars.


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