SAINT Lucia’s Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year will be announced tonight at the National Sports Awards ceremony at the Royalton Hotel in Cap Estate. Julien Alfred (Athletics), Kimani Melius (Cricket), Levern Spencer (Athletics) and Jayhan Odlum- Smith are among the 13 shortlisted nominees.
The night’s programme will include the playing of the National Anthem; while Sports Minister, Edmund Estaphane will deliver the welcome remarks. There is a possibility that he will talk about Don Lockerbie’s “Master Plan” for new sporting infrastructure for Saint Lucia. The Minister will also take the time out to present the Minister’s Award.
The 39th edition of the gala event is under the patronage of Saint Lucia’s Governor General, Sir Neville Cenac who will be in attendance along with members of Parliament, the Diplomatic Corps, Nominees, Staff of the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee Inc representatives, Presidents / Secretaries of the various National Sports Federations, Specially invited Guests and members of the Media.
Contending for Junior Sportsman for the Year, is West Indies 2018 Under-19 opening batsman Kimani Melius (Cricket), who is the reigning Junior Sportsman for the Year, D’ Andre Calderon (Table Tennis), JayhanOdlum- Smith (Swimming) and Shelton St. Rose (Athletics).
For Junior female Sportswoman for the Year, the race is between last year’s winner Julien Alfred (Athletics), Megan Williams (Tennis) and Katie Kyle (Swimming), Kayle won in 2016. All three athletes are currently studying overseas.
The senior male sportsman of the year will be chosen from among Albert Reynolds, who won last year when he dethroned West Indies opening batsman Johnson Charles (cricket), Lyndell Marcellin (Boxing) and Windward Islands cricketer Larry Edwards (Cricket).
The Senior Sportswoman title is up for grabs as last year’s winner Julien Alfred was not nominated in that category the battle will then be amongst three times Olympian, reigning Senior Commonwealth Games (CWG), Central American and the Caribbean (CAC) and North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NACAC) gold medallist, Levern Spencer (Athletics). Spencer will be vying for a record 15th senior title. She won in (2000 – 2002), (2005 – 2012), (2014 – 2016). She also captured four Junior titles along the way, 2000 – 2004. The other nominees are West Indies cricketer Qiana Joseph (Cricket) and national footballer Ellisha Marquis (Football).
It’s a one off package as it is the first time all the nominees will be getting a financial token from the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports in recognition of the celebration of Saint Lucia’s 40th anniversary of Independence. Efforts to get the actual amounts from Deputy Permanent Secretary, Liota Charlmagne – Mason during a recent press conference were futile as she failed to disclosed the amounts during a question and answer segment.
Awards will also be presented to administrators, coaches, technical officials, posthumous, national winning teams, club of the year, association of the year, sponsors and the sports media fraternity.