Barbados’ most acclaimed names in sports were recognized and congratulated for their achievements by the Barbados Olympic Association last night at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
Trailblazing veterans such as Jim Wedderburn and Ambassador Obadele Thompson were among those awarded for their milestones at the 2016 Barbados Olympic Association Inc. and FLOW Awards ceremony.
Delivering the feature address, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, stated that the ceremony was a great method to thank and reward local athletes for their achievements and contribution to the development of sports in Barbados.
“Regrettably, recognition is often given after persons have passed,” said Minister Lashley, adding that acknowledgment should be given “while they still have the ability to hear and to see”.
The Minister of Sports stressed for tangible recognition of sportsmen and women, saying: “I think that we in Barbados owe it to our athletes to ensure that their future after competition is secured by meaningful and productive engagement and meaningful and productive employment.”
He added: “I believe it is essential that recognition be not only in trophies and in handshakes but that recognition be tangible.”
Lashley held that the best way for the nation to honour its athletes was to construct “one of the most modern stadiums in the world.”
Lashley reminded athletes from the various sports of the tremendous responsibility on their shoulders, encouraging them to “play by the rules and …not run afoul of the laws.”
Providing some final words on substance abuse, Lashley told the audience: “The lure of drugs in sports must be one that we have to become very aware of and I think we have to pay particular attention to ensure that our athletes understand the challenges and that we do not have in Barbados any incidents by which our athletes fail drug tests.”
President of the Barbados Olympic Association Inc., Steve Stoute, brought to light the effects of Government’s 2015 Budget that included the imposition of additional taxes on the Barbados Lottery.
“Without the revenues from this lottery, we would be unable to initiate our numerous projects and programmes. The proposals mentioned in the 2015 budgetary speech to impose additional taxes on the lottery is of great concern, as this will seriously impair our operations,” Stoute noted.
Among those receiving awards during the evening were Akela Jones who copped the Individual Excellence Award and Senior Female Athlete Award; Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Sada Williams; Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Rivaldo Leacock; Senior Male Athlete of the Year – Ramon Gittens; Individual Excellence Award – Darian King; Special Team Awards – Women’s Hockey Team and Tennis Team; Special Individual Recognition Award – Chelsea Tuach; and Special Award for Outstanding Service – Pamela Reece.
Other awardees were Ryan Brathwaite, Shane Brathwaite, Greggmar Swift, Kyle Maxwell, Andrei Cross, Martyn Forde, Terrence Haynes, Roberta Foster, Levi Cadogan, Kierre Beckles, Karen Meakins and Gavin Cumberbatch. (KK)