media_artricles :: 2017
Walcott, Ahye double up at NAAA awardsMark Pouchet :: Trinidad Express :: 08.01.2017
The National Association of Athletic Administrators (NAAA) Awards 2016 replicated the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Annual Award Gala as Michelle-Lee Ahye and Keshorn Walcott were named Female and Male Senior Athletes of the Year, respectively.
The event was hosted at the Festival Ballroom of the Radisson Hotel Saturday evening.
The 2 1/2-hour programme culminated with the naming of Ahye, who competed in the finals of the women's 100-metre, women's 200m and women's 4x100m events, and Walcott, this country's lone medallist at the Rio Games (Men's Javelin bronze), copping the most coveted awards.
Walcott's trophy was collected by his Rebirth teammate Cleopatra Borel, the duo coached by Ismael Mastrapa Lopez also claiming the Most Outstanding Field athlete female and male open awards, respectively. Ahye's reaction to winning was: "It is a very proud moment for me, I did really good last year and these awards means a lot to me and it encourages me more to push harder for the season upcoming."
Ahye added she was "really amazed" at her 2016 performances "even though we did not do really good in the (women's) 4x100m, we still tried our best. I just want to remain healthy (for 2017), I just came off surgery from my toe. I am just trying to stay healthy and try to do better than I did last year."
Similar to the TTOC awards, Khalifa St Fort captured the Junior Athlete of the Year award (female) with Akanni Hislop, currently on scholarship at Louisiana State University (LSU), nabbing the male version of the award.
St Fort's highlight performance of 2016 was her Women's 100m bronze medal at the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Poland while Hislop sprinted to gold in the Men's U-20 200m event at the Carifta Track and Field Championships.
The NAAA's also debuted two awards this year.
The first went to Rae Anne Serville of Memphis Pioneer Club, receiving the President's Rising Star Award while Che Richards of Oasix was bestowed the Academic Achievement Award for being a 2015 Island Scholar winner.
The long jumper, who placed fourth at the Carifta Track and Field Championships, is currently pursuing his law degree in London and his mother Cherelle Jones collected on his behalf.
President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Anthony Carmona delivered an impassioned speech, berating those who demeaned the local athletes' performance in 2016 and imploring local officials and administrators to lift their game to serve the athletes better.
NAAA's president Ephraim Serrette, TT Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith and SporTT chairman Micheal Phillips all delivered greetings at the event which was also attended by T&T Sports Ambassador and 1976 Montreal Olympic gold medallist Hasely Crawford and four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon, who was also praised by speakers for his Sports Illustrated Analyst of the Year achievement.
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WINNERS' ROW: From left, Cleopatra Borel (collecting on behalf of Keshorn Walcott; Senior Athlete of the Year-Male), Michelle-Lee Ahye (Senior Athlete of the Year-Female), Minister of Sport Darryl Smith, NAAA president Ephraim Serrette, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Anthony Carmona, Tyriq Horsford (Boys Under 18-Field), Khalifa St Fort (Junior Athlete of the Year-Female), SporTT chairman Michael Phillips and T&T Sport Ambassador Hasely Crawford at the NAAA Awards 2016, at the Radisson Hotel, on Saturday. --Photo: CURTIS CHASE