Local athletes honoured

“Don’t just settle for being the best in your country.”

Those were the words of advice given to Barbadian athletes by Olympic icon, Carl Lewis, the featured speaker at the 2016 Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) and FLOW annual awards ceremony held last night at the Needham’s Ballroom, Hilton.

Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, BOA President, Steve Stoute, former Barbadian Olympian and now member of the International Olympic Committee, Sir Austin Sealy shared the night with a number of specially invited guests that included FLOW’s, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Marilyn Sealy, to witness Olympians, Akela Jones and Michael Maskell being awarded Senior Athletes of the Year.

During an inspirational speech about his path to success, the former sprinter and long jumper encouraged all athletes to set their ultimate goal to be the absolute best they can be like he did at the height of his career.

“What do you want to say that you have accomplished when you are 40 years old when you retired, what do you want to say that you have been? Think about that now because it heightens what you want to accomplish every day.

“We always talk about goals which are so important, we want to set goals every year, I want to win the Olympic Games, I want to be a world champion but guess what, you can’t control if you are an Olympic or World champion. I never controlled that but what you can control is the excellence you try to achieve.” the 55-year-old said.

Akela Jones receives Senior Athlete of the Year award from Carl Lewis. (Photo by Morissa Lindsay)

Lewis, the personal coach of Barbadian sprinter Mario Burke, who is currently based at Houston University, is one of the most successful athletes of all time, having competed at four Olympic Games, winning nine gold medals, including four at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

He also encouraged local athletes to remain focused in the face of challenges.

“Once you get recognized with your awards, there is not one award on that table that would win your next competition. You will. That’s just telling you what you’ve done, you have to go out every day and do what you want to do, so I challenge you to be excellent all the time.

“Set those goals, make sure it’s about being the best that you can be, be accountable for what you want to do, put yourself out there, put yourself on what you want to be, let people know how great you want to be, what you want to achieve and then demand the people around you to help you get there because it is a tough challenge,” Lewis said.

He also had some encouraging words for local sporting federations, saying: “The challenge isn’t just financial support for the athletes, its working together to create a viable middle class so they can earn a living and understand how to make their future successful because we get to where we say we need more funding to give to the athletes. If we actually create an environment where the athletes can earn a living and earn their way that would be better long term for them.”

During his opening remarks, BOA President, Stoute highlighted what was an active year for Barbadian sport, saying, “I am pleased to announce that during 2016, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Finance and the Barbados Lottery, our BOA funding programmes and scholarships continued steadily. Our Olympic Academy also increased its activities in coaching, sports management and anti-substance abuse programmes.

“So much so that we are now one of the few national Olympic Committees in the region to be conducting the International Olympic Committees advanced nine administrative course. We have also partnered with the Coaching Association of Canada to enhance our local coaching capacity and continue to strengthen our sporting infrastructure.”

Meanwhile director of communications at FLOW, Sealy said her company is proud of the remarkable achievements of Barbadian athletes at the local, regional and international level.

She added that they were pleased to enter into a partnership with the BOA last year for sponsorship valued at close to $750,000.

In addition to Jones and Maskell, other awardees were as follows:

Outstanding Junior Athletes

Sada Williams – Athletics

Shae Martin- Badminton

Amanda Haywood – Badminton and Squash

Che Allan – Surfing

Junior Female Athlete of the Year

Meagan Best

Junior Male Athlete of the Year

Alex Sobers

Independence Games Awards 2016 Champion

Best Overall Sport – Judo

Most Improved Sport – Weightlifting

Outstanding Junior Athlete – Amanda Haywood (Badminton and Squash)

Special Mention – Rebecca Williams – Wrestling

2016 Champion Swimming (Female) – Ashley Weekes

2016 Champion Swimming (Male) – Nkosi Dunwoody

2016 Champion Rugby (Female) – Danielle Phillips

2016 Champion Rugby (Male) – Sean Ward

Special Recognition:

Athletes Celebrating 50 Years of CAC Glory

Patsy Callender

Freda Nicholls

Avelyn Babb

Aldeen Holder

Bill Hoad

Richard Hoad

Special Recognition Celebrating 50 Years of CAC and Commonwealth Games Glory

Anton Norris

Special Individual Recognition 

Chelsea Tuach, Surfing

Roberta Foster, Equestrian

Darian King, Tennis

Edwin Sutherland, Cycling



4 Responses to Local athletes honoured

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan January 7, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Congratulations to our star athletes. Keep pressing on!

  2. ASCT January 8, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Why is Carl Lewis who critised our Caribbean athletes handing out prizes to our athletes. The BOA should not have allowed him too, they have short memories.
    I don’t believe we had outstanding athletes last year in the senior category on the World Stage, and the results speak for themselves.

    We should be setting standards that our athletes can aim for and then congratulate them, and not for the sake of holding a prize ceremony.
    To the BOA this is very poor on your behalf

  3. Peter January 8, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    ASCT, I agree with you 1000 %. That well known Olympian making the presentation to you looks like a puppet. Minister Stephen would have looked just as foolish. Why couldn’t the organizers have someone like Eusain Bolt to make that presentation? Akela Jones, In my books, you are MY Miss Barbados, even Miss World/ Miss Universe. You look charming, and elegant, with silky smooth skin texture. I salute you. The man you marry has to be a gentleman, truly blessed. May whomever that lucky man is, love, respect and honor you FOREVER. This is my fifth attempt at responding. every time My FLOW internet access keeps dropping out. I hope it gets posted this my sixth attempt.

  4. Gieselle Deisire Straughan-taitt
    Gieselle Deisire Straughan-taitt January 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    wow this is really beautiful


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