World-class cyclist Nicholas Paul and Olympian Tyra Gittens walked away with the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles at the 59th edition of the First Citizens Sports Awards in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday.

T&T’s Olympic 4X400m metre relay team of Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire and the late Deon Lendore, who won the Lytsra Lewis Award, were also recognized at the ceremony hosted by 2013 400m hurdles World Champion Jehue Gordon and aired on CNC3 Television in the twin-island republic.

Swimmer Nikoli Blackman was crowned the Youth Sportsman of the Year 2021 for the consecutive year while tennis player Jordane Dookie was selected as the Youth Sportswoman of the Year 2021 title. Meanwhile, the Jeffrey Stollmeyer Award went to The Tennis Association of Trinidad & Tobago for outstanding administrative work.

Overall, 46 of T&T’s top athletes were honoured during the ceremony for their outstanding achievements over the past year. The country’s Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe praised the awardees for what he described as their “unrelenting spirit, sense of pride and purpose, and the larger than life persona they exude every time they set out to represent the red, white and black.

“You are our true heroes, who serve as a symbol of hope, perseverance, courage and strength, not only to our youth but to our nation,” she said.

Chairman of the First Citizens Sports Foundation, Dr Terry Ali, echoed similar sentiments while adding that the Sports Foundation would continue with its collaborative work with key stakeholders to support the successful restart of sporting events in Trinidad and Tobago.

Karen Darbasie, Group Chief Executive Officer at First Citizens, expressed gratitude at being able to honour the country’s best athletes. “The First Citizens Sports Awards is yet another proud moment, not only for those being honoured but also for us, who have been privileged to uphold that responsibility of bestowing honour,” she said.

Among the youth finalists who received awards were Alan-Safar Ramoutar – Chess; Ryan D’Abreau – Cycling; Shakeem Mc Kay – Track & Field; Zara La Fleur – Chess; Janae De Gannes – Track & Field; and Natassia Baptiste – Volleyball.

Among the senior finalists were Nigel Paul – Boxing; Dylan Carter – Swimming; Andrew Lewis – Sailing; Teniel Campbell – Cycling; Kennya Cordner – Football; Felice Aisha Chow – Rowing, and Samantha Wallace – Netball.

Cyclist Nicholas Paul and track and field athlete Michelle Lee Ahye walked away with the top male and female honours at the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee 27th Annual Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday evening.

In the event, which was broadcast over video-conferencing platform Zoom, Paul and Ahye were named TTOC’s senior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year respectively for 2021.

TTOC President Brian Lewis addressed the virtual audience before the distribution of awards.

“In 2021, our athletes showed that they faced their fears. They went to Tokyo and gave their best. They did not make excuses and of course, they showed emotional, physical, and mental stamina by facing their disappointments, their failures, their mistakes, and the criticism of those who weren’t in the arena; who didn’t have to overcome economic issues, lack of training issues, doubt issues, death in their families and close circles,” said Lewis.

“As we look forward to 2022, we are encouraged by the example and the discipline and resolve shown by team TTO at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Junior Pan Am Games,” he added.

It was Ahye’s fourth time holding the title after winning from 2016-2018 while Paul received the award for the second time, his first coming back in 2019.

Paul, the current world-record holder in the Men’s flying 200m, earned the top male award based on his silver medal performance in the Men’s one-kilometre time-trial at the UCI Tissot World Track Cycling Championship in Roubaix, France, back in October.

He was also sixth in the Men’s Sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Ahye was deemed the top female based on her ninth-place finish in the Women’s 100m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where she narrowly missed out on the final.

Swimmer Nikoli Blackman, a member of T&T’s teams at both the Pan Am Junior Games and Swimming World Championships (SC) this year, was named Junior Sportsman of the Year for the second consecutive year, and track and field athlete Rae-Anne Serville, now representing USC, was Junior Sportswoman of the Year.

Olympic long jump finalist and 2021 NCAA Heptathlon Champion at Texas A&M, Tyra Gittens, was named the Sports Personality of the Year and reacted to it on her Instagram page on Wednesday.

“Blessed to receive the Sports Personality award during the TTOC 27th Annual Award Ceremony this evening. I can’t wait to represent TTO again next year,” she said.

West Indies senior women’s vice-captain Anissa Mohammed won the Future is Female award.

 

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