Sport

Nominations open for 2014 Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence

BY RUDDY ALLEN

Saturday, August 30, 2014    

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NOMINATIONS for the 10th annual Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence opened with a press launch at Cuddy'z Sports Bar & Restaurant, New Kingston Shopping Centre on Thursday.

The Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence is awarded annually, recognising exemplary qualities in male or female Jamaican nationals between the ages of 18 and 40, who have represented the country in the field of sport.

The Award, which is administered by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, is the brainchild of former Prime Minister Percival James Patterson in recognition of the achievements of world-class cricketer and ambassador-at-large, Courtney Walsh.

The successful nominee will receive a cash award of $500,000 and the prestigious Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence Trophy.

Meanwhile, one male and one female student will also be recognised for their outstanding contribution to sports in tandem with academic excellence.

The winning students must be Jamaican nationals and currently in Grades 10 to 13 of secondary schools. They will receive the Courtney Walsh Student for Excellence Trophy and a computer tablet, courtesy of Supreme Ventures, with one year of internet service, while the schools of the winning students will get a Supreme Ventures Plaque and $250,000 awarded for development of a specified project to benefit the students and their respective schools.

Nominations should be submitted to the CHASE Fund at 52-60 Grenada Crescent, Kingston 5, no later than September 19.

"When this award was first announced, some people reacted with the statements like 'Oh no, not another award'. What they failed to realise was that this award would be unlike any other in Jamaica's sporting history. Something that was very apparent to the Hon PJ Patterson when he mooted this award in the first place," stated Paulette Mitchell, project manager at CHASE Fund, who delivered a speech prepared by the minister with responsibility for sport, Natalie Neita-Headley.

She added: "This award formally recognises the achievements of a sports person who displayed a high level of humility, integrity, discipline and other exemplary qualities, while excelling in the field of sports. It also encourages athletes to strive for excellence as well as athletes to remain humble, even when they are excelling.

"So, in the end this award is about more than performance. It is recognition of sustained excellence, on and off the field of play. In fact, this award celebrates our role models, male and female, the people whom you not only celebrate on your television sets or from the stands, but the persons whom you love to invite over for dinner with your family or have speak to your children at school.

"To the hard-working team at the CHASE Fund and the wide-ranging members of the selection committee, I say well done. Let us continue to remind ourselves that we have among us Jamaicans of integrity and humility who deserve to be celebrated."

Dr Walton Small, president of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), gave his support to the award.

"I truly support this award. For nine years we have had some great persons who have contributed to sports and we applaud these nine athletes, who continue to shine in their respective fields.

"There are a lot of persons out there that are doing well and need to be recognised," said Small, who is also a member of the Courtney Walsh selection committee.

Former recipient of the award, Wavell Hinds, encouraged sporting individuals to continue to excel.

"Sport is a beautiful tool, it is the driving force behind all success in the world and it fills all the gaps as well. I implore all sporting persons to use this award as a motivation to continue to do well in your respective fields," Hinds said.

Former Awardees:

2013 - Wavell Hinds

2012 - 2011 - Dr Neil Gardner

2010 - Aleen Bailey

2009 - Brigitte Foster-Hylton

2008 - Nehemiah Perry

2007 - Elaine Davis

2006 - Deon Hemmings-McCatty

2005 - Jimmy Adams

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