Sport

RJR Foundation names 2013 Sportsman and Sportswoman nominees

Jamaica Observer new media partner

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 13, 2013    

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USAIN Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce head the list of nominees for the RJR National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year 2013 awards set for January 10, 2014.

Bolt, the recently crowned IAAF Male Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, is the overwhelming favourite and should easily see off the other three nominees in boxer Nicholas Walters, Nesta Carter and Warren Weir for yet another award.

Bolt won three titles at the World Championships in Moscow, defending his 200m and the 4x100m relay titles and regained the 100m crown.

Fraser-Pryce, the IAAF Female Athlete of the Year, has been nominated with swimmer Alia Atkinson, cricketer Stafanie Taylor, and boxer Alicia Ashley.

Mike Fennell, selection committee chairman, announced the nominations via a pre-packaged video presentation and outlined the criteria for selection.

"I just want to remind everyone, it's about performance and not about effort. There are specific categories, starting with the highest level at the Olympics and all ratified world championshps for the various sporting disciplines before moving downwards to the Commonwealth Games and the Pan American Games," Fennell said.

Meanwhile, Lesa Robinson of sponsors Victoria Mutual Building Society said her organisation is honoured to be supporting the RJR Foundation as they recognise the successes of our athletes.

"On behalf of the Victoria Mutual Group, we are again privileged to support in this way, and do encourage corporate Jamaica to continue to champion the valiant efforts of our sportsmen and women. In order for our sporting legacy to be maintained, our athletes must perform, our nation must cheer them on, and sponsors must provide the necessary financial support," Robinson said.

Sagicor, in their third year on board, will once again be sponsoring the Iconic Award. Alysia Moulton-White, manager - sponsorship and public relations, thanked the sports personalities that continued to make Jamaica proud.

"Your achievements are testament to the resilience and prowess that resides in us as a people. Thank you for continuing to inspire all those who look up to you," said White.

"In our first year as sponsor we launched the Sagicor Iconic Award. This is particularly special to us as it recognises an individual who has impacted sports in a significant way, a way that will be spoken of for generations to come. At Sagicor, we firmly believe that philanthropy and patriotism go hand in hand. As such, we view the Sagicor Iconic Award as another medium through which we can demonstrate our unequivocal commitment to Jamaica's most precious resource — our people," she declared.

Other sponsors of the event were telecommunications provider Digicel; J Wray & Nephew; Jamaica Pegasus hotel, hosts of the launch; Main Event; and Pure Country.

Gary Allen, managing director of the RJR Group and chairman of the RJR Sports Foundation, welcomed all the stakeholders of the various sporting organisations.

He also announced some minor changes to this year's awards; one of which is that, this year, no nominees will be presented for the Sagicor-sponsored Iconic Award, the awardee will be announced at the gala event.

"The Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) had again been asked to submit a short list of nominees across their schools sporting disciplines for the ISSA Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Junior Sportspersons of the Year," Allen added.

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