2016 Paralympic Games double medallist Akeem Stewart and Asha James of Signal Hill Secondary were crowned the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year respectively on Saturday as the THA held its annual sports awards at the Magdalena Grand Beach Resort in Lowlalnds.
Stewart, who broke the world F44 javelin record en route to winning gold at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last year with a throw of 57.32m, easily got the nod for the top award. He also earned silver in Brazil in the discus with a heave of 61.72m as he emerged as this country’s most successful athlete at the Games.
James was a virtual lock for her accolade as well with her tremendous all-round ability. James is a national footballer, cricketer and track and field athlete.
James’ skills make Signall Hill a contender at all national football and cricket competitions and she make her mark regionally lats month with a bronze medal at the CARIFTA Games in the Girls U-20 javelin event. She also demonstrated her ability to balance sport and academics with seven passes in her Examinations.
Also on the honour roll on Saturday was 2017 CARIFTA Boys Under-17 gold medallist Tyriq Horsford who was named Secondary School Athlete and Male Student Athlete of the Year.
The Signal Hill student collected his third straight Boys U-18 CARIFTA javelin gold medal last month and broke the Games record with a powerful 76.50m throw. He easily won gold in his pet event at the 2017 Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships with a 65.76m effort.
Wade Franklyn, coach of Horsford, Stewart and James, was unsurprisingly named Coach of the Year.
Feature speaker and Assemblyman Jomo Pitt hailed the consistency of Tobago’s athletes over the years and encouraged the younger ones to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors and become legends of the game. He urged the media to focus on the many positives in the sport, arguing that sometimes the negatives are given too much prominence.
Also recognised for his service to sport in Tobago was Theophilus Trim who served as Director of Sport for the THA. Trim urged Tobagonians to support the athletes and although acknowledging that there are areas that need improving - specifically infrastructure - he said athletes must continue striving for excellence.
There were also posthumous awards for David Noel and Abiela Adams.
Sportsman of the Year
- Akeem Stewart
Sportswoman of the Year
- Asha James
Student Athlete Male
- Tyriq Horsford
Student Athlete Female
- Asha James
Primary School Athlete Male
- Jevon Cox
Primary School Athlete Female
- A’brisse Trim
Special long service award
- Theophilus Trim
Best Completed programme
- Aqua Warriors
Best Project without Gov’t Support
- Aqua Force
- David Noel, Abiela Adams