The 28th Annual School Sports Awards were held on Saturday, July 10 2021 under the theme “Achieving Sports Excellence through Resilience”.

Approximately two hundred awards were given out to students from primary and secondary schools and other learning institutions for their outstanding performances in various sporting disciplines including table tennis, basketball, track and field, football, volleyball, netball and cricket during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

The Sineku Primary School took home numerous awards winning the football, volleyball, table tennis and cricket championships.

The Portsmouth Secondary School also took home many championship trophies for football, basketball, cricket and table tennis.

Darin Toussaint of the North East Comprehensive School received awards for the highest individual score, most runs, and best all-rounder and for also scoring two centuries in the under-15 cricket tournament.

Yawani Regis of the Pierre Charles Secondary School received awards for top scorer and most valuable player in the under-20 secondary schools basketball tournament as well as awards for most wickets, most runs, best all-rounder and two centuries in the under-20 cricket tournament.

Sports Coordinator, Trevor Shillingford described the school year as a challenging one, noting that the achievements of the students have showed their resilience.

“We are here to honour our top performers. I congratulate you for your efforts. You have set admirable benchmarks for others to imitate. It is our hope that you will continue to work hard in your pursuits of success and the awards that you will be receiving will be an extra motivation. We are happy that you our students made the decision to participate in the various sporting activities for the past academic year. I am certain that you have benefitted from the experience,” Mr. Shillingford stated.

He explained that while the covid-19 pandemic posed a challenge to the sporting year, the sports division found innovative ways to educate the students while allowing them to play.

“However, through it all we have had to dig deep to find ways to remain active and still maintain safety from covid-19. Very early in the year we adopted different methods which saw us engaging students online. With the gradual easing up of restrictions we then carefully returned to the field where took the opportunity to educate our students on the various safety protocols to be observed. We are satisfied that through sports participation our students were well equipped with the knowledge of what was required of hem to bat through COVID-19,” Shillingford noted.

The Sports Coordinator added that the sports division is proud of the way that the students responded when sporting activity resumed in January of 2021.

“With a period of five months to fit in a year’s activity, this called for innovation on our part and commitment on the part of the students and schools’ authority. We were forced to shelf some of our programmes and in other cases restructure the programme to ensure implementation. We were pleased with the response received on the return of sporting activities by our students as they responded well. We must commend them for the high level of interest that they showed during the past year. There is now a heightened interest among our students in sports participation and this has also carried on to the wider society as it clearly evident with the number of sporting activities that one can realize happening throughout the country on a regular basis,” Mr. Shillingford added.

Minister with Responsibility for Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Honorable Oscar George, who was the featured speaker, described the theme as relevant saying that to achieve sporting excellence, athletes must be determined and resilient.

“The current opportunities that exist in sports has increased exponentially and it has become possible to convert all your sporting dreams into realities. But to achieve this, we have to start at the local level. We have to build resilience at the grassroots level, at the club level, in our local leagues and even in our friendly matches. And to this end, I want to endorse the theme for this ceremony because I believe it is a very relevant theme. “Achieving Sporting Excellence through Resilience”; two important areas for us as athletes. Sporting excellence and resilience in sports, two areas that go hand in hand,” Hon. George stated.

The Minister told the students that working hard and being disciplined in their sport of choice is necessary if they are to succeed.

“Whatever you put in that’s what you going to get out. If you put in the hard work you will be rewarded with good excellence. There must be a deep desire to perform and represent your country to the best of your ability. Talent and skill only takes you halfway, mental discipline gets you there. An important aspect of resilience is being able to balance your academic life and your sporting ambitions.  It cannot be all about money or the fame, these things should be secondary. Have respect for your authority and your fellow teammates. Your responsibility is to perform and make a name for yourself. And finally, in everything that you do God always cme first, even when you fail, give thanks,” Hon. George noted.

Representative of the Minister for Sports, Culture and Community Development, Honourable Chekira Lockhart-Hypolite says that awarding students for their achievements is necessary for their development in the sport.

“This ceremony is yet another demonstration of our commitment towards the enhancement of the sporting talents of our youth, for we believe that the tangible recognition of performances of athletes has a role to play in the development of the athlete. Saying thank you is always a wonderful gesture and the recognition of your achievements in the Ministry of Sports Culture and Community Development way of saying thanks for your participation in nation building. Rewards equate to motivation and it is common knowledge the impact that motivation can have on the output of an athlete,” Honourable Lockhart-Hypolite stated.

Hon. Lockhart-Hypolite encouraged the students to apply the discipline learned on the field in their everyday life.

“I urge you students to see your sporting engagements as more than just participation, but instead embrace the opportunities presented to you to learn the life lessons coming out of your various on field engagements. The issue of working hard and reaping results is one sure lesson I would encourage you to take away from your porting experiences. If this is carried into your everyday living, including your academic, you are on your way to becoming the citizens that we can all be proud of,” she noted.

Honourable Hypolite says by celebrating the achievements of the students, the sport division is helping to develop well-rounded citizens.

“Your engagement in sports will also aid in your physical development and you would have realized that you are a lot more alert in your everyday life as a result of your participation in sports. What this boils down to is the development of stronger healthier citizens and individuals with stronger minds who are ready to contribute to national development. It is clear therefore that through support such as this awards ceremony we are ensuring that we create more holistic individuals,” Honourable Lockhart-Hypolite added.