Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Tony Becca were big winners at the Commonwealth Sports Awards in Birmingham, England on Saturday (November 6). Bolt won the Outstanding Male Athlete title, while veteran sports journalist, Becca, won the Outstanding Sports Writer award.
Bolt won the award for his triple gold medal at last year’s World Championships in Berlin. Becca was recognised for three decades of sports journalism. The only other Jamaican nominated was veteran netball administrator, Molly Rhone, in the Lifetime Achievement category, but she lost out to New Zealand squash legend, Susie Simcock.
The Outstanding Female award went to British heptathlete, Jessica Ennis, who is of Jamaican parentage.
Veteran journalist Tony Becca receives his Outstanding Sports Writer award from wife of West Indian cricket legend Clive Lloyd, Waveney Lloyd, at the 29th annual Commonwealth Sports Awards in Birmingham, United Kingdom on Saturday, November 6.
The glittering ceremony was held at the world famous International Convention Centre. It attracted a class list of attendees, including Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Fennell, Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, former West Indies cricketer, Alvin Kalicharan, former Jamaican Olympian, Grace Jackson, former England footballer, Cyril Regis, and sprinters Mark Lewis Francis and Tasha Danvers.
The City of Birmingham, which sponsored the event jointly with Moneygram, was represented by Leader of the Council Mike Whitby and Councillor Len Gregory. Whitby said the staging of the awards in Birmingham set the stage for activities in 2012, when the city will host training camps for Jamaican and American athlete.
Mike Fennell lauded the organisers for successfully staging the event for 29 years. He noted that sports within the Commonwealth had grown significantly in recent years, and pointed to the success of last month’s Commonwealth Games in India, as an example of the vast talent existing among former British territories.
The Commonwealth Sports Awards was founded by Al Hamilton in 1981 and has been staged across different countries of the Commonwealth, including England, Scotland, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Ghana.