JIS News

World sprint champion, Usain Bolt is among the nominees in the Outstanding Male category of the Commonwealth Sports Awards, to be held this Saturday, November 6, in Birmingham, England.
Another Jamaican, President of the International Federation of Netball Associations, Molly Rhone, will be given a lifetime achievement award.
The Commonwealth Sports Awards, founded by Al Hamilton, is now in its 29th year. It recognises and rewards sporting achievements across Commonwealth countries.
Among the well known winners over the years have been: Australians, Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe; Indians, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar; Pakistani, Imran Khan; Britons, Linford Christie, Tessa Sanderson and Daley Thompson; Jamaicans, Grace Jackson, Merlene Ottey and Courtney Walsh; Antiguan, Vivian Richards and Guyanese, Clive Lloyd.
Usain Bolt is the only Jamaican nominated in a competitive category this year. He is up against George Achiles (shooting) of Cyprus and Matthew Mitcham (diving) of Australia in the Outstanding Male category.
British heptathlon competitor, Jessica Ennis, who is of Jamaican parentage, is the outstanding nominee in the female category. She is up against Katherine Grainger (rowing) of Scotland and Saina Nehwal (Badminton) of India.
The nominees are chosen by the Commonwealth Games Federation, based on performances during a sporting year, which begins in June. Usain Bolt, who had a shortened 2010 track season because of injury, has been considered for his performances at the World Championships in Berlin last August.
The event has moved beyond rewarding only competitive performances and now has categories to recognise the contributions of sports administrators. There is a new category this year, which will celebrate the work of an outstanding Commonwealth sports journalist.
Mr. Hamilton told JIS News that it is important that those who put in the hard work to create and manage performers are recognised. “So many awards focus only on what is done on the track, the field or the court. We decided to move beyond that because the success of sport is dependent on a wide range of inputs from managers, administrators and coaches. We believe that these are areas that should be recognised and celebrated as well,” he said.
“We hope that for our 30th year we will be able to expand the categories even more, so that even more unsung heroes may be recognised,” he added.
The event will be attended by High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Anthony Johnson and more than 10 other Commonwealth High Commissioners in the United Kingdom as well as the Mayor of Birmingham City, Councillor Len Gregory and the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Mike Whitby.
Among this year’s specially invited guests will be President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Fennell and former sprinter, Grace Jackson.