Barbadian hurdler, Shane Brathwaite.
Photo by George Alleyne
Barbados’ 2019 Senior Male Athlete of the Year, hurdler Shane Brathwaite, and the Female Athlete of the Year, cyclist Amber Joseph, will hold onto those titles of the nation’s top sports performers throughout 2020 and into 2021 without there being any nomination and vote this year.
The unusual and historic circumstances promoting the two-year title for these athletes is the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused suspension of sporting activities for about five months of the year, and some games are now re-started on a limited scale.
For this reason, Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) officials have decided that there was not likely to be enough athletic activity in 2020 on which awards could be based.
In announcing cancellation of the annual December awards ceremony BOA president Sandra Osborne said, “this annual ceremony recognises outstanding performances in the year. With widespread postponements and cancellations of many local, regional and international sporting events in 2020, athletes have not had the opportunity to compete and we believe that this will not change significantly for the rest of this year”.
Also benefitting from cancellation of the awards ceremony are Junior Male Athlete, race car driver Zane Maloney, and Junior Female Athlete, squash player, Meagan Best.
“It was a difficult decision because this is an event that we have traditionally been very proud of. It is celebrated by both the BOA and all the athletes and the national federations,” Osborne said of the ceremony.
This cancellation however does not mean that any excellent displays by athletes during limited games in 2020 will be overlooked at next year’s awards.
“If it turns out that there are any outstanding performances in 2020, we will recognise these along with 2021 performances.
“At the end of the day, I think that 2020 is a unique year for everybody and when we looked at it, we recognised that half the year has passed and we have not had any significant sporting events at which athletes can compete.”
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