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Narine a contender for Sportsman prize

Wednesday, March 20 2013

click on pic to zoom in
Carlos Greene ...
Carlos Greene ...

THE FIRST Citizens Sports Foundation, under the Distinguished Patronage of His Excellency, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, will host its Annual Sports Awards on March 22 at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.

Here are a few nominees who will be vying for the titles of 2012 Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards, including TT and West Indies cricket ace Sunil Narine -

SUNIL NARINE - Cricket

International cricket entered a whole new realm of unprecedented global exposure, thanks to the growing popularity of the Twenty20 format of the game. Since the early 2000s, a generation of top class performers has risen to the fore at exactly the right time.

Sunil Narine, 24, is a full-fledged member of this generation and made an impact at all levels during 2012. The spinner captured nine wickets - at an average of 15.44 - in helping the West Indies to win the ICC World Twenty20 championship in Sri Lanka, last October and was also named as Player of the Series at the end of West Indies’ 4-1 one-day international series triumph over New Zealand. During that affair Narine took 13 wickets at an average of 11.23.

Narine, who was eventually named as the ICC’s Emerging Player of the Year, enjoyed seven scalps during the 2012 Caribbean T20 championship as Trinidad and Tobago successfully defended its title. KENNYA CORDNER - Football

Consistency and always being highly-motivated are what separates the best from the rest and Kennya Cordner demonstrated that she possesses both qualities in mass-abundance with her outstanding all-round performances at both international and club level during 2012.

The forward made a big impression for a Trinidad and Tobago national team looking ahead to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. A series of games in Costa Rica last December was highlighted by a 4-0 thrashing of the host in San Jose; Cordner scored a hattrick in that affair as her team made up for a 1-0 defeat to its rival, a couple of days earlier. Cordner was invaluable to her team Issaquah SC of the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) in the USA. She helped her Washington state-based squad to second place in the North-West Division and a spot in the playoffs; Cordner earned 14 points in total after scoring seven goals in her six appearances.

CARLOS GREENE- Paralympic Athletics

Having made his name as an amazing powerlifter, Ronald Carlos Greene successfully demonstrated his versatility in a totally different discipline – track and field athletics.

Greene, who is visually impaired, received a wild card invitation to compete in the shot put and discus competitions at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London: the first time in 24 years that Trinidad and Tobago sent a team to this event. The Carapichaima resident threw the shot put a personal best 10.87 metres to earn eleventh-place overall in the men’s F 11-12 division. He also managed a discus throw of 26.28 metres with his successful attempt.

The 44-year-old also took home silver and bronze medals in the shot put and discus, respectively, while participating in the USA national trials, last July. He had earlier achieved personal bests in both the shot put and discus throw at the Cruisers Classic in Canada – prior to surpassing this shot put mark in London.

CRISTIAN BOURNE - Rally

More than anything else, rally racing is mental: following a map, processing information quickly, expressing said information rapidly and concisely, understanding and executing these orders within a few seconds – all while trying to keep in mind the importance of not flipping your car over.

Well Cristian Bourne’s mental agility was very much on spot during the 2012 TTRC rally circuit. It was acute enough to help earn the Champion Driver of the Year, the Group N Driver of the Year and the Team of the Year award after his collaborations with navigators Rikard Asbjornsen, Jesu De Gannes and Shane Ramjit proved successful. Also crucial was the decision to upgrade equipment with the switch from a Mitsubishi Evolution VII to an Evolution VIII. Among the year’s highlights was a second-place finish at Rally Tobago, last July 13-14.

MARSHA BULLEN-JONES - Shooting

Being a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment comes with many benefits. Apart from gaining a sense of discipline that can be beneficial to one’s life and professional career, there are also the individual skills that can be picked up - including shooting marksmanship.

Marsha Bullen-Jones, 38, can certainly testify to the latter as her displays in international competition during 2012 suggested. Last April she took home a silver medal in the women’s sport pistol competition at the Pablo Roy-Camille (ACOM) Challenge in Martinique. At this same event she managed to earn fifth-place in the air pistol challenge. Three months later, at the Copa Del Caribe and Copa Olimpica in Salinas, Puerto Rico, she claimed fourth position in the 10 metres air pistol and captured seventh-place in the 25 metres sport pistol during the Copa Del Caribe sections of the tournament.

Bullen-Jones, with age and an outstanding reputation in international competition on her side, is very much on the upward track.

ANDREW LEE - Taekwondo

A belief in everyday discipline in all walks of life guides the attitude and approach of Andrew Lee, with these qualities paying off by the end of 2012 for this University of the West Indies, St Augustine student.

Lee participated in a training course in Portland, Oregon in the USA conducted by renowned coach Selma Li. The importance of being able to train with a Pan American champion during the sessions was not lost on Lee who was later granted the opportunity to become the first Trinidad and Tobago representative at the WTF World Poomsae (Forms) Championship in Tunja, Colombia in December.

Lee earned a 13th place ranking in the preliminaries of the under-29 individual competition with a score of 6.670. It was ground-breaking moment for Lee, who is now set to join the ranks of some of the great taekwondo participants to have emerged from Trinidad and Tobago.

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