Cyclist Nicholas Paul and track and field athlete Michelle-Lee Ahye were crowned the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee’s (TTOC) Senior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year respectively for 2021.
The awards ceremony took place virtually due to the pandemic for the second year straight.
The two athletes prevailed from among several other top performers who were outstanding for T&T over the past year and were honoured at the TTOC’s 27th Annual Awards Ceremony - themed this year as “The Glass in not Half-Empty” - that was broadcast via video-conferencing platform Zoom, the TTOC’s YouTube channel, its Facebook page, and its website (https://www.ttoc.org) on Wednesday evening.
It was Ahye’s fourth clinch of the crown (2016-18, 2021) while Paul, 25, claimed the men's edition of the honour for the second time (2019, 2021) while doubling up as the TTOC People’s Choice Award winner, his third time topping this category (2018, 2019 & 2021).
Since the onset of the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus in March 2020, it is now the second consecutive year that the TTOC has hosted its prestigious gala awards ceremony virtually.
Paul, the current world record-holder for the Men’s Flying 200m, earned the top male award based on his silver medal performance in the Men’s one-kilometre time-trial at the UCI Tissot World Track Cycling Championship in Roubaix, France back in October. He was also sixth in the Men’s Sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Sprinter Ahye, 29, a native of Carenage has deemed the top female based on her ninth-place in the Women’s 100 metre-dash at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when she missed making the final by a few thousandths of a second. The 55-minute event - produced by Wendell Constantine an executive member of the TTOC - also saw swimmer Nikoli Blackman earning his second consecutive lien on the Junior Sportsman of the Year award while Tobagonian native Rae-Anne Serville copped the Junior Sportswoman of the Year.
West Indies senior women’s vice-captain, cricketer Anisa Mohammed, 33, copped the Future is Female award while heptathlete Tyra Gittens - the Tokyo 2020 Olympic long jump finalist whose dynamic and energetic posts have inspired a sizeable Instagram following - is the TTOC Sports Personality of the Year. Veteran sports administrator and senior counsel Elton Prescott, a former TTOC executive member who proposed the Alexander B Chapman award back in 2009 - has gained the nod for that same prize this year.
Paula-Mae Weekes, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago addressed the virtual audience and delivered the TTOC Patron’s Address. Minister of Sport and Community Development, Shamfa Cudjoe gave congratulatory remarks while T&T's Olympic Games hockey umpire Ayanna McClean, who was bestowed with the Golden Whistle by the International Hockey Board (FIH) earlier this month, having officiated in her 100th match as an international umpire – delivered the feature address.
President of the TTOC, Brian Lewis set the stage for the 27th Annual Awards event by reviewing the experiences of athletes and officials in 2021 and expressed his appreciation to all as the TTOC closed the curtain on its 75th Anniversary celebrations.
TTOC 2021 Awards Honour Roll
Sportsman of Year - Nicholas Paul (Cycling)
Sportswoman of the Year - Michelle-Lee Ahye (Athletics)
Junior Sportsman - Nikoli Blackman (swimmer)
Junior Sports Woman - Rae-Anne Serville (Athletics)
Future is Female award - Anisa Mohammed - (Cricket)
People's Choice Award - Nicholas Paul - (Cycling)
Alexander B Chapman Award - Elton Prescott SC (Attorney)
TTOC Sports Personality of the Year - Tyra Gittens (Athletics)