The Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA) has honoured the performances of the nation’s most outstanding athletes for 2016 at the annual BOA Awards Ceremony on Friday January 6, 2017, hosted at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
Sponsored by FLOW, the awards were a celebration of Barbadian sport and sportspeople. It also paid special recognition to persons serving the Olympic Movement and those who have significantly contributed to the development of sport in Barbados.
Special guests included BOA’s patron, Governor General of Barbados, His Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave, and Olympic icon Carl Lewis. Other guests in attendance included IOC member, Sir Austin Sealy, members of the diplomatic corps., as well as representatives from FLOW, the National Sports Council, and the National Sporting Federations.
Lewis, a multiple Olympic Games gold medalist, used his featured address to inspire local athletes to aim for excellence. He encouraged the athletes in the audience to set ambitious goals, plan for the future, and challenge themselves to reach the highest level. “Focus on being the absolute best you can be all the time … don’t settle for just being the best in your country, aim to be the best in the world,” he emphasised.
In his official welcome, BOA President Steve Stoute said that the year 2016 was an active period for Barbadian sport, highlighting some of the organisation’s major achievements in its sports facilitation role.
“I am pleased to announce that during 2016, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Finance and the Barbados Lottery, our BOA funding programmes and scholarships continued steadily. Our Olympic Academy also increased its activities in coaching, sports management and anti-substance abuse programmes.”
He added, “we also are now one of the few National Olympic Committees in the region to be conducting the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Advanced 9 Administrative Course. We have also partnered with the Coaching Association of Canada to enhance our local coaching capacity and continue to strengthen our sporting infrastructure.”
The awards showcased some of the achievements from the 50th Anniversary Independence Games, recognising the 2016 performances of outstanding athletes. It also paid tribute to veteran athletes celebrating 50 years of CAC and Commonwealth Games glory.
One of the major highlights of the evening was the announcement of the most outstanding Junior and Senior Athletes for 2016:
2016 Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Meagan Best (Squash)
2016 Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Alex Sobers (Swimming)
2016 Senior Female Athlete of the Year – Akela Jones (Track and Field)
2016 Senior Male Athlete of the Year – Michael Maskell (Skeet Shooting).
Neil Murrell from the National Sports Council was also acknowledged for his academic achievement and completion of the Executive Masters in Sports Organizations Management (MEMOS).
For a full list of the night’s awardees, please see the official Awards Programme at the bottom of this page.