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Fifteen Barbadian athletes were honoured on Dec. 20 for their outstanding 2017 performances when The Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA) hosted its annual dinner and awards ceremony at the Needhams Ballroom, Hilton Barbados Resort.
This annual event, sponsored by Flow, is a showcase of the athletes and administrators that have contributed to the advancement of Olympism throughout the year.
The highly anticipated segment of the programme included the presentation of awards to the most outstanding athletes. This year, netballer Latonya Blackman swept the coveted awards winning the Senior Female Athlete of the Year and the prestigious President’s award. Other awards went to:
2017 Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Amber Joseph (Cycling)
2017 Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Jack Kirby (Swimming)
2017 Senior Female Athlete of the Year – Latonia Blackman (Netball)
2017 Senior Male Athlete of the Year – 4x100m Relay Team (Athletics)
2017 BiiG Individual Champion – Emily Odwin (Golf)
In her welcome and featured address, BOA President Sandra Osborne QC said she is committed to continuing to build the BOA and developing emerging elite athletes as our athletes must always be at the centre of everything we do. “My vision is for us to nurture an environment, through training and education whereby elite athletes and teams with international or regional rankings improve those rankings significantly, and take their place as responsible and informed athletes who are role models for all of Barbados.”
Osborne continued that a greater effort must be placed on anti-doping education, “I make the point that education of our athletes is as equally important as technical training, as it is clear that we have to redouble our efforts in the critical area of anti-doping education in particular. While we do not condone any form of anti-doping rule violation, we must see it as our responsibility to put in place an effective programme to rehabilitate athletes who have been found to have committed such violations, so that they can be seamlessly reintegrated into their sport and not see retirement as the only option.”