Regionally renowned sports administrator, Kathy Harper Hall is the 2021 recipient of The Barbados Olympic Association Inc.’s (BOA) Women in Sport Icon of the Year Award. Harper-Hall received the award at a virtual ceremony held on Sunday in which tributes were paid by former broadcaster and long-term president of the Barbados Netball Association, Annette Beckett, Olympian, Akela Jones, Director of the National Sports Council, Neil Murrell, and sports icon, Esther Maynard.
In her opening remarks President of the BOA Sandra Osborne Q.C. told the audience that “Sport remains one of the most powerful platforms for promoting not only women and girls but for empowering young people in general.” Of Harper-Hall, she remarked that the icon does not just represent a sports person but is also an enabler for positive change impacting the lives of persons in lasting positive ways “not only as a mother but as a mother figure, a teacher, an athlete and a sports administrator of multiple sports”.
This was endorsed by Chairperson of the Women in Sport Commission, Ytannia Wiggins who added that Harper-Hall’s “accomplishments challenge each of us to reflect on how we can do more for the sustainable development of sports for our women and young girls.”
In accepting the award Harper-Hall thanked the BOA and its Women in Sport Commission explaining that she had been arranging sporting events from the tender age of seven when she and her friends would run up a hill to go to church. She said that the award was made doubly special because of the extraordinary relationship she had with Esther Maynard, in whose name the award was given. In her closing, she said, “I consider this an honor and privilege and I will treasure the award, while today’s ceremony will remain for me, a never to be forgotten experience.”
The Icon of the Year Award was first presented to Esther Maynard in 2020, the first chairperson of the Women in Sport Commission. The award is now named in her honor for her over four decades of commitment to sport as a teacher and administrator, and her service to the BOA as a long-standing director of its board.