PHILIPSBURG – Two winners of the top prizes for the St. Maarten Brown Pelican Sports Awards (BPSA) received their checks on Wednesday, April 13, at the conference room of the Department of Sports.
Shakeba Pink (Athletics) and Desmond Patterson (Bodybuilding), winners of the Female and Male Athlete of the Year respectively, were informed of their achievements during the first ever BPSA ceremony, honoring local athletes and sporting legends, on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Convention Center.
The checks were presented to the athletes, in front of family and staff of the Department of Sports, by Department Head Jonelle Richardson and National Sports Institute (NSI) Chairman Daniel Berry. The winnings were provided by the NSI as part of their continued objective to facilitate sports on the island.
“The Department of Sports, along with its execution arm, the National Sports Institute, is doing, and will continue to do, its part in recognizing the outstanding participation of these individuals in sporting endeavors, both within our communities and abroad. We take excellence, dedication, innovation and discipline in sports very seriously and we look forward to toasting those athletes amongst us who do the same,” Richardson said.
Speaking on behalf of NSI, Berry said that his organization was very pleased with the success of the athletes and urged them to continue in their endeavors. He also said that the NSI would continue to actively promote sports and sports development on St. Maarten. He encouraged the athletes to stay in contact with both the Department of Sports and NSI, updating both entities on their competitions and travel.
“NSI stands firmly behind our athletes and will do whatever we can, within our capacity to assist all of our athletes. We will continue to work with the Department of Sports and the St. Maarten Sports and Olympic Federation to raise the level of sports to even greater heights,” Berry stated.
Richardson said that her team was already busy with the second annual BSPA scheduled to be held in early November of this year. This event will once again laud local athletes, organizations, sponsors, schools and legends who have contributed to sports on the island.
“Our aim is to place a spotlight firmly on those individuals and associations who have worked tirelessly to make sports possible throughout the years in our communities,” Richardson remarked.
Richardson explained that various sports organizations will again be requested to submit potential nominees in 10 categories, including, best sponsor, best coach, international ambassadors, best sport organization, sporting innovations, athlete of the year (male), athlete of the year (female), best sports team, sporting icons and the Brown Pelican Young Ambassador.
Still to receive her first check for winning Brown Pelican Sports Award Young Ambassador is Yoly Hawley (IFBB Pro Athlete). As the BSPA young ambassador, Hawley represents sports at various events. As a result of this some of the costs associated with her training will be covered for a period of one year, by NSI. Hawley was unable to attend the brief ceremony and will receive her check from Berry later this week.