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National woman footballer forward Kenya “Ya Ya” Cordner and national bodybuilder Kelton Thomas were named the Top Sportswoman and Sportsman in Tobago for 2014 at Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Sports Awards at the Gulf City Mall, Lowlands on Sunday.

Cordner took the women’s honours ahead of national netball standout Kemba Duncan and former World Championships bronze medallist Josanne Lucas. The petite Speyside-born player had an instrumental role in helping the Trinidad and Tobago’s women football team win the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) title at home at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo in September, 2014.

The Signal Hill Secondary graduate also led the charge for the Soca Princesses who just missed qualifying for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, going down 1-0 to Ecuador in the final qualifying match, also at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in December. 

Cordner was absent for the Awards as she is currently representing T&T at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Her mother, Cheryl Johnson, collected the Chief Secretary Sportswoman of the Year trophy and $13,000, both presented by the Chief Secretary Orville London. Duncan represented T&T at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. Playing in the goal defence and goalkeeper positions, Duncan helped T&T to win the AFNA (Americas Federation of Netball Associations) title in Calgary, Canada.

Lucas was a finalist in the women’s 100m hurdles finals at the Commonwealth Games and finished fourth at the Central American Games (CAC) in Vera Cruz, Mexico.

Thomas got the nod over track and field selectees Akeem Stewart and Akanni Hislop. The 44-year-old won his sixth national title and also captured gold in the 70kg weight category and silver in the Master’s division at CAC Championships in St Martin.

On the international circuit, the Canaan resident was second at the British Grand Prix in Wales and recorded impressive top twenty finishes at the Arnold Europa Invitational in Spain (8th), the Arnold US Invitational (9th) and World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships (12th) in Brazil.

Thomas accepted the Chief Secretary Sportsman of the Year from Chief Secretary Orville London.  Stewart created history in 2014 when he broke the world record in the Paralympic F44 Men’s Shot Put event with a distance of 18.70m. The Carnbee-born competitor also holds the national men’s shot put record (19.34 in 2013) and won silver and bronze in the boys under 20 discus and shot put respectively at the 2011 Carifta Games.

Seventeen year-old Hislop was fourth in the boys under 18 200m finals at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China and copped gold in the 4x100m at the CAC Junior Championships in Vera Cruz, Mexico. The Bishop’s High School fifth former also won bronze in the 100m and 200m in Mexico. Hislop also copped the Top Secondary School Male Athlete of the Year honours, while Stewart took home the Athlete with Impairment Award.

Track and Field nominees dominated the awards as double Olympic bronze medallist Lalonde Gordon (Overseas-Based), Triple Carifta champion Chelsea James (Secondary School Female/Secondary Schools Female Student),  double CAC Junior gold medallist Andwuelle Wright (Secondary Schools Male Student), Janae De Gannes (Primary Schools Female/Primary School Student Female), veteran track and field coach Gerard Franklyn (Sports Icon) and Franklyn’s track club, Zenith (Sports Club) were all winners on the night.

National junior table tennis champions Derron Douglas (Primary School Male) and Messiah Walcott (Primary School Student) were also honoured.  Roxborough Police Youth copped the Sporting Community/Project of the Year category.

Table tennis coach Dexter Abbott walked away with the Coach of the Year trophy while president of the Tobago Basketball Zonal Commission, Keiron Mc Dougall, was voted the top Sports Administrator. Football referee Merville Wallace was named the Top Sport Official. Caston Cupid was selected as the Sport Media Personality for the Year.

Former Carifta champion Dr Verne Alleyne delivered the feature address.

Also present were former Sports Minister Pamela Nicholson, THA Presiding Officer Kelvin Charles, Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Education, Youth Affairs and Sport, Huey Cadette, and Jomo Pitt, Secretary for Community Development and Culture Dr Denise Tsoi-a-Fatt-Angus, Secretary for Settlements and Labour Deon Isaac, Assistant Secretary for Health and Social Services Sheldon Cunningham, former national football coach Bertille St Clair and First Citizens Sports Foundation member Catherine Forde.

Lois Leslie served as chairman of the THA Sports Awards Committtee with Theophilus Trim, Annette Williams, Yvette Granville, Arnim Prescott, Collis Hazel, Dereck Dickinson, Kurt Jack, Aethnea Yearwood, Biana Edwards and Nathalia Alexander also serving on the Committee. (THA)

2014 Honour Roll

Chief Secretary Sport Woman—Kenya Cordner (football)
Chief Secretary Sport Man—Kelton Thomas (body-building)
Overseas-based Athlete—Lalonde Gordon (track and field)
Local-based Athlete—Akanni Hilsop (track and field)
Sports Icon—Gerard Franklyn (track and field)
Sport Club—Zenith Athletic club (track and field)
Sport Official—Merville Wallace (football)
Coach—Dexter Abbott (table tennis)
Sports Administrator—Keiron McDougall (basketball)
Sporting Community/Project—Roxborough Police Youth Club
Secondary School Student Athletes: Female—Chelsea James (track and field); Male—-Andwuelle Wright (track and field)
Primary School Student Athlete: Female—Janae De Gannes (track and field); Male—Messiah Walcott (table tennis)
Athlete with Impairment—Akeem Stewart (track and field)
Secondary Schools Athletes: Female—Chelsea James (track and field); Male—Akanni Hislop (track and field)
Primary Schools Athletes: Female—Janae De Gannes (track and field); Male—Derron Douglas (table tennis)