NOC Antigua and Barbuda Appreciation Dinner Celebrates Excellence

The Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Association held its first Appreciation Dinner to honour the outstanding performances of the country’s athletes at major regional and international competitions.

The NOC President, Hon E.P. Chet Greene, congratulated the athletes, expressed the nation’s profound pride in their achievements and encouraged them to continue to strive onwards and upwards. He pledged the support of the NOC to the Ministry of Sport in hosting the annual National Sports Awards and its continued support to improving the sporting pedigree of Antigua and Barbuda.

The principal of the Princess Margaret School, Dr Colin Greene congratulated the NOC for its initiative and encouraged the nation’s sporting authorities and other stakeholders to provide athletes with the physical (facilities), financial and emotional support they need to reach the next level. Dr Greene reminded the athletes that they must first dream of achieving and overcome the unavoidable fear, anger, and anxiety to make their dreams a reality. Athletes must get over themselves, get out of their way, remain humble, avoid distractions, and learn to keep themselves motivated. “You must control your emotions, or your emotions will control you”, he cautioned.

In a society craving for golden moments and achievements, “we must measure progress, not perfection”.

Although not under the patronage of the ABNOC-CGA, stellar performances of athletes at the 2022 CARIFTA Games were recognized:

Alyssa Dyett               –           Triple Jump – Bronze

Craig Pendagrass      –           400m Hurdles – Bronze

These were the first-ever medals won by Antigua and Barbuda in these events in the forty-nine years of the Games.

Antigua and Barbuda enjoyed another first when Dwayne Flemming stunned the traditional giants in the sprints with a riveting U-17 Gold-place finish in the 100m. The last time Antigua won Gold in the sprints was in 2005 when Daniel Bailey outran his competitors and the last time Antigua and Barbuda won Gold at CARIFTA was in 2008 when Kenrica Francis was victorious in the 1500m.

Meanwhile, in the 2022 O.E.C.S. Swimming Championships in the 13-14 Girls

Ellie Shaw brought home Bronze in both the 50m and 100m Breaststroke with Ethan Stubbs-Green copping Gold in the 100m and 200m Butterfly, Silver in the 400m Freestyle and Bronze in the 200m Freestyle in the 13-14 Boys

There were special mentions for the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association for their third-place finish in the 2022 O.E.C.S. Championship and second-place finishes in the Short and Long Range for the Antigua and Barbuda Rifle Association at the 2022 West Indies Fullbore Shooting  Championship.

Team members of the Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Volleyball Association brought glory to the nation with a gutsy comeback against St. Lucia from 1-2 to win the O.E.C.S. Men’s title 3-2, the first time in the history of the championships.

Not to be outdone, the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation were clearly on a mission. They left Antigua determined to bring back the 2022 O.E.C.S. Championship title,  which they did, a first in the thirty-year history of the event.

Turning attention to the games to which the ABNOC-CGA sends contingents:

Jadon Wuilliez was awarded for his Outstanding Performance in the inaugural Central American and Caribbean (C.A.C.) Beach Games, where he won Gold in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke. He also created another first for Antigua and Barbuda, making it to the Semi-Finals in the same two events at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Sheldon Noble received an award for his Gold place finish in Long Jump at the 2022 Guadeloupe Caribbean Games, and Darion Skerritt was awarded for his Bronze place in the Men’s 100m at the same event.

The NOC Secretary-General, Cliff Williams presented Antigua and Barbuda boxer Alston Ryan with a Merit Award from the Commonwealth Games Federation for his commendable performance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Ryan is only the second National to receive such an award, the first being former Prime Minister Sir Lester Bryant Bird (decd).

ABNOC-CGA President, the Hon E.P. Chet Greene, presented the marquee award of the evening. The award went to Kite Surfer Tiger Tyson, the first Antiguan and Barbudan to win a Gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games. Tyson sailed past his competitors at the inaugural C.A.C. Sea and Beach Games held in Santa Maria, Colombia.

During the evening, members of the Elite Dance Company treated attendees to scintillating dance moves, and the evening ended with a spirited performance by Laurena Davis & Friends. Guests had the opportunity to mingle, dance, and share stories of their love for sports and the nation’s athletes.

Special thanks to 1st Vice-President Neil Cochrane, Chairman of the Appreciation Dinner Committee. Thanks to committee members Tianna Harris, Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Knight-Roberts, Dionne Isaacs, Fitzroy Quinland and Charles Bellot, and Secretary-General Cliff Williams for a job well done.

The ABNOC-CGA Appreciation Dinner was a resounding success, and it served as a reminder of the power of sports to unite people, inspire them, and bring out their best.

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