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Cadet force demonstrates its relevance

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2015 | 9:00 AM

The Culture, Health, Arts, Sport and Education Fund (CHASE) will announce the date for the staging of the 11th annual prestigious Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence at the opening of the nominations media event to be held today at the Cuddyz Sports Bar and Restaurant in New Kingston.

The award has been gaining much traction over its 10-year lifespan, with an increased number of Jamaicans anxious to nominate an athlete who, in their eyes, has added to the phenomenal legacy that has been built by former athletes and Olympians as early at the 1940s.

The impressive list of decorated athletes who have been honoured with the celebrated Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence are James 'Jimmy' Adams, cricketer (2005); Deon Hemmings McCatty (2006), track and field (hurdles); Elaine Lamour Davis (2007), netball; Nehemiah Perry, (2008), cricket; Brigitte Foster-Hylton (2009), track and field (hurdles); Aleen Bailey (2011), track and field; Dr. Neil Gardner (2011), cricket; Veronica Campbell-Brown (2012), track and field; Wavell Wayne Hinds (2013) cricket; and Michael Frater (2014), track and field.

The Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence carries an attractive cash award of J$500,000 and a crystal trophy emblazoned with the name of the winner.

Student of Excellence award

In its continued quest to celebrate excellence in sports, the selection committee has also placed its focus on the achievements of upcoming male and female athletes at the secondary education level and will again recognise them at this year's award ceremony.

The first awards were presented in 2013. Winners are presented with a cash award of $250,000 and trophies.

Natalie Neita Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, is expected to declare nominations open today.

Much thought was put into the establishment of this award when former prime minister, PJ Patterson, made the announcement in 2003 and placed it into the hands of CHASE to administer and select persons to be honoured in the name of Jamaican Ambassador at Large Courtney Andrew Walsh, OJ.