Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Top student athletes poised for lucrative prize

Published:Sunday | September 20, 2015 | 9:00 AM
Natalliah Whyte (left) of St Jago High School receiving the 2014 Student of Excellence Award from Dr David McBean, chairman of the Supreme Ventures Foundation, at last year’s Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence.

The Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence being administered by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education Fund (CHASE) will again recognise the accomplishments of male and female high-school students who excel in academics and sports during the staging of its annual award ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Thursday, October 15.

Schools at the secondary level are asked to nominate one student who meets the criteria of displaying exceptional qualities in their academic performance and team commitment, plus good tenets of fair play while representing their school in sports.

The students nominated must be Jamaican nationals and currently in grades 10 to 13. All nominations must be submitted by the principal of the secondary institution and should include a report explaining why the student is being nominated for the award.

The Student Excellence Award carries a handsome package, which includes $250,000 from Supreme Ventures Limited towards the development of a specific school project to benefit the student of the institution, as well as a one-year Internet service, a trophy, and a computer tablet from the Supreme Ventures Foundation.

Since its establishment in 2013, four outstanding student athletes have already received this award. They are Mark Parchment of Munro College and Janell Dalberry of St Jago High in 2013, and Natalliah Whyte of St Jago High and Jaheel Hyde of Wolmer's Boys' School last year.

Last year, Whyte said she was really surprised at winning the award and thanked her mother for giving her the support so that she could attain her goals.

"My mom is my greatest motivator ... she is always pushing me and I know she is very proud of me. I am also proud of myself as I worked very hard," said Whyte upon receiving her award.

Outstanding footballer and gold-medal hurdler Jaheel Hyde said at the awards last year that it was a good feeling to add such an award to his collection.

"It is really good to be recognised not only as an athlete, but for academic excellence ... you have to balance both of them," he added.

The Courtney Walsh Award, which is in its 11th year, was conceptualised by former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson, an avid cricket follower, who was prompted to establish the award to celebrate excellence in sports, having observed the exemplary qualities demonstrated by Ambassador Courtney Walsh throughout his illustrious international career.