Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Lambert bags Walsh Award

Published:Friday | December 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
The 2016 Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence winner Tamar Lambert (second left) collecting his trophy from Prime Minister Andrew Holness (second right) and Courtney Walsh (centre). Looking on are CEO of the CHASE Fund W. 'Billy' Heaven (left) and CHASE Fund chairman Phillip Henriques. The awards ceremony was held at the Terra Nova Hotel on Wednesday evening.

Former West Indies fast-bowling great Courtney Walsh, after whom the

prestigious Courtney Walsh Awards for Excellence is named, has heaped praise on this year's recipient, former Jamaica cricket captain Tamar Lambert.

Walsh considers the award a just reward for Lambert, who won five consecutive regional championships for Jamaica at the first-class level.

"He has done really good service in that department. The one thing is that if he wasn't that relaxed, he would have gone on to higher heights. I have always been telling him that he should have knocked on the West Indies door, but I think he was just in a comfort zone doing the job for Jamaica. He did a tremendous job," Walsh told reporters.

"I am just happy that he got some recognition for that tonight because it is not easy to win five back-to-back titles and he showed he is a deserving leader," Walsh continued.

The former world Test wickets record holder was speaking at Wednesday evening's awards function held at the Terra Nova All-SuiteHotel in New Kingston where the respective winners, were announced.

For his part, Lambert, who is still active in cricket locally, said it felt good to be recognised.

"This award means everything to me. The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund fund has recognised my contributions over the years and it's nice to know that you have done well and people recognise you," he reasoned.

"I am still in the sport. I am jetting off to Australia shortly," said Lambert, who revealed that he has been delayed by a problem with his visa. The 35-year-old plans to get into coaching and will be doing some courses while he is Australia.

In addition to a trophy, Lambert collected $500,000. The two other shortlisted nominees, West Indies Women's captain Stafanie Taylor and former Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Warren Barrett also collected awards.

The Student Excellence Awards went to sprinter Jhevaughn Matherson of Kingston College and 400 metres runner Satanya Wright of St Elizabeth Technical. They received awards as well as $250,000 from the Supreme Ventures Foundation towards a school project.

The main objective of the award, which is administered by The CHASE Fund is to recognise the achievements of a sportsperson who displays a high level of humility, integrity, discipline and other exemplary qualities, while excelling in the field of sports.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the guest speaker, lauded Walsh and other present and past sports stars for being true ambassadors of Jamaica.

"I am very pleased to be here to participate in this Courtney Walsh Awards ceremony for athletes and student athletes," Holness remarked.