Wed | Jan 20, 2021

Asafa Powell to receive major awards

Published:Thursday | January 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
University of Technology president, Professor Errol Morrison, outlines plans for the award of the institution's Chancellor's Medal to sprinter Asafa Powell, during a press conference at Terra Nova Hotel yesterday. - Colin Hamilton/Freelance Photographer

Having risen from humble origins to international supremacy in athletics, Asafa Powell will be recognised for his achievements on February 4 at the Terra Nova Hotel, when he is slated to be presented with the highest award of the University of Technology (UTech), the Chancellor's Medal.

The honours to be bestowed on the World Championship 100-metre bronze medallist does not stop there, as he is in line to receive the prestigious Diana Award.

The Diana Award was established in 1999 in memory of Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, as a legacy to her belief in the power of young people to change the world.

Charitable work

The presentation of the award to young people from across the globe who are committed to helping others and improving their communities is in keeping with the remarkable charitable work Lady Diana pioneered around the world.

The evening will also witness the launch of the book, Dennis Johnson Diaries, which chronicles the life of one who was formerly the world's fastest man, Dennis Johnson, and his phenomenal contribution to the development of athletics locally.

Powell, who has the record for the most sub-10 seconds clockings over 100 metres, will be the second recipient of the Chancellor's Award, with the first being his MVP coach, Stephen Francis, who was recognised by the university in 2008.

Where the Princess Diana Award is concerned, Powell will be the first such recipient in the Caribbean and Central America.

"The Chancellor's Medal was established in 2008 to begin to recognise individuals of high national and or international achievement," UTech president, Errol Morrison, disclosed at the launch of the black tie gala and ceremony yesterday at Terra Nova Hotel. "Asafa, who is an alumnus of UTech, continues to train with the UTech-affiliated MVP and mentors, supports and

works with a number of our student athletes."

Overdue honour

Morrison added: "We felt that at this time in his career, the recognition is well overdue and, as such we were able to convince the selection committee that this is the time for Asafa (Powell). The coordination of that with the Queen's recognition through the Princess Diana Award is also telling you the major contribution that he is being recognised for worldwide."

Powell will be presented with the Chancellor's Award by UTech chancellor and former prime minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga.

The Diana Award's chief executive, Maggie Turner, OBE, will make the keynote address, during which she is expected to call on Powell to receive the award.

Turner will also bring greetings from the Queen of England and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The event which will feature entertainment from the likes of Etana, Freddie McGregor and To-Isis, will cost patrons $10,000 per seat.

- Ryon Jones