Tony Becca, Contributing Editor
The 30th Commonwealth Sports Awards, recognised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, endorsed by the Commonwealth Games Federation and organised by Al Hamilton, MBE, is scheduled for the Hyatt Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Saturday, October 20.
The awards feature presentations to the top athletes and administrators in the Commonwealth annually, along with a Hall of Fame award for service to sports in the community which stretches from Europe and Asia to Africa and the Caribbean.
Last time, at the 2010 event held in Birmingham, England, Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Jessica Ennis of Great Britain were the king and queen of the function for their outstanding performances on the track.
The event was not held last year because of unforeseen circumstances and this time, while it is not yet known who will walk away with the top awards, in the year of the Olympic Games, the favourites seem to be Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who stormed to victory in the men's and women's 100 metres, respectively, while successfully defending their titles.
Bolt also won the gold medal in the men's 200 metres and Fraser-Pryce, the silver in the women's equivalent.
Others in line for the prestigious awards include Great Britain's Mohammad "Mo" Farah, 10,000 and 5,000 metres gold medallist and Jamaica's Yohan Blake, double silver medallist in the men's 100 and 200 metres.
It is also expected that an award will be made to the Jamaicans - Bolt, Blake, and Warren Weir - who finished one-two-three in the men's 200 metres final.
Awardees over the years at the function held in places like London in 1980, Ghana in 2004, Glasgow in 2008, Leeds in 2009 and Birmingham in 2010, include Sally Gunnell of Great Britain, Cathy Freeman of Australia, Donovan Bailey of Canada, Paula Radcliffe of Britain and Asafa Powell of Jamaica from track and field; Chris Eubank of England from boxing; Pat Cash of Australia for tennis; Jehanigar Khan of Pakistan for badminton; and Paul Gascoigne of England for his exploits on the football pitch.
The winners of the Hall of Fame award for distinguished service to sports include Lennox Lewis of England for boxing, Ian Wright of England for football, Ian Thorpe of Australia for swimming and Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, for his contribution to sports.
Hamilton, a former sportswriter with The Gleaner in England and author of the book, Black Pearls of Soccer, migrated to England 50 years ago, in 1962.