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Diamond does it again

Diamond does it again


For the second successive year, netballer Saska Diamond has copped the Sports Personality of the Year award, and for the second time, she was surprised at the judges’ choice for the highest local accolade afforded to sportsmen and women.{{more}}

Diamond, a second year Law student at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, told SEARCHLIGHT last Tuesday night from her Barbados apartment that when her mother broke the news via a telephone call last Sunday morning, “it was another surprise to me”.

Stating that she wasn’t even aware that the Awards Ceremony was set to take place last Saturday night added to her astonishment, but that she used this past week, as the university was on a semester break, to savour this national achievement.

But despite her unexpected recognition, Diamond was thankful that her efforts in contributing to the national netball teams are being noticed.

“I am using it as a motivation to others, as once you believe in yourself, you just have to put in the extra and feel good about what you do”, Diamond remarked.

“You also have to put your trust in Almighty God, because it is all about him”, Diamond added.

From the village of La Croix, Diamond last year played a pivotal role in assisting St. Vincent and the Grenadines to retain the OECS Under-23 title in Antigua and Barbuda.

She also was active on the local netball scene, donning the colours of her club Maple in the national tournament, whenever she is available.

But her studies are not deterring her from continuing to practice netball.

The soft spoken Diamond said she also plays for the University of the West Indies team as well as BNB Ballers in an out of season competition in Barbados.

Before copping the Sports Personality title, Diamond was named the Senior Sportswoman for 2007, a repeat of what she achieved at the 2006 ceremony. The 21-year-old Diamond was adjudged the 2005 Junior Sportswoman of the year.

A former student of the St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Diamond is a beneficiary of a policy under the Unity Labour Party government that extends scholarships to national sportsmen and women who have attained the requirements for entry to such tertiary institutions.

Sharing in the limelight was James Bentick, who was adjudged for the second year running, the Senior Sportsman of the Year.Taking the Junior Sportsman of the Year title was cricketer Dawnley Grant.

The speedy fast bowler Grant, who is presently in Malaysia with the West Indies Under-19 team participating in the ICC Youth World Cup, tipped Tennis player Fabrice George and Squash player Kevin Hannaway.

Halima Michael, a 12-year-old Tennis player, walked away with the title of 2007 Junior Sportswoman. The Form two student of the Girls’ High School said she was “very happy’, to attain the award.

Basketballer Sophia Young secured the title of International Athlete of the Year. Young, who plays in the WNBA in the US for the San Antonio Silver Stars, is presently playing for Galatasarray in the European League.

And the athletes could not do it on their own. The indefatigable Junior Assing copped the award of Coach of the Year. Assing, a tireless Boxing coach, has been pinpointed as one of the key persons who has kept the sport in the ring, despite having to pass on his knowledge with limited resources at his disposal.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association collected the award for Association of the Year.

The Groundsman of the Year title went to William “Bill” Edwards.

The title of Sports Photograph of the Year was won by William Anthony of the Vincentian newspaper.

Searchlight’s Rohan Thomas was the choice of Sports Journalist of the Year.

And on a night when recognition was the main order, Thelma Foster, Sylvester Tannis, and Godfrey Fraser were awarded for their outstanding contribution to Sports.

RBTT Bank Caribbean Limited, Veira Agencies and C & R Enterprises were recognised for their corporate support to the development of sports here.

Speeches were heard from the Chairman of the National Sports Council Carlton James, and Chairman of the National Lotteries Authority Murray Bullock and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonslaves.

The Feature Address was delivered by Parnel Campbell, whose presentation had to be abbreviated because of time.

The 2007 National Sports Awards Ceremony, organized by the National Sports Council, was held under the theme “Building Bridges Through Sports”. (RT)