Desmond Amsterdam, Nicolette Fernandes cop NSC’s Senior Sport Awards

- News Room's Avenash Ramzan and Akeem Greene top media categories

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Elite Boxer Desmond Amsterdam and top Squash player Nicolette Fernandes won the respective Senior Sportsman and Sportswoman-of-the-Year accolades when the National Sports Commission (NSC) awards were hosted at the National Cultural Centre on Sunday evening.

It was the first time since 2019 that the gala awards ceremony was staged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such, the awards took into consideration the exploits of athletes during 2021 and 2022.

However, the majority of the athletes competed mainly in 2022, given most of the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted worldwide.

For the first time, the NSC through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, awarded cash prizes in addition to glass-made plaques to all awardees.

News Room’s Sport Editor, Avenash Ramzan, won the Award for Best Online Journalist while Senior Journalist, Akeem Greene got the award for Best Broadcast Journalist.

News Room’s Sport Editor Avenash Ramzan (left) and Senior Journalist Akeem Greene

Amsterdam, a light heavyweight boxer, created history for Guyana in 2022 when he won bronze at the American Boxing Confederation Championships in Ecuador, which meant he became the first Guyanese boxer to win prize money at the Championship.

The Guyana Defence Force athlete also copped bronze at the South American Games in Paraguay and battled to the quarter-finals at the Commonwealth Games, all of which piloted him to be Guyana’s highest-ranked boxer (23rd) by the International Boxing Association.

Guyana’s newest Test player Tagenarine Chanderpaul, was runner-up after a superb 2022 season for the Guyana Harpy Eagles followed by a phenomenal start to his Test career in Australia.

Meanwhile, the older they get, the better some get, and that has been Fernandes in 2022 as she accomplished some lifelong ambitions.

Top of the list was winning gold in the Women’s 35+ division at the World Masters Squash Championships in Poland.

Earlier in the year, she toppled the number-one see in the Pan American Championships to win gold and narrowly missed the same at the South American Games, settling for Silver.

Locally, Fernandes, who soared to phenomenal levels in professional squash, also won the National Championship in March.

Her runner-up was Rosanna Fung, who moved her dominance from Guyana to win the Central American and Caribbean Games gold and then copped the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Elite Pro Card.

Another talented squash player in Shomari Wiltshire took home the Junior Sportsman of the year accolades while budding track star Attoya Harvey copped the female award.

Wiltshire is the current wonder boy of  Caribbean Squash due to his exceptional hand-eye coordination and immense mental fortitude to defeat nearly any opponent at the junior level.

In 2022, the prolific Wiltshire would win another individual title – the Caribbean Under-19 title – and signed off his Caribbean Area Squash Association Junior career with a bang. He joined the elite company of Richard Chin, Roger Arjoon, and Nicolette Fernandes as the Guyanese who have won all of the age-group individual titles at Junior CASA.

He has won six Caribbean titles- two Under-13, Two Under-15, and one Under-17 and One Under-19.

Desmond Amsterdam (left), Rosanna Fung (centre) and David Fernandes

Since 2015, the young man has not lost a match on his way to a Junior CASA title, and in 2022, played a key part in Guyana regaining the overall team title.

He also won the Senior National Championship in March and had a credible showing at the World Juniors in France.

Young footballer Omari Glasgow got the runners-up award for an outstanding season for the Golden Jaguars.

Harvey, from West Demerara, blazed the trail in Junior Track and Field as she won three of the seven medals for Guyana at the Carifta Games in 2022.

She got gold (U-17 1500m), silver (U-20 3000m), and bronze (U-17 800m).

At the Inter-Guiana Games, shot gold in the 1500m and 3000m, and at the National Schools Athletics Championships, she won four gold medals, three of which came via record-breaking performances.

The runner-up was Kirsten Gomes, a former Caribbean Under-15 squash champion, who is a multi-talented athlete.

In 2022, she started the year by winning both the Junior National Under-17 and Under-19 squash titles then represented Guyana in Hockey at the Central American and Caribbean Games qualifiers contested in Bermuda.

Later in the year, she battled hard on home turf at the Caribbean Area Squash Association Junior Championships and narrowly missed out on gold in a five-set thriller.

The talented Gomes then played a key hand in the girls winning gold in the team championship, allowing Guyana to regain the overall team title.

The late Gokarn Ramdhani, former President of the Guyana Badminton Association and National Coach, was recognised for his tremendous contribution to the sport. His wife, Emily Ramdhani, collected the award on behalf of the family and Association.

Full List of Awardees:

Senior Sportsman-of-the-Year: Desmond Amsterdam (Boxing)

Runner-up: Tagenarine Chanderpaul (Cricket)

Senior Sportswoman-of-the-Year: Nicolette Fernandes (Squash)

Runner-up: Rosanna Fung (Bodybuilding)

Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year: Shomari Wiltshire (Squash)

Runner-up: Omari Glasgow

Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year: Attoya Harvey (Athletics)

Runner-up: Kirsten Gomes (Squash)

Sportsman (PWD): Walter Grant-Stuart (Cycling)

Sportswoman (PWD): No submission

Male Coach-of-the-Year: Idi Lewis (Table Tennis)

Female Coach-of-the-Year: Tremayne Smartt (Cricket)

Team-of-the-Year: Junior Squash team

Association-of-the-Year: Guyana Boxing Association

Male Sport Official-of-the-Year: Ryan Sampson (Rifle Shooting)

Female Sport Official-of-the-Year: Ann Gordon (Basketball)

Sport Journalist (Print): Duncan Saul (Stabroek News)

Sport Journalist (Online): Avenash Ramzan (News Room)

Sport Journalist (Broadcast): Akeem Greene (News Room)

Corporate Sponsor (Small): MVP Sports

Corporate Sponsor (Medium): Mohamed’s Enterprise

Corporate Sponsor (Large): ANSA McAL Trading

Special award: The late Gokarn Ramdhani

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