Lewis named Female Athlete of the Year
Jessica Lewis “realised a dream” by winning her first Female Athlete of the Year award to bring an end to Flora Duffy’s five-year reign while Tyler Butterfield won his sixth straight men’s title.
Bermuda’s finest athletes of 2019 were honoured for their achievements at a behind-closed-doors Sports Awards ceremony at the Berkeley Institute on Tuesday.
The annual event, scheduled for March at the Fairmont Southampton, but postponed because of Covid-19, will be aired on CITV from Monday until Sunday at 12pm and 9.30pm.
Wheelchair sprinter Lewis enjoyed a superb year, winning three of her events at the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, last summer, claiming gold in the T53 100 metres and 400, and silver in the 800.
She also blitzed her previous Parapan 100 record of 17.67 sec, set at the Toronto Games in 2015, when she crossed the line in 17.36.
The 27-year-old narrowly missed out on another medal in the 100 at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai in November, finishing just shy of the podium in fourth.
Lewis told the few attendees at the ceremony, including a handful of the winners and their families, as well as David Burt, the Premier: “I’ve dedicated my life to being an athlete and growing into a strong and capable person who will stop at nothing until my dreams are complete.
“Receiving this award has always been at the top of my list. Being able to create a life that allows me to represent our beautiful island has truly been a great gift.
“The award does not just have my name on it, but every single person and organisation that has helped, supported and guided this 67 pound woman to become Bermuda’s Female Athlete of the Year for 2019.”
Butterfield enjoyed an impressive season, winning the Mazda Ironman 70.3 Cozumel in Cozumel, Mexico, clocking an overall time of 7:44:1 to join a handful of triathletes to break the 7:45 barrier for the four-kilometre swim, 180km bike and 42km run. His time was the second fastest in history over that distance in an Ironman-branded race.
The 37-year-old also shattered his own national marathon record at the Lake Biwa Marathon in Otsu, Shiga, Japan, finishing in 2:21:47 to finish in 60th position, bettering his previous best of 2:26:29.
Jim Butterfield, an Olympic rower and former triathlete, who accepted the award on his son’s behalf, said: “Tyler is a proud Bermudian and I can assure you when he competes with the flag over his shoulder at the finish line, whether it’s first, second or third, he realises he’s privileged to have travelled to the places he has been on this planet.
“The sport of triathlon has allowed him to travel to these places and I know he would like the thank the Ministry of Youth and Sport. the Bermuda Olympic Association, the Bermuda Triathlon Association, and Patty Petty who does so much work for him to not only make sure he enters these events but make sure he gets their on time.
“Despite the difficulties, Tyler trains each and every day and looks forward to when the Ironman World Championship, the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games are back on and life is more normal than we are living right now.”
Kenny Leseur won the Male Junior Athlete of the Year after a promising season in which he became the eighth-youngest player to compete in a PGA Tour event at the inaugural Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course in October and November.
Leseur, who was 15 at the time, also qualified for the Faldo World Series Asia Grand Final after securing age group honours competing in the global series in Florida in November.
Swimmer Elan Daley picked up the Female Junior Athlete of the Year after a medal-laden year.
She broke her Bermuda record in the 200 freestyle by placing second in her heat at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, where she was the youngest competitor at the age 14.
Daley also claimed three gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Bridgetown, Barbados, and nine medals, including four gold, at the Carifta Championships, also held in Barbados.
Duffy, who missed the first eight months of the 2019 season because of injury, was honoured with a Senior Achievement award in recognition of her fifth Xterra World Championship title in Kapalua, Hawaii, in October.
Male Athlete of the Year
Senior Achievement Award
Female Junior Athlete of Year
Junior Achievement Award
Driving Horse&Pony Club
Special Achievement Award
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Alva Burchall (Softball)
Vernal Davis (Tennis)
Richard Basden (Football)
Veronica Zuill (Softball)
Cornell Bean (Golf)
Men’s National Team (Football)
1979 Somerset Cricket Club Team
Under-17 4x100 Girls Carifta Relay Team
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