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Athletes past and present honoured

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Many top athletes of the past were honoured along with current athletes at Thursday night’s 38th annual Sports Awards at the Fairmont Southampton, under the theme “Immortal: Monumental Figures in Bermuda Sports”.

North Village’s football team received a Sports Citation for winning the Triple Crown in 1977-78 while this year marks 40 years since the under-19 national cricket team under coach Bob Jones became the first Bermuda team to win the International Youth Tournament in Toronto, Canada. Led by captain Charlie Marshall, the team defeated Ireland by three wickets in the final.

“Forty years ago!” a disbelieving Marshall told the audience as the team stood on the stage. “We would like to thank the sports awards committee for honouring this great team that put Bermuda on the map.

“I must salute this team, especially the cricketers who have passed on, Paul Pearce who was my vice-captain, Kevin Ratteray, Delby Borden, Anthony Edwards, team manager Quinton Stovell and also Alfred Simmons who was the head of delegation. These individuals played a major role in the achievement that year, and as captain I must say the players, plus the coach Bob Jones, we believed, we cared and we enjoyed representing Bermuda.

“Every player contributed throughout the tournament. I can remember the joy on players’ faces after Anthony Manders scored the winning run, and his older brother Andre having joyful tears in his eyes and repeating over and over ‘that’s my little brother’.”

Sherwin Dill, president of North Village, stood with the team on stage as they received their citation. “In recognition of North Village’s 1977-78 Triple Crown champions, North Village Community Club are very proud to receive this award for the players and coaching staff and administrators and fans of that decade,” he said.

“North Village in the 1970s were exciting to watch. The legacy lives on and the contribution that these players have made to the North Village Community Club is priceless. They have paved the way for the success we enjoy today. They have gone on to become national team players, coaches and mentors and we are very proud of the contribution they have made.”

Larry Smith was the coach of that Triple Crown team with Irving “Jack” Romaine, who recently passed, the assistant coach. The Triple Crown consists of the league, FA and Friendship trophies, with North Village winning ten Premier Division titles, nine FA and 11 Friendship titles overall. North Village won the Triple Crown again in 2005-06.

Larry Mussenden, a former president of the Bermuda Football Association, received a citation, thanking the “football clubs who do a tremendous amount of work for the thousands of players who play every week”.

Equestrienne Pippa Barritt also received a citation for her long contribution to the sport, including as a competitor, organiser and show director of dressage.

Calvin Symonds, now is his Eighties, is the most successful St George’s Cup Match captain, with eight wins and a draw in nine years as captain in the 1960s. He was also an outstanding footballer, the second Bermudian to play professionally in England.

“During my playing career, I was a passionate man and I wish all the awardees tonight keep their passion and pursue their dreams and education so that we can get some good leaders in this country,” Symonds said.

“Although my football career was cut short through injury, I had 2½ years in England. After that I stuck with cricket.”

Special Recognition Awards went to last year’s under-15 national girls football team, the Bermuda triathlon relay team of Flora Duffy, Tyler Butterfield, Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley which placed fifth in the Commonwealth Games and squash players Micah Franklin and Noah Browne.

The football team won the Division 2 Concacaf Under-15 Championship with a 2-1 final win over Grenada in Florida, while coaches Aaron Denkins, Naquita Robinson and Vance Brown received a separate recognition for their work with the women’s national teams.

Franklin and Browne teamed up in the doubles at the Central American and Caribbean Games for the first time and narrowly lost to eventual winners in the semi-finals before taking the bronze medal, the first medal for Bermuda at the CAC Games in eight years.

“The bronze medal was a huge prize to us and we hope to bring it to the world scene in the Pan American Games,” Franklin said.

Appreciation awards went to Lister Insurance Agency for 21 years sponsoring the annual Junior Heritage Day Classic Race on Bermuda Day; Argus Group for sponsoring the Bermuda Cricket Board’s youth programme; Timothy Trott for his basketball coaching and Steven Douglas, the president of the Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association and the Eastern Counties.

Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports, presented Minister’s Awards for cricket and football to Marley Christian, the women’s national team captain, and Marco Warren of PHC, last season’s MVP, while Dion Stovell, cricket’s MVP in 2018, and Sanaa Berkeley receieved the cricket award.