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Duffy and Butterfield take top awards

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The winner are...Charlie Duffy, centre, the father of Flora Duffy, Sakari Famous, left, and Jim Butterfield, the father of Tyler Butterfield, at the Fairmont Southampton on Saturday night

Tyler Butterfield and Flora Duffy were crowned Male and Female Athlete of the Year for the fourth straight year at the Fairmont Southampton as triathlon again took home the top prizes in the Bermuda Government Sports Awards on Saturday.

It was the seventh award for Duffy, who was the overwhelming favourite after winning the ITU World Triathlon Series for a second successive year last year as well as the Xterra World Championship for a fourth time in a row. She was also won the award in 2006, 2007 and 2012.

Sailor Paula Lewin is the next most successful female with five titles between 1996 — the first year there were separate male and female winners — and 2003.

Butterfield has the most wins for a male with six, followed by jumper Brian Wellman on five. Like Wellman, Butterfield has also now won five years in a row. Butterfield beat out long jumper Tyrone Smith — a two-times winner in 2011 and 2012 — and middle-distance runner Shaquille Dill for the 2017 award.

Both Butterfield and Duffy are overseas preparing for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, next month.

Also unable to attend the ceremony was Delray Rawlins, who came away with the Junior Male Athlete of the Year award, as well as an Achievement Award and the Minister’s Award. Rawlins is in Barbados for a three game North-South Series at Kensington Oval.

Rawlins, who plays for Sussex, has also been chosen in the Marylebone Cricket Club’s squad that will face Essex, the English County Championship First Division champions, in the Champion County Match under floodlights at Kensington Oval between March 27 and 30.

His parents are in Barbados to watch him play so his sister Kimmisha received his awards on his behalf. “I was told Del was nominated for one award; I didn’t know I had to come up [on stage] three times, but I’m thankful,” she joked.

“I had to WhatsApp Del and say, ‘Yo, I think this is bigger than we thought’. He told me to thank everyone once again, the BCB, also the sponsors and everyone who has supported him. He told me he will continue to do everyone proud and will try his best to get into Sussex’s first team this season.”

Sakari Famous, who will represent Bermuda at the Carifta Games in Bahamas next month, was named the Junior Female Athlete of the Year after her outstanding year, which included a bronze medal at Carifta Games in Curaçao 12 months ago. She was also third at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas last summer.

“I’m very excited about this award; it’s a fantastic award,” said the Berkeley student, who will be a freshman at the University of Georgia in September on a scholarship.

“I can’t wait to go to Carifta and compete in Bahamas again and I’m definitely looking forward to getting another medal. I’ll be going to the University of Georgia and it’s going to be so exciting, a new experience for me.

“Hopefully the coaches will take me to another level. The future is going to be bright thanks to the support of Bermuda, my family and my coaches. I’m 18 now and will have one more [Carifta] next year, but I don’t know if I’ll be competing as I’ll be in college.”

Famous is co-captain of Bermuda’s Carifta team as she goes in search of a sixth medal.

“I’ll definitely carry the team and make sure they all have the right attitude,” she said.

The theme for this year’s Sports Awards was women in sports, “Victorious: today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Future”, with female athletes from the past and present presenting awards along with junior male and female athletes.

The presenters included Olympic diver Katura Horton-Perinchief, Sonya Smith, whose javelin record in Carifta Games still stands from 1979, triathlete Karen Smith, former track and field athletes Latroya Darrell, Allison Outerbridge, Debra Saltus, Takeisha Welch, Donna Raynor, Mia Black, Nadine Henry, and Dominique Richardson, the Bermuda netball captain.

Also receiving Junior Achievement Awards were Matthew Oliviera (cycling), Cecilia Wollmann (sailing), Erica Hawley (triathlon), Azhai Smith (sailing) and triathlete Tyler Smith who, like Hawley, Butterfield and Duffy, will represent Bermuda in triathlon at the Commonwealth Games.

Senior Achievement Award winners were Tyrone Smith, Rawlins, Wollmann, Dill and parathlete Jessica Lewis.

Appreciation Awards were presented to KPMG for their sponsorship of the Front Street Mile, Bermuda Dressage Group and the Bank of Bermuda Foundation for their sponsorship of youth cricket.

Special Achievement Awards went to Anthony Mouchette, a former football referee, Troy Harvey, also for football, and James Michaelson, a veteran equestrian announcer.

Stephen West (cricket), the Somerset Trojans football team of the 1960s, Somerset cricketer Joe Bailey and Ashton Thomas, a softball manager for the Devonshire Diamondettes and the Big Blue Machine, received Citations.

Special Recognition Awards went to the Bermuda under-17 women’s football team and the Bermuda Red Bull sailing team, which competed in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup on the Great Sound last year.

Other Minister’s Awards went to Brianna Ray for cricket and Danni Watson and Ian Coke for football. Watson is the captain of the under-17 girls team, while Coke was last season’s top scorer and MVP as a player for Boulevard.

Top award: Bermuda triathlete Flora Duffy
One for the future: Sakari Famous, the Junior Female Athlete of the Year