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Tuach tops them all! – Chelsea Tuach named Sports Personality of the Year
By Petra Gooding
The wait is finally over and teenaged surfing sensation Chelsea Tuach has been chosen as the 2013 National Sports Personality of the Year.
Tuach beat out worthy contenders in Emmerson Boyce, Antoinette Downey and Mario Burke for the title at the 31st Annual National Sports Council Awards Ceremony on Saturday night at the Frank Collymore Hall.
Her surfing achievements made her a household name last year, a major achievement since the only person many Barbadians associate with surfing is Brian Talma.
Tuach’s great run last year began when she won the Ron Jon ROXY Pro in Cocoa Beach, Florida. This made her the first Barbadian to ever win an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Three Star Junior Pro event.
That was in March and her good form continued when she won the Women’s title at the American Pro Surf Series (APSS) in Huntington Beach, California. Then in May she won the first medal for Barbados at the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championships in Nicaragua.
A string of high profile wins followed in South Africa, Puerto Rico and here in Barbados and it all culminated in her being chosen as the Female Surfer of the Year at the Eastern Surf Magazine’s 12th Annual ESeMMY Awards. These awards recognize the best surfers on the East Coast of the United States and the Caribbean.
Wigan Athletic Captain Emmerson Boyce captured the award for the Senior Outstanding Sportperson (Male). Boyce, born to Barbadian parents in England, led Wigan not only its first ever FA Cup final, but they also managed to win the title in 1-0 victory over favourites Manchester City.
Antoinette Downie was chosen as the Senior Outstanding Sportsperson (Female), beating nominees such as Saskia Griffith and Deandra Dottin. Downie won the overall Fitness title at the 2013 CAC Championships in the Dominican Republic and was subsequently awarded an International Federation Body Builders (FIBB) Pro Card.
The Junior Outstanding Sportsperson (Male) Award went to sprinter Mario Burke who earned one gold and three silver medals at the CARIFTA Games in the Bahamas last year. Burke also qualified for the World Youth Championships in the Ukraine where he finished fifth in the 100 metres final. He ran a personal best 10.49 seconds in the preliminaries.
For the first time ever, the NSC decided to hand out a Lifetime Achievement Award and the recipient was none other than the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers. Known the world over as the greatest cricketer that ever lived, Sir Garfield played 93 Tests for the West Indies scoring 8032 runs at an average of 57.78 He also took 235 wickets and 109 catches.
Continuing on with cricket, West Indies Women’s Captain Sherwin Campbell was chosen as the Coach of the Year. He began coaching the Women’s team in 2009 and since that time they have become a force to be reckoned with in the international arena. The team managed to make it to the final of the Women’s World Cup in India, beating top ranked teams such as Australia and New Zealand in the process and is now one of the favourites to win the Women’s World Twenty20 title in Bangladesh later this year.
The full list of award winners is as follows.
Sports Personality of the Year – Chelsea Tuach (Surfing)
Senior Outstanding Sportsperson (Male) – Emmerson Boyce (Football)
Senior Outstanding Sportsperson (Female) – Antoinette Downie (Bodybuilding and Fitness)
Junior Outstanding Sportsperson (Male) – Mario Burke (Track and Field)
Junior Outstanding Sportsperson (Female) – Chelsea Tuach (Surfing)
Minister’s Award – Tia-Adana Belle (Track and Field)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Rt. Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers
Emerging Athlete Award (joint winners) – Damario Bynoe (Horse Racing) and Miguel Cummins (Cricket)
Community Awards – Arthur Lewis and Wayne Bailey
Groundsman of the Year – David Mason (Gall Hill Playing Field)
Schools’ Award (Primary) – Wesley Hall Primary School
Schools’ Award (Secondary) – Christ Church Foundation School
Youth Awards – Danielle Titus (Swimming), Damon St. Prix (Swimming), Luis Sebastien Weekes (Swimming), Rivaldo Clarke (Cricket), Marcus Smith (Table Tennis), Yu Tien Poon (Chess), Mackenzie Howard (Badminton)
Special Awards – Richardson Boyce (Bodybuilding), Jimmy Gittens (Media), Keith Melville (Polo), The Brewster Trust (Football)
Family Award – The Seale Family
Senior’s Award - Raymond Forde (Tennis), Angela Jackson (Track and Field), James Marshall (Karate), Roger Skeete (Motoring)
Officials Gaining International Recognition Award – Esther Maynard (Track and Field), Naomi Roachford-Holder (Equestrian), Cameron Burke (Hockey), Errol Clarke (Swimming)
Sports Tourism Award – Brian Talma
Sponsors Award – Caribbean Alliance, Allmax Nutrition, Co-operators General Insurance Co. Ltd, Goddard Enterprises Ltd
Club Award – Chargers Volleyball Club
Team Award – Barbados Bodybuilding Team
Media Award – Ezra Stuart (Nation Publishing Company)
The Alvin Burgess Sports Administrator Award (joint winners) – Andrew Forde (Bodybuilding) and George Lascaris (Football)
Coach of the Year – Sherwin Campbell
Association for Achievement Award – Barbados Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BABBFF)