The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has come in for high praise from Olympic Solidarity director Pere Miró, who has offered special congratulations for its continued success over the years, most notably in the achievement of gender equality on its Executive Board in 2017.
Miro’s congratulatory message was read during the TTOC’s 23rd Annual Awards Gala at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain.
Following elections earlier this year, there has been an even spilt of male and female officers on the national governing body's Executive Board.
Miró has attributed the feat in part to the TTOC’s "Future is Female" campaign - a strategy initiative geared towards promoting women’s involvement in the various areas of sport.
"Such consistency is especially important these days with sport facing so many challenges, be it of economic or credibility nature," he said.
"It is sport, built on solid foundations of the Olympic values that can combat apathy, crime, gang culture and other problems surfacing every day."
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Solidarity has also commended the relentless effort of the Trinidad and Tobago athletes, coaches, officials and administrators in promoting sport, Olympism and its values.
A stellar year for Trinidad and Tobago’s track and field athletes saw them cop the lion’s share of rewards at the Annual Awards Gala.
In a "non-traditional" move, the gold medal-winning men’s 4x400 metres relay team from the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in London was named the Sportsman of the Year.
The team of Jarrin Solomon, Jereem Richards, Machel Cedenio, Lalonde Gordon and Renny Quow stunned the world with victory in a time of 2min 58.12sec.
It was the first-ever gold medal for Trinidad and Tobago in the event and led to them being named as the Best Male Athlete of the Year for the Americas at the Association of National Olympic Committees Awards in November.
Richards, the world 200m bronze medallist, was the lone double recipient on the night as he was also voted by the public as the People’s Choice Award winner.
Sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye, meanwhile, claimed her second consecutive Sportswoman of the Year crown.
Ahye had a commendable season, which included a sixth-placed finish in the 100m World Championships final and a personal best time of 10.82 en route to winning the national title in June.
Another repeat winner was Paralympian Akeem Stewart, who, for the third consectutive year, was named the Sports Personality of the Year.
The ever-consistent Stewart was a double gold medallist at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London, winning both the men’s javelin and shot put F44 events.
He etched his name in history for the latter, smashing the old world record of 14.21 metres with a new mark of 19.08m.
In an historic moment, Merissa Aguilleira, the captain of Trinidad and Tobago’s women's cricket team, was named as the first-ever recipient of the Future is Female award.
The award celebrates the leadership of an individual, team or organisation that demonstrates outstanding commitment to the encouragement, development and motivation of women in sport.
The young stars of track and field were also present on the night with sprinters Adell Colthrust and Khalifa St. Fort named the Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year respectively.
Colthrust, an under-18 competitor, enjoyed a golden season, winning the 100m at both the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) and Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017.
St. Fort, meanwhile, ended her junior campaign by completing the CARIFTA Games sprint double.
The prestigious Alexander B Chapman Award went to Anthony Wickham, veteran coach of Trendsetters Hawks Football Club.
He was recognised for his unwavering support for youth and community development through football, and his work with youth of marginalised communities in Trinidad and Tobago.
Among the attendees at the ceremony were Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona and former athlete Hasely Crawford, Trinidad and Tobago’s first-ever Olympic gold medallist when he won the 100m title at Montreal 1976.