The proud tradition of distance running in the Samuel family of Sion Hill continues in track and field athletics in St Vincent and the Grenadines. This time around it is the turn of Delhonni Samuel, son of former marathoner, Dane Samuel, nowmarried and resident in Canada and the nephew of former national champion in everything from 800m through to the marathon, Bigna Samuel.
Delhonni won the Junior Male Athlete of the Year award at TASVG’s annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday last and later copped the top prize, Athlete of the Year, for his outstanding performances in 2009. His best achievements were: 800m (2:01), 1500m (3:59), 3000m (8:47), 5000m (15:10) and the 8k cross country (25:21).
Samuel was the lone medalist at the annual Carifta Games, which were held in St Lucia. There he won silver in the 5000m in a time of 15:42:51, a personal best for the event.
Samuel is now a student at Campbell University in the USA.
Samuel was not the only star performer for TASVG for 2009. He had to contend with the likes of Pamenos Ballantyne and Kineke Alexander as well as Nadia Delpesche.
Perhaps the most significant winner of the evening was Lenesha Oliver who shot onto the scene and impressed all. She took home the Calvert Woods Award as the organisation’s most promising athlete.
NACAC President and IAAF Area Representative, Neville ‘Teddy’ Mc Cook, delivered the Feature Address in which he highlighted the importance of rewarding athletes as low as the Under 6 category. Mc Cook noted, “This means that a structure exists” and stressed the need to sustain the interest and training of these young athletes for the future.
“I have seen your faces and I expect to see some of the winners of awards who are of Carifta age representing the country at the Carifta Games in Cayman Islands next year” he stated.
Keith Joseph, TASVG President also addressed the gathering and noted that the organization had made some strides during the year although they could not be sufficiently acceptable. “The Project 2012 is important to our future and our coaches must work diligently along with our athletes to attain higher performance standards”, Joseph declared.
Leroy Llewellyn, Chairman of the organisation’s Cross Country and Road Racing Commission and Rawlson Morgan, Games Secretary, both addressed the gathering pointing to the successes within their respective areas of work for TASVG during 2009.
An appreciative crowd was on hand to support the winners and to congratulate the top achievers in the National Juvenile and national Open Championships during 2009.
The honour roll reads:
Junior Female Nadia Delpesche
Junior Male Delhonni Samuel
Senior Female Lisa Daniel
Senior Male Pamenos Ballantyne
Coach Of The Year Manson Shortte
Team Of The Year Xceed
Volunteer Of The Year Nacha Browne
Technical Official Of The Year Berkeley Primus
Kids In Athletics Award Biabou Methodist
The Calvert Woods Award Lenesha Oliver
(Most Promising Athlete 2009)
Athlete Of The Year 2009 Delhonni Samuel