On Wednesday 29 December Olympic 400m champion Tonique Williams-Darling was named the The Bahama Journal’s Person of the Year at a Gala Banquet held at Sandals Royal Bahamian. Last year this award was won by Anglican Archbishop Reverend Drexel Gomez. This year Williams-Darling had to contend with another Archbishop who was nominated, this time the Catholic Archbishop Reverend Patrick Pinder.
The Bahama Journal and the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations decided to join their efforts since both were honouring the same individual. The Bahama Journal also recognized Debbie Ferguson, Olympic 200m bronze medallist, as well as tennis doubles champion Mark Knowles.
A highlight of the evening was the appearance of three of the Jamaican Golden Girls who won the 4x100m relay in Athens: Veronica Campbell, Sherone Simpson, and Aileen Bailey. The women were well received by both the Jamaican and Bahamian community. They were driven around in limousines like the stars that they are.
The Male Senior Athlete of the Year is Dominic Demeritte, who won the gold medal in the 200m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Williams-Darling won the Female Senior Athlete of The Year.
Grafton Ifill III was selected the Male Junior Athlete of The Year. He was a finalist in the 100m in the World Junior Championships, setting a new Bahamian Junior National record.
Aymara Albury who attends the University of Alabama was selected the Female Junior Athlete of The Year. Albury established a new Bahamian National Record for the Shot Put and was a finalist in the World Junior Championships.
Additional awards presented were:
Coach of the Year - The Henry Crawford Award: Pauline Davis-Thompson
Official of the Year - The Roderick Simms Award: Stephanie Rahming who became the first Bahamian to get an Area Technical Official designation.
Man of the Year:President Senator The Honourable Desmond Bannister
A new award, presented for the first time was The Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Dr. Bernard Nottage, former president of the BAAA and CACAC. Nottage who currently serves as the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the XX Central American and Caribbean Senior Athletics Championships, scheduled for next summer.
Alpheus Finlayson for the IAAF