Charlton, Whitmore headline RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation awardees for 2021
Olympian Vilma Charlton received the Chairman's Award for her contribution to athletics at the 2021 RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation National Award ceremony held tonight.
The yearly ceremony which honours the best in sporting excellence departed from its traditional structure this time around because of the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in the award's history, a Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year were not named. However, sports personalities were honoured for their contributions to their respective disciplines.
Charlton represented Jamaica in the 100m sprint at three Olympic Games in 1964, 1968, and 1972. She graduated from Pepperdine University in the United States and return home to help advance athletics in Jamaica. She ventured into administration and served as a vice president of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) as well as president of the Olympians Association of Jamaica (OAJ). In her remarks, Charlton regarded the honour as an 'unexpected surprise' and credited the late Herb McKenley who recognised her talent as a teenager in facilitating her athletic and academic path.
The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to retired cricket umpire Steve Bucknor. For over 30 years he officiated over 100 Test and One-Day International matches and also officiated five consecutive ICC Cricket World Cup finals from 1992 to 2007. The award was presented on his behalf to his daughter Suzanne Bucknor.
Five persons were presented with Merit Awards, the most notable being national senior men's football team head coach, Theodore Whitmore. The former national player represented his country 120 times during his playing career. He celebrated his 100th game in charge of the team on November 17, 2020 in a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia.