In a glittering celebration of athletic achievement and community impact, the 2C2W Athletics Academy is gearing up for its seventh annual awards ceremony and gala dinner and dance at Mirelle’s in New York on December 1.
The prestigious event will honour a stellar lineup of Jamaican and Caribbean sports personalities, including track and field coach Fitz Coleman, former JAAA’s President Dr. Warren Blake, current JAAA’s President Garth Gayle, former New York Institute of Technology coach Peter Zinno, and several other distinguished individuals.
The brainchild behind these renowned awards, Clive Walters, provided insights into the evolution and significance of the ceremony. Initially conceived in 2017 to recognize coaches on World Coaches Day, the event has evolved to embrace a wider spectrum of contributions to sports, community, and leadership.
“This year we have included sports medicine, sports administration, outstanding alumni from GC Foster, and, of course, coaches,” Walters explained. “We want to be inclusive and recognize the changing dynamics of the sports world. We’ve expanded our categories to acknowledge individuals making significant contributions at various levels of sports.”
Among the honorees, the legendary Peter Zinno, known for his influential role in recruiting Jamaican athletes and Dr Dorothy Hudson-Gayle, stand out.
“And then we have our own Fitz Coleman. We have Dr. Warren Blake for sports medicine, Mark Biggins for leadership, and lawyers, recognizing the legal aspect of sports, as well as community involvement,” Walters added.
Coach Coleman, who has coaches Hansle Parchment to Olympic gold, two World Championship silver medals and a bronze, said news that he was being awarded came as a surprise but he is grateful to have been recognized.
“It came basically out of nowhere but I feel very honoured, extremely honoured, and I appreciate Clive and his team’s effort to put this together and make this possible,” the esteemed coach told Sportsmax.TV.
“You get involved in sport because you love what you do and you think you have something to contribute. I got involved because I loved the sport and I felt I had something to contribute. Getting accolades was not on the agenda; that was not something I thought about, it was just getting involved and doing what I could so when this comes along it is definitely something that anyone would be proud of so I am very grateful to Clive and his team for this award. I really appreciate it.”
This year’s awards reflect a holistic approach to acknowledging those who impact the sports arena in various capacities. Walters highlighted the importance of recognizing associations, singling out the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) for its global success.
“The JAAA has competed with the biggest brand countries in the world and been very successful. The brand of the JAAA is so big, and it’s not just run by itself. It’s run by people and volunteers,” Walters praised.
Also among the distinguished individuals to be honoured are Basset Thompson, Raphael Ney Jean Francois and Michael Higgins.
The ceremony aims to showcase appreciation and recognition for individuals and organizations contributing at the community, national, and international levels. Walters expressed the essence of the event as a time to “recognize them and have a good time.”