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Thomas claims Youth sport awards

Published: 
Sunday, September 9, 2018
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Canaan/Bon Accord Enforcers all-rounder Iraq Thomas is congratulated by a T10 Community Cricket League official following one of his match-winning efforts. The team was eventually disqualfied for breaching tournament rules by fielding Thomas.

WALTER ALIBEY

Little Iraq Thomas, the T&T batsman who smashed the fastest T20 century when he reached the feat in just 21 balls, was among many young people to have received awards at yesterday's National Youth Awards Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of- Spain.

Thomas' knock saw him break the record that was held by big-hitting Jamaican batsman Chris Gayle who grasped the record by scoring a century in 30 balls. Gayle held the title for many years, before Thomas, a Tobago-born cricketer scored his hundred in nine balls-less, while playing for Scarborough/Mason Hall during a hotly contested match of the Tobago Cricket Association’s T20 tournament at Louis D’or in 2016, making an unbeaten 131 to guide his team to victory over Speyside.

It is however uncertain if Thomas' feat has been recognized worldwide. Minister of Sports and Youth Shamfa Cudjoe said yesterday that in spite of all the negatives about young people that are constantly grabbing the headlines in the media, that we forget that they are invaluable assets that crave our attention, nurturing and investment.

"We bombarded with negative news about our youth in the media, every single day. From being perpetrators and victims of crime in our communities to ill-discipline in our schools. Irresponsible sexual behaviour, to substance abuse. Young people aren't ready for the world of work. Thousands didn't get a single subject. These are the headlines. Constant messages that highlight young people as a problem, that needs to be fixed," Cudjoe said.

"We, at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, are of the firm view that given today's vibrant generation of young people and the skills and abilities they possess, we must strive to empower, support, recognize and reward their outstanding achievements. That is our duty, our responsibility, and our mandate. Our commitment to youth excellence and youth empowerment is grounded in the belief that every young person has a unique potential, a divine purpose, and should be acknowledged for his or her contributions and accomplishments," she noted.

As the ministry celebrates its 23rd year of the youth in sports awards, Cudjoe said she is inspired by young persons like Olympic swimmer Dylan Carter, who won three gold medals at the CAC Games for swimming, breaking two of CAC's records, with times of 48.95 and 23.11, as well as cyclist Teneil Campbell, Saleim Cotton and Makeeda Lewis of Excel Beetham Estate Government Primary School for excelling at the 2017 Secondary Entrance Assessment Examination, Teocah Dove who continues her work in the areas of Vulnerable Women HIV/AIDS, among others.

2018 HONOUR ROLL

Agriculture - Jevaughn Arnold

Arts & Culture - Gerard Balfour

Education - Safiya James

Entrepreneurship - Jhoel Skeete

Health & Wellness - Ronique Thomas

Sport - Iraq Thomas

Leadership & Advocacy - Rheanna Moore

Personal Triumph (18-29 yrs) - Zalisia Guy

Personal Triumph (12-17 yrs) - Sherisse Latchman

Student Leadership (12-17 yrs) - Akiba Cooper

Student Leadership (18-29 yrs) - Darrion Narine

Youth Activism - Nikoli Edwards

Media -Kendell Peters

Youth Mentor (30 yrs & over) - Charlene Samaroo

Most Improved Youth Group - Sixth Formers Association

Most Outstanding Youth Group - The 2 Cents Movement

Most Effective Youth Project - The 2 Cents Movement

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