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Figaro, Jordon-Brown cop Royalians top awards

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Kelson Figaro, captain, Royalians men’s team and men’s Player of the Year with Dalia Jordan-Brown, recipient of the award for women’s Player of the Year. Photo: sean Nero

When Kelson Figaro, captain of Royalians RFC took the rostrum on Friday night to accept the men’s “Player of the Year” award at the club’s Christmas dinner and awards ceremony held at the VIP Room at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, he was the happiest man alive!


His delight, however, was not solely for his triumph on the night. Figaro was doubly thrilled to have his fiance Dr Dalia Jordan-Brown, winner of the women’s “Player of the Year” stand beside him.


They both straddle the playing position of centre and fly half.


Both athletes hold spots on the national rugby team, too.


But improvements in the performances of sportsmen and sportswomen under this banner did not end with these two dynamos of the sport, however.


Lincoln Perez and Kalifa Lovelace took home award for “Most Disciplined Player” (men’s and women’s). The honour was for the high level of discipline they demonstrated throughout the season as it relates to practice and matches; and includes punctuality, attitude towards teammates and coaches. Their adherence to rules and instructions were also critical factors. 


Royalians rivals better watch-out! Joshua Seechan and Kanisha Vincent are strategically honing their skills on the field of play and their positive growth have not gone unnoticed. Seechan was voted the men’s “Most Improved Player” while Vincent won the prize among the women. 


Jordan-Brown said people are always marvelled by her involvement in the sport citing her demands at school studying medicine and now in the world of work as a general practitioner in the health sector.


She is motivated by the love of the sport which began six years ago, and which has not waned.


Jordan-Brown was still amazed by the fact that people don’t know rugby is played in T&T, more so competitively.


On learning this, they quickly point to perceived dangers believed to be uniquely associated with the sport.


“How the game is, its controlled. The laws protect you from being endangered and once you play correctly and the game is run in a certain way injuries are minimal. I would like to reduce the bad stereotype that comes with rugby and to make it more known. When I started playing, I just thought it looked like fun. After a few weeks, that was it! I was hooked! I don’t know! I just haven’t stopped,” she said.


On the issue of growing the sport, Jordan-Brown believes the best strategy is to make it a community sport, as it seems to be more concentrated in Port-of-Spain.


She believes decentralising the sport would generate new interest and grow a new fans base to move the sport to the primary column.


“Just how every community has a football side, if every community had a rugby side, the crowds will be there and more people would want to play; and people would stop asking if they play rugby in T&T?


Figaro, 29, who is employed as a plant operator at State-owned Wasa said while attending San Juan Government Secondary, rugby was more common placed than cricket, basketball or even football.


The passion he developed for the game 17 years ago, at school level guided his interest to Royalians of which he has been a member for the past 14 years.


“Being captain of the team, I always try to lead by example. I always try to put my best foot forward, let everybody see that the captain is playing his heart out on the field and get all the other boys to follow suit.


“My team is always the underdog. Everybody routs for the underdogs, but I don’t want (us) to be the underdog. I want us to be a champion team. I always let the boys know we are a champion team and people fear us. People fear underdogs,” he said.


He spoke of the challenges of managing his job and his sport, citing that he works a shift system when means he was absent from some practice sessions.


Figaro said this was where good human relations was crucial, because his superiors at work and his teammates made allowances for him because of his excellence in both spheres. 


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