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Kallicharan T&T’s top sportsman
Cricketer Kirstan Kallicharan, 15, on Tuesday was voted the top athlete in the Sport and Recreation category (12-17) at the National Youth Awards held at Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s, Port-of-Spain, while cyclist Jovian Gomez topped the 18-29 aged group.
Kallicharan, a right-handed batsman, served as captain of the national under-15 and U-17 teams.
Judged as the victor of the award, the Queen’s Hall audience, it seemed, did not recognise his name, but when Joseph Lopez the evening’s master of ceremonies began reading his superb credentials, it quickly became clearer, who the talented sportsman was and it was then the applause moved from appreciative to thunderous.
Back in May, Kallicharan recorded an unbeaten 404 for Vishnu Boys in the 35-over Powergen Secondary Schools Cricket League quarter-final U-14 match. He struck 44 fours and 31 sixes in his innings, guiding Vishnu to a massive 548/1 in 35 overs. In reply, Valencia was dismissed for 89 in 24 overs, as Kallicharan who is an effective leg-spinner, picked up two wickets for zero runs.
Kallicharan beat out a field of athletes that included cricketers Alysha Gomez, Crystian Thurton and Renaldo Sinanan; volleyballers Maya Roberts and Reann Young; cyclist Ramon Belmontes and Scrabble player Tairah John-Seedial.
Meanwhile, Gomez who rode under the Team Drive Phrase Sport (DPS) banner and earned the President’s Trophy at the 2013 T&T Cycling Federation Year-end Awards ceremony before moving on the capture the Elite Male Cyclist Award went up against nine contenders for the accolade on the night.
They included: Under-19 cricket captain Jeremy Solozano, cricketer David Sookhar, sprinter Zakiya Denoon, diver Allon Williams, as well as sporting promoters Alaina Ganness and Krystle Bascombe.
Clifton De Coteau, Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development said, “Time and time again, the nation has been presented with evidence of youth accomplishment of high achievers in every sphere of influence.
“We have seen young men and women conquer the odds on the national and international stages such as Samuel Badree (who) from humble beginnings in Barrackpore to become a Secondary School teacher at Barrackpore East Secondary and a member of the West Indies Cricket team that won the World T20 Championship in Sri Lanka; differently-abled lawyer, Veera Bhajan, Olympic superstar Keshorn Walcott, Melissa Aguillera, T&T and West Indies women’s cricket captain from Marac Moruga.”
He added, “Regardless of the demographic differences within our youth population, the Government intends for youth to be treated with sensitivity for their circumstances, respect as individuals and be provided with all the support they need.
“The policy was developed through consultations with national youth to ensure that every single youth can realise and achieve their purpose, whether through educational, cultural, community service or sporting pursuits.
“Each boy, each girl or lady is to live and develop; confident that for every youth there is a place, a purpose, a plan.”