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Holder pick of the pool

Justin Marville

Holder pick of the pool

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The girl who won just about everything last year has already started 2012 in similar vein.
Swimming’s biggest night proved just further validation of Zabrina Holder’s massive talent, as the gifted teen copped the lion’s share of the awards, including the Most Outstanding Senior Female Swimmer Of The Year, during Sunday’s annual awards gala at Hilton Barbados.
It’s the third year running that the sport’s most publicized performer made a killing at the prizes table, with the prestigious senior award serving as just one of four trophies being bestowed upon her.
They came in recognition of yet another record-setting season in which the prolific 15-year-old set 30 national records while leading the hosts to this year’s CARIFTA meet-high 21 gold medals and a second-best 48-medal performance.
And it was her effort at that meet – including eight individual gold medals and 13 overall medals – which led to Holder attaining a second successive Leah Martindale Trophy for the most valuable swimmer at the games.
But she wasn’t awarded the best swim at that meet this time around. Lani Cabrera copped the Victor Norville Memorial Trophy for her nine minutes, 17:46 seconds-clocking in the 800 metres freestyle.
It was the first of two trophies Cabrera won for an individual swim, following an award for the best overall female performance at last year’s Pan American Games in the same 800 freestyle event.
The girls weren’t alone in being multiple award winners. Emerging Damon St Prix was honoured as the Most Motivated and Most Valuable Male Swimmer at the Goodwill Meet on the way to being crowned 2011’s Most Outstanding Junior Male.
Danielle Titus copped the female equivalent for her efforts at the same junior event just one year after older sister, Tiffany, was also honoured as the Most Outstanding Junior Female.
The other major overall award went to the Most Outstanding Senior Male Christian Selby, after the teen titan dominated the local scene yet again and secured further CARIFTA glory.
He was also rewarded as the best overall male performance at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships with his effort in the 200 freestyle (2:06.08), while Holder took the female equivalent at the meet via her gold-winning performance in the 100 butterfly (1:04.48).
Holder further added the best overall female performance at the Commonwealth Youth Games to her tally, while Matthew Courtis did likewise on the boys’ side with his swim in the 1500 free.
St Prix’s coach, Antonio Martinez, captured the Coach Of The Year, and second vice-president Ian Stewart the Volunteer Of The Year award for the second year running.
The news wasn’t all positive though, as National Sports Council director Erskine King lamented that his organization’s ability to assist local federations this year would be severely restricted due to a lack of finances.
However, King believes the time has come for sporting bodies to look at international companies and organizations for sponsorship of their athletes.
“Listening to the results of what we have done and achieved in 2011, there is no reason why we should be dependent only on sponsorship in Barbados,” King reasoned.
“Too often we have athletes who are rated very highly in the Pan Am region, a region that consists of over a billion people, and if you look across this region you see people who are ranked way below our athletes with sponsorship from international organisations.”
“[And] sponsorship is something that is absolutely necessary for sports to survive, particularly for Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean,” he added.