PARAGON REPRESENTATIVES Akim Toussaint and Alanna Lewis were presented as the top male and female national hockey players for the preceding year at the Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board’s (TTHB) annual award function which was staged at the VIP Lounge, Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo yesterday.

With these accolades, the pair was automatically approved to serve as nominees at this year’s First Citizens Sport Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, scheduled for early 2015. Also named among the nation’s top-five hockey players, Toussaint and Lewis were elated with their rewards.

Toussaint was named from a group of Male Players of the Year nominees (national team captain Darren Cowie, Solomon Eccles, Aiden De Gannes and Shaquille Daniel) while Lewis topped the field ahead of Female Players of the Year nominees Patricia Wright Alexis, Brianna Govia, Kyla Brathwaite and Petal Derry.

Paragon were also in winning ways once more as they were adjudged as the best Female Team of the Year backed by Queen’s Park Cricket Club, who bagged the male equivalent.

The Male Youth Player was awarded to Courts Malvern athlete Tariq Marcano while the female equivalent was presented to Govia of Shandy Carib Magnolias. The most decorated goalkeepers of 2014 was delivered to Derry (female) and Andre Rocke (male).

Attending yesterday’s auspicious presentation was TTHB president Douglas Camacho, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis, Minister of National Security and this year’s Queen’s Park Veteran Division top-scorer Gary Griffith, 2013 World Championships 400-metre hurdles gold medallist Jehue Gordon, other officials of the national hockey fraternity, players, sponsor representatives and other enthusiasts of the blooming sport.

Highlighting TT’s achievements for the preceding year was both the men and women’s strong team performances at round one of the World League Tournament. Both enter the coming season anticipating the second round of competition which kicks off for the males in USA (March) and the females in Uruguay (February). They are also preparing for the Pan American Championships next year.

In his feature address, Gordon, who also plays hockey occasionally, urged the young members of the fraternity to continue pressing ahead towards achieving their competitive and personal goals.

“Continue the fight with a sense of passion,” said Gordon. “You are all heading in the right direction. Stay true to yourself and failure is not an option. Believe in a supreme being, be humble and align yourselves with the right people. To the staff, these players continuously need your support because they are all sport ambassadors for Trinidad and Tobago.”

Additionally, Camacho congratulated all the players and officials especially for producing another highly successful year. He lauded the works of advancing local umpires who put themselves on the line to ensure equality and fairness during matches.

“Our umpires have been called to serve on several international boards and global tournaments which shows their hard work and dedication. Our coaches have been contacted to officiate as well and this is a great step for us as a national unit. Our domestic league has helped us achieve so many things over the years and we will continue to grow in fruition,” said Camacho.