The RJR Sports Foundation's 2022 Sportsman And Sportswoman Of The Year Awards was special this time around. The pandemic had disrupted athletics as much as it did everything else. The restrictions brought prolonged breaks from competitive sports. The athletes lost valuable training time and the sharpness that competition forces.
But that didn’t stop Jamaican athletes from giving us many special moments in 2022 that we can celebrate. The ‘broom crew’ came through once again. Shelly-Ann Frazer Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson Herah swept up all the medals for the women's 100m at the World Athletics Championship in Oregon. For the second consecutive year the big three dominated the 100m at a major athletic competition.
The Sunshine Girls weren’t to be outdone. They dominated the 2022 commonwealth games with their fierce charismatic attitude. They played some of their finest netball ever, thrashing world number 2 New Zealand 67-51 to make it to the finals. The ladies won the hearts of netball fans all over the world despite being defeated in the finals. The girls' post-game celebrations, dancing to famous Jamaican music, endeared them to English spectators in the packed venues every time they played.
Driven by the disappointment he faced from not qualifying at the World Athletic Championship, Rasheed Broadbell redeemed himself as the commonwealth champion. He also pulled an upset, clocking a personal best and beating world champion American Grant Holloway at a highly anticipated Diamond League Meet.
We laud all the nominees for repping the country with passion and panache. Sports is part of our ethos as a nation, and the RJR award is one way the country celebrates our athletes and shows appreciation for their dedication and hard work.
Each year, RJR consider a maximum of 10 nominees from each gender. In 2022, the women dominated. Eight contended for the title of sportswoman of the year: Britany Anderson, Shericka Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson Herah, Janieve Russell, and Jhaniele Fowler. Only three men were considered for sportsman of the year: Rasheed Broadbell, Jaheel Hyde, and Rovman Powell.
Shelly-Ann and Rasheed came out tops, but everyone nominated were winners in our eyes.