Car­olyn Pati­no, prin­ci­pal of La Pas­to­ra Gov­ern­ment School, was the proud­est woman in T&T af­ter yes­ter­day’s At­lantic Youth Ex­cel­lence in Sport (YES) Awards were pre­sent­ed at the Hilton Ball­room, Port-of-Spain.

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Pati­no, who has mar­shalled her school, was beam­ing af­ter La Pas­to­ra took the third award at stake, the “Fair Play” award.

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A hush de­scend­ed on the ball­room when the nom­i­nees for the “Team of the Year” were be­ing an­nounced and again La Pas­to­ra was the nom­i­nee for foot­ball. The San­ta Cruz-based school was again ad­judged cham­pi­on af­ter its ter­rif­ic per­for­mance over last year’s foot­ball sea­son when it cre­at­ed his­to­ry by be­com­ing the first school to move up from the Un­der-13 rank and win the U-15 cat­e­go­ry.

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An­nounc­er Keron “Tim Tim” Boodoos­ingh then called the girls’ “Youth Cham­pi­on of the Year” and it was crick­eter Saman­tha Ho­sein emerg­ing as the win­ner.

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How­ev­er, the best was yet to come for La Pas­to­ra as the gath­er­ing lis­tened to the nom­i­nees for the boys’ “Youth Cham­pi­on of the Year”. It looked very com­pet­i­tive with Alexan­der Chase, who had a fan­tas­tic year with crick­et, Niko­lai Black­man, who was nom­i­nat­ed for his out­stand­ing per­for­mances for swim­ming, James Castagne-Hay for his triathlon ex­ploits over the year and the Port-of-Spain and En­vi­rons speed­ster Jor­dan Noel, who was ex­pect­ed to go close.

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How­ev­er, pan­de­mo­ni­um broke out in the ball­room when the mas­ter of cer­e­mo­ny, Tim Tim, stat­ed that Lin­dell Sween of La Pas­to­ra was the boys’ cham­pi­on. The La Pas­to­ra team led by its prin­ci­pal and staff had every rea­son to cel­e­brate af­ter cap­tur­ing three of the six awards ups for grabs at the gala cer­e­mo­ny.

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“I am proud as could be but hum­bled by the suc­cess,” said Pati­no. “I have tried to bring our school to a point where all our stu­dent/ath­letes are holis­ti­cal­ly de­vel­oped and I hope this will give us even more mo­men­tum to con­tin­ue. These award does not re­al­ly be­long to me; it be­longs to the peo­ple of La Pas­to­ra and San­ta Cruz by ex­ten­sion. I must thank my staff and par­ents for all their sup­port in mak­ing our school be where we stand to­day – true cham­pi­ons.”

Ear­li­er at the func­tion which in­clud­ed some of the At­lantic Sports am­bas­sadors T&T and West In­dies women’s crick­eter Meris­sa Aguilleira, Olympic javelin­cham­pi­on Keshorn Wal­cott and sprint­ers Jereem Richards and Khal­i­fa St Fort, Joy Gabriel-Nep­tune was ad­judged the “Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Year”. She was nom­i­nat­ed by track and field.

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Ath­let­ics did the dou­ble when Kurt Cruick­shank of the Ca­roni Ed­u­ca­tion Dis­trict was named as the “Coach of the Year”.

Giancarlo Pietri

Aguilleira, a for­mer West In­dies women’s cap­tain, gave the au­di­ence much to think about when she spoke about her ex­pe­ri­ences as a young woman at­tempt­ing to make a dream come true.

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The T&T cap­tain said, “It was tough. Get­ting to the top will nev­er be easy. How­ev­er, I nev­er gave up on my dream and to­day I am very proud of my ac­com­plish­ments at the na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al lev­el. Ath­letes nev­er give up on their dreams.”

Young en­ter­tain­er Aaron Dun­can closed off the event, per­form­ing this sea­son’s Car­ni­val con­tri­bu­tion “Back To Ba­sic” for the au­di­ence.

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