Sprinter Michael Frater is the 2014 recipient of the Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence. Frater was honoured at the annual Courtney Walsh Award ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on October 16 but unable to attend due to injury. The award was received on his behalf by Laurel Smith, a member of his management team.
The other nominees considered for the award were: netballer Romelda Aiken; Olympian Novlene Williams Mills and Boxer Tsetsi Davis.
A 100 metres specialist, Frater won the Pan American Games 100m gold medal – in 2003 in Santo Domingo followed by silver at the 2005 World Championships of Athletics in Helsinki, Finland in 10.05 seconds and has recorded personal bests of 6.64 (60m) in Iowa, USA in March 2002; 20.63 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA in 2002; and 9.88 in Lausanne, Switzerland in June 2011.
Most of his major victories have come as a team member of Jamaica’s 4×100 metres relay units. With a heart and performances way beyond his stature, Frater has managed to pep up the power on Jamaica’s relay teams with some breathtaking running through the years.
As part of the Jamaican 4×100 team that set the World and Olympic Record on August 11, 2012, at the London Olympics, Frater ran his customary second leg. His split was timed at 8.9 seconds, only surpassed that night by the phenomenal Usain Bolt, the 100 and 200 metres world record holder who clocked 8.8 seconds on the anchor leg.
Michael Frater has also scored big off the track. He was bestowed with the National Award, Order of Distinction (Officer Rank), in recognition of his achievements at the 2008 Olympics; inducted into the Boyd Anderson Ring of Honour and nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year award, as a member of the 2008 Jamaica Olympic sprint team.
The Courtney Walsh Award for Excellence, which was inaugurated in 2005, is administered by the CHASE Fund, and recognises outstanding achievement in a sport; representation at the national level, notable community service and a high level of integrity, national pride, dedication, decorum, humility and discipline both on and off the field.
Past winners of the Award include cricketer James ‘Jimmy’ Adams; Olympic Gold Medalist and Hurdler Deon Hemmings-McCatty ; netball champion Elaine Davis; cricketer Nehemiah Perry; Brigitte Foster-Hylton – hurdler and 2009 IAAF World Champion; Aleen Bailey, 2004 Olympic Gold medallist; hurdler, Dr. Neil Gardner; Olympian, Veronica Campbell Brown and cricketer, Wavell Hinds.