The RJR Sports Foundation annually honours outstanding achievements in sport by Jamaican athletes, by nominating a maximum of ten (10) such athletes of each gender for award consideration. By applying the selection criteria enunciated below, the Foundation then selects those whose exploits have been deemed the most worthy, and announces its choices for the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, and their respective Runners-up. In addition, each year, the Foundation may award Certificates of Merit to persons or organisations who have “contributed significantly to the advancement, promotion and support (financial or otherwise) of a sport (or sports) outside of the area of physical participation as a competitor”. The Foundation may recognise excellence by a Jamaican athlete in a sporting discipline qualified for Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Year by offering Category Awards in those
disciplines. At its discretion the Foundation may also choose to recognise outstanding achievement by a National team through the provision of Team Awards at either, or both, the Senior and Junior levels. In the nomination and selection of awardees in all of the above categories, the principal characteristic of the performances and achievements being recognised shall be excellence.
The Foundation is committed to the recognition of excellence, and this shall be the overriding guide governing the deliberations of its Selection Committee.
Eligibility for Nomination
The following general criteria will be applied in determining the eligibility of the persons being nominated in the categories of Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year:
• The nominee must be a Jamaican national, or have represented Jamaica in an
internationally recognised sporting competition.
• The nominee may be either a professional or an amateur
• None of the following shall prejudice the nominee:
• The nominee must not have engaged in any behavior or conduct which in the
opinion of the Foundation has brought their sport into disrepute
Collection of Performance Data
Performance data is collected throughout the review period (January 1st to December 31st, of each year), and this data shall be assessed at the discretion of the Foundation, in the following
a) By a four (4) member Selection Committee comprised of three (3) Directors of the Foundation, including a Chairman appointed by the the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation and, two (2) other Directors selected by the Foundation at the beginning
of the review period, and up to three persons but no less than one person appointed to the Selection Committee by the Foundation Board of Directors from outside of their directorship, selected at the beginning of the review period.
It shall be the responsibility of this Committee to prepare or cause to be prepared reports on the activities of Jamaican athletes competing locally and internationally, and submit these reports to the Directors of the Foundation on at least a bi-monthly basis, throughout the review period. Achievements deemed worthy of inclusion in these periodic reports may come from
any generally recognised sporting discipline. In respect of achievement in the field of sport, outside of physical participation as a competitor, it shall also be within the purview of this Committee to make reports on achievements by Jamaicans which fall into this category.
Recommendation of Nominees
In submitting its penultimate bi-monthly report, the Selection Committee shall submit also, their recommendation regarding nominees in the categories of Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, as well as recommendations regarding recipients of Certificates of Merit, Category Awards and Team Awards. The Foundation reserves the right to add to (or subtract from) any list of nominees agreed on following the submission of this report, as a result of circumstances which may arise in the final two months of the review period, which would materially affect the nomination process. In making their recommendations, the Selection Committee, through its Chairman, must be prepared to offer reasons and advance arguments to support these recommendations.
Order of Recognition
With the clearly understood proviso that any exceptionally brilliant performance, which satisfies all of the conditions for competition stipulated by the governing world body of the sport concerned will be given due appraisal and consideration, the following levels of competition shall take precedence, one over the other, in descending order:
Distinguished achievement or honours earned at the level of the Olympic Games or at the
level of any recognised World Championships, which can bear comparison to the Olympic
Games, or to competitors who have achieved a record world standard in their sport or event
during the review period.
Distinguished achievement or honours earned at the Commonwealth or Pan American level
in their sport during the review period.
Distinguished achievement or honours earned at the Central American and Caribbean level
in their sport during the review period.
Distinguished achievement or honours earned at the local level in their sport during the review
Athletes with Disabilities
Physically and mentally challenged athletes who participate in restricted competition because of their disabilities shall not be eligible for the conventional Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards, but the Foundation may, in its sole discretion, offer special awards in these categories.
Notwithstanding, the above, a disabled athlete who distinguishes one’s self , or earns honours
in open competition, shall be eligible for nomination for Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Year.
Athletes, who distinguish themselves in competition which is restricted as to age, shall not be eligible for the conventional Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards, but the Foundation may, in its sole discretion, offer special awards in these categories.
Notwithstanding, the above, junior athletes who distinguish themselves, or earn honours in open competition, shall be eligible for nomination for Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Year.
Certificates of Merit
The Certificates of Merit to be awarded each year, should be limited to five (5), but the Foundation reserves the right to increase this number in any year of exceptional activity and/ or merit.
Only those persons who have rendered service, or achieved over and beyond what would normally be expected of the holder of their office, shall be considered. Members of the Foundation who satisfy the criteria for consideration for Certificates of Merit
should not be disqualified solely on the basis of their membership of the Foundation
Team Awards may be offered by the Foundation, at its sole discretion, to representative National teams that have achieved excellence in international, regional or local competition during the review period.
In keeping with its mandate of “Recognising Excellence in Sports”, the Foundation shall encourage all governing bodies for sport in Jamaica to submit for its consideration a list of achievements by athletes in their respective sports. The Foundation may then, at its sole discretion, determine the suitability of those nominated by their governing body for Category Awards.
As of 2014, the Foundation introduces Category Awards in Mind Games for male and female participants. In this category, consideration shall be given to achievements in bridge and chess. Nominees achieve qualification for consideration in recognised events at the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA).
Team Awards may be offered by the Foundation, at its sole discretion, to representative National teams who have achieved excellence in international, regional or local competition during the review period.
The Foundation shall each year identify and recognise a Jamaican athlete, administrator, coach or sporting aficionado who has brought fame or positive recognition on an international stage to Jamaica or Jamaican sports at the highest level of endeavour.
The award shall not be made posthumously and must be received by the recipient, barring incapacitation. The Board of the Foundation shall consider candidates and make an announcement for the first time on the evening of the awards event.
The Chairman’s Award is presented annually, at the sole discretion of the Chairman, to a person or persons who have achieved excellence by participation in or service to sport – whether during the review period or over a sustained period of time.
Lifetime Achievement Award
No more than twice every decade, the Foundation shall consider a body of work over the career of an athlete and make a Lifetime Achievement Award to the person. The receipt of any or all other awards from the Foundation shall not be a deterrent from
eligibility for this award. The award shall be presented to a person who has represented Jamaica with excellence and
accomplishments at the highest levels. The achievements of the recipient should be beyond national boundaries.
The ISSA Schoolboy & Schoolgirl Awards
The Foundation will consider and if thought fit, award a male and a female student for outstanding performances in school sports which may or may not include competitions regionally and internationally. The Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) shall forward their nominated candidates to the Selection Committee, along with their ranking of the candidates and a summary of their
achievements. The Selection Committee will determine, in its sole discretion, the persons to be awarded.
People’s Choice Performance of the Year Award
Each year an award will be made in this category based solely on the feedback, on various media platforms, of members of the public to between five (5) and seven (7) sporting performances / moments drawn from sporting action during the period under review.
This is not a matter on which the Selection Committee adjudicates. However, in recognition of growing interactivity in the Information Age, this mechanism is used to encourage viewer, reader, listener and browser participation.