Three Netball stars honoured on Nevis
(l) Cresentia ‘Pipsin’ O’Flaherty (c) Jeannette Grell-Hull (r) Lydia Thompson-Claxton
ZIZ Sports News…Sept 20, 2011 – At a very impressive ceremony held at the Grell-Hull-Stevens Netball Complex on Friday 16th September, three of Nevis’ finest Netballers were honoured. The three honourees were Cresentia ‘Pipsin’ O’Flaherty, Lydia Thompson-Claxton and Jeannette Grell- Hull.
Cresentia was the first Netballer from Nevis to make it to the West Indies Netball team, while Lydia Thompson-Claxton was the second to make it to the prestigious team and actually went on to successfully captain that team on a tour to England and Wales. Jeannette Grell-Hull on the other hand, even though not quite making it to the West Indies team, served Nevis tremendously as a super goal shooter and later worked assiduously to be recognized as one of the finest sport administrators on the island.
The ceremony was chaired by Halstead ‘Sooty’ Byron who referred to the honourees as ‘sheroes’.
Premier of Nevis, Hon. Joseph Parry in his address singled out the three individuals for special praise. He noted that Cresentia in her early years was overshadowed by her older sister Theolief O’Flaherty who he described as having ‘flare and style’, but Cresentia persisted with her game to become the ultimate star as a West Indies center court player.
Lydia Thompson-Claxton he referred to as making even greater heights over the last year as she battled with breast cancer, than all of her achievements as a Netballer. He praised her resilience, strong will and faith in God and noted that she is an example for the women of Nevis.
The Premier also referred to Jeannette Grell-Hull as having ‘the strength of an elephant and the bravery of a lion’. He lauded her efforts as a former player and Administrator of the game of Netball on the island.
Hon. Hensley Daniel, Minister of Sports, gave an overview of his Administration’s commitment to honour local heroes. He noted that too often heroes were recognized, who people did not even know. He stressed that the emphasis now is on recognizing heroes who ‘walk the streets with us and are a part of our society’. He congratulated the honourees and reminded the spectators present that there were many more ceremonies of a similar nature to come and stated that everyone should adopt the ‘me too’ philosophy which basically implies that ‘once you can, I can too’.
Vice President of the Nevis Netball Association, Ms. Hazeldine Lewis also made brief remarks and noted that she was longing for the day when Netball could regain the glory days that it once held on the island.
Entertainment was provided by Leroy Parris Jr on pan and Curtis Morton Sr rendered a poem which served to highlight the exploits of the honourees…
Profiles were read on the three stars as follows:
• Mrs. Janet Maloney read the profile on Lydia Thompson-Claxton
• Mrs Mariney Netwon presented the profile on Cresentia ‘Pipsin’ O’Flaherty
• Ms Vera Herbert presented the profile on Jeannette Grell-Hull.
The featured ladies then had the chance to respond and all of them thanked God, family members and friends for helping them throughout their Netball careers and beyond.
The final moments saw the unveiling of the signs. The Eastern section of the main pavilion has been named the ‘Lydia Claxton Pavilion’.
The Western section of the main pavilion has been named the ‘Cresentia O’ Flaherty Pavilion’.
Additionally, the players’ pavilion is now named the ‘Jeannette Grell-Hull Pavilion’.
The persons present were then treated to light refreshments.