Britain's Ahmad to receive Appleton Award
A new award has been added to the 2018 edition of the prestigious RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation's National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
The award is named in honour of a pioneering Jamaican woman, legendary Master Blender Dr Joy Spence, and will be presented to the guest speaker at the annual gala at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel tonight.
The award, a special blend, is fully customised by the master blender herself to be reflective of the recipient's personality.
The first recipient of the award, which is dubbed the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Pioneering Award, is the British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Asif Ahmad, who will address this year's function. The high commissioner lauded Spence on her accomplishments while sharing that he was looking forward to receiving the award.
"It is a unique experience to have a special blend of rum based on the personality of an individual. For me to be the first to receive in person, the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Pioneering Award, is beyond joy," Ahmad said.
The award is named in recognition of the achievements of the trailblazer that Spence is. A trained chemist, Spence has achieved a number of firsts in her long and illustrious career, which started in 1981 at J. Wray & Nephew Limited, where she joined as chief chemist. She was the first woman to be named master blender in the spirits industry in 1997.
In announcing the new award in honour of Spence, chairman of J. Wray & Nephew Limited and J. Wray & Nephew Foundation Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence noted that this marks the 58th year of partnership between the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation and J. Wray & Nephew.
"We have sought to renew this long-standing partnership with the addition of a special award to the guest speaker at the annual gala," Lawrence said.
Lawrence described Spence as "a woman of excellence and a trailblazer," characteristics that are embodied within the nation's athletes.
"Joy is our Usain Bolt of spirits, and the Appleton Estate variants are her Olympic medals," Lawrence said.