There will be three new awards categories in the annual Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association Awards Banquet.
NMASA will now recognize the Team of the Year, Technical Official of the Year, and Administrator of the Year besides honoring the top male and female athletes, student athletes, and best coach for 2011. The new awards were approved during the NMASA board meeting early this month.
NMASA president Michael White is requesting various sports associations to prepare their nominations for all the categories for the 2011 NMASA Awards Banquet, as selection will be made in January next year.
For the Team of the Year, the Saipan Major Baseball League Association is expected to nominate the CNMI Baseball Team that won the gold medal in the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia. The CNMI sluggers claimed the gold medal after beating Guam in the finals, 8-4.
Venue and date for the 2011 NMASA Awards Banquet have yet to be decided, but it is usually held in February.
Last year, the list of top awardees include Yvonne Bennett, Rezne Wong, Christian Miller, Liamwar Rangamar, and Tony Rogolifoi.
Bennette and Wong were named 2010 Athletes of the Year for their successful campaigns in the 2010 Micronesian Games, while Miller and Rangamar were selected 2010 Student Athletes of the Year for their strong showings in on and off-island competitions. Rogolifoi was cited for helping the CNMI advance to the finals of the baseball competition in the 2010 Micro Games in Palau.
Also honored in the 2010 NMASA Awards Banquet was Tino Olopai, who was inducted to the CNMI Hall of Fame for his outstanding performance in basketball, volleyball, softball, and baseball in 1960s and 70s.
Election of the Class 2011 of the CNMI Hall of Fame will also take place in January. However, nominations should be submitted in December during the NMASA meeting.