Golden Arrow Award at my age is extra special - Leon Johnson

By May 27, 2019

Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson said it is an extra special feeling to have received the Golden Arrow of Achievement at such a young age. He commended his family and several past West Indies greats for being instrumental to his success.

“They motivate me daily. They also played the most important part in my career,” he said of his wife Carolyn, his children, as well as his mother, Inez Fernandez, who works in shipping in St. Maarten – for being the foundation for his success.

The 31-year-old batsman received the award over the weekend for his service to the sport of cricket, during Guyana’s Independence celebrations.

The Golden Arrow of Achievement is the fourth highest award in the Order of Service of Guyana.

It is awarded to any citizen of Guyana, who has performed an outstanding and specific act of service or achievement of an exceptional nature, or is given for long and dedicated service of a consistently high standard in responsible offices, local government services, social and voluntary services, industry or trade unions, or in any other area of public service.

Johnson who has played in 107 First Class matches for Guyana since he made his debut in 2004, scoring 5718 runs at an average of 32.12. Johnson, who captained the West Indies U19 team at the World Cup in 2005/2006, also led the Guyana Jaguars to all five PCL Regional Four-Day Cricket titles.

He has also played nine Tests for the West Indies during which he scored 403 runs at an average of 25.16. His highest score in Tests is 66.

“It is very special to receive the national award. What I think made it more special for me is that at the age of 31 while I am still very active in my cricketing career is when I got it. Usually, you associate these awards with older folk who have given 25, 30, 40 years of service in their field. So, at the very young age of 31 while still active in my career, makes it a bit more special for me,” he told Sportsmax.TV.

He paid tribute to the many people whom he said played significant roles in his career to date.

“There have been quite a few people who would have influenced my career. Harold Dhanraj and Ivor Mendonca of the Georgetown Cricket Club. Mr Dhanraj, coach of the junior cricket team and Mendonca, manager of the first division team. Those two guys really influenced me at the start of my career,” he said.

Johnson also singled out former West Indies fast bowler Rayon King.

“I remember him telling another Guyana player; Guyana was playing at Bourda and I came in and the guy asked him ‘Who is this youngster’ and Rayon said ‘This guy is going to play Test cricket’. I will never forget that.”

He expressed his admiration for former Test cricketer Ramnaresh Sarwan, whom he said played a major role in his development and still continues to do so, as well as West Indies icon Shivnarine Chanderpaul; his trainer Kez Yisreal and Leslie Romalo, a senior member of the GCC, whom he said believes “in me more than I believe in myself.”

He said he could not leave out the contributions of his Guyana Jaguars teammates to his success as a member and leader of the team that has dominated the Regional 4-Day competition for the past half decade.

“While the spotlight might have been on me receiving this award, I can’t forget my teammates past and present,” he said. “It’s not all about me. This year I was at the forefront as the captain but without such good players, players to comprehend the things that I come up with and being able to execute them, this wouldn’t have been possible. So I would like to acknowledge them in my moment of glory because all I would have achieved was because of them.”

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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