Terrence Chinnery, a softball and baseball coach in the Virgin Islands was recognised as the BVI's 2012 CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank Unsung Hero for his selfless drive and vision in pursuit of securing the best future for the young people that come under his wing.
At a luncheon hosted by the bank last Thursday, Mr, Chinnery, affectionately known as 'Chino', received a certificate, gifts and a $6000 cheque to assist with his goal of guiding young people into adulthood as socially and emotionally well-adapted, independent and productive citizens.
Guests at the luncheon learned of Mr. Chinnery's dedication to his cause beyond his role of coach and team manager of the softball and baseball programmes in the BVI.
Terrence Chinnery, the 2012 CIBC FirstCaribbean Unsung Hero for the BVI.
Photo Credit: Provided
Testimonials from the young men and women who have benefitted from his efforts lauded many aspects of his youth support, from personally financing the travel and accommodation expenses of sports scouts, coaches and players, to his pursuit of tertiary academic opportunities for his players. Past players and their parents also spoke of Mr. Chinnery's unquantifiable value as a father figure in their lives.
Mr. Chinnery moved to the BVI from St. John, USVI in 1997 after continous attempts by softball pioneer, Mrs. Eileen Parsons, to persuade him to bring his talents back to his land of birth.
Since his arrival, Mr. Chinnery has worked with boys and girls from ages 3-12 in the little leagues and with the middle to high school students in the sports programmes that he runs after school.
Mr. Chinnery sees softball and baseball as a means to an end. An accomplished ball player in his own right, he nurtures a network of US and Caribbean coaches and recruiters to create opportunities for promising players to use their talents to secure places and scholarships in colleges.
Through his connections with teams, coaches, and colleges in the USA and the Caribbean, Mr Chinnery sets up games for his players and alerts college team scouts of players with the potential to be recruited as athlete students. His efforts have seen scores of his players move into tertiary education followed by gainful employment where they might otherwise have slipped through the cracks.
It is Mr Chinnery´s hope that they in turn will help to guide others in similar need.
"I never expected a reward for what I do," said Mr. Chinnery. "The satisfaction is in seeing the youngsters reaching their potential through whatever mentorship and support I can offer. They have become my de facto children and it gives me pleasure to see their offspring attend the same programmes that helped them on their way."
Speaking during the presentation of awards, Valentine Fraser, Senior Corporate Manager for CIBC FirstCaribbean said, "Today´s celebration is a reminder to CIBC FirstCaribbean that our decision to launch Unsung Heroes in 2003 was a wise one. Let there be no argument that each opportunity to honour a hero during the last nine years has added positive meaning to who we are as a bank.
"We have seen a cadre of brilliant people using their own resources, their time and effort to make the Caribbean a better place. They are ambassadors of the power of humanity, empathy and sympathy. They are inspirational examples of what each one of us is capable of. They reach out to communities in need and through it all, not one has asked for recognition or personal reward."
The annual, community-oriented programme runs from April until the end of June and encourages the public to nominate individuals who dedicate their time to improving the quality of life for others without personal gain or recognition. Nomination forms were available from the bank's branches in Tortola and Virgin Gorda and online at www.cibcfcib.com.
This year's judging panel included external members Mr. A.O. Shirley, Mrs. Patsy Lake and Dr. Karl Dawson, while the members from within the bank included Mrs. Faye Wheatley, Mrs. Octavia Alexander and Mr Darren Vanterpool.
The local coordinator was Mrs. Dorolyn Belfon, Corporate Sales Associate who was assisted by colleagues Ms. Keisha D´Aguiar, Ms. Kay-Ann Maduro-Dunkley, Mr. Mathew Hazell and Mrs. Geraldeen Johnson.