NATIONAL SPORTS HONOURS 2020 – ROMA SIMONThe Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association sincerely and deeply appreciates the tireless contribution of Ms. Roma Simon and is pleased to salute her in the 2020 National Sports Honour Roll.Ms. Roma Simon, affectionately nicknamed Roma, was a dedicated worker of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association for many, many years serving in the capacities of Dressing Room Attendant and Cleaner.
This she has done since the inaugural test match which was held in Antigua in 1981 until her retirement in 2017.While Roma’s primary employment was as Cleaner at the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG), the stands and all the facilities from 1976, she was available to the Antigua Cricket Association to provide the extra touches as required for the hosting to matches at the ARG and then at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Roma was the trusted individual tasked with cleaning the dressing rooms for International and Regional matches. The players would leave their personal items lying around the room and Roma could be counted on to clean the areas without players feeling their personal items were at risk.Over the years she grew familiar with the special needs players, from visiting and local teams, all of whom referred to her affectionately as Granny. Courtney Walsh recalls fondly Roma’s commitment fondly. “Granny loved her job, but most importantly she loved being around us players. She took special care of us and looked after us very well.
If anything was left in the dressing room, she would protect it as if it was her own until we came back to collect it.” Ms. Simon loved what she did and was wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, earning the respect and admiration of the members of the Association and players alike. She was diligent in the execution of her duties. She took ownership of her role and could be called upon at any time without complaints. As a genuine lover of Country and cricket, it made the performance of her duties so very easy as she always put love of country before anything else. Stanfield ‘Shipwreck’ Joseph fondly recalls Ms. Roma as the consummate all-round supportive team member. “Roma has been around as a cleaner for the ARG way before my time since the 1970s.
My engagement with her start when I became involved with logistics at ARG for cricket around 1982. She would do anything for cricket”.Roma’s support for the sports extended beyond her assigned area of work. Whenever rainy conditions required manual labour to assist in drying out the playing area to facilitate the resumption on matches for all sports (cricket and football) at the ARG, Ms. Simon would be part of the team with sponges, removing water from the surface.She was the main person who provided ancillary support for the Treasury Office at the ARG, she was practically part of the catering support team, sharing in the serving and cleaning up duties with the external catering service without being asked or receiving additional financial compensation.Her dedication infected those around her.
The ABCA Unit remarked “we always had to put our best foot forward and Ms. Simon was the best.”Ms. Roma Simon served the cricket fraternity well working during local, regional or international matches from 1981 to 2017. In parting comments on Ms. Simon Shipwreck indicated that she was infectious and completely enjoyed her duties. In fact, in his words, “Ms Roma, at 86 today whenever I drop by to visit reminds that she is ready for pickup to come assist with her regular duties.”
The temptation to indulge her is only restricted because her night vision is not what it used to be. She is still ‘fit as a fiddle’ and ready.