Over fifty students from the St. Lucia Sports Academy have arrived on island on Saturday April 8, 2023 to take part in a week long calendar of activities.
The students will face combined teams from Dominica in various sporting disciplines including cricket, football and track and field.
A welcome ceremony was held at the Cabrits Cruise Ship Berth on Saturday where the students and teachers met with sports officials from Dominica.
Senior Sports Officer, Mr. Yehudi john stated that tours like these will help young athletes create a network among themselves as they grow and develop in their chosen discipline.
“It is hoped that with activities such as these, and this particular tour, that you the youth the future of our Caribbean and the sub region, will use the opportunity to create beneficial networks for our region among yourselves. This tour will not only expose our skills and talents of secondary school aged students for further development in the form of new opportunities in addition to those provided by the sub regional cricket body and the Windward Island School Games,” Mr. John stated.
St. Lucia’s Education Officer, Mr. Francis Jno. Lewis described the week-long tour as a historic event for the St. Lucia Sports Academy. He stated that the sports academy provides an avenue for holistic development of students.
“The Sports Academy is here to let you know that education is one where we provide holistic development for our students. We are moving in a direction where we understand that education is not simply just the acquisition of the grammar type education. We need holistic education for our children. So therefore the Sports Academy, where the students stay there, they live there, they sleep there, they abide there for five days of the week, and we are going to ensure that we nurture these children to a very high level in their sports and also in their academics and what will happen is that the sports will drive their education. That is what we are moving too,” Mr. Jno. Lewis explained.
Meanwhile, Program Director of the St. Lucia Sports Academy, Mr. Victor Conibert explained that Dominica was chosen for this inaugural tour because the two countries understand the importance of creating linkages.
“We have conceptualized this tour of islands and this is our inaugural tour. So we have decided to visit Dominica as the first tour of the St. Lucia Sports Academy, what we hope to be one of many tours to come. We have chosen this island and we are so happy with the reception that we received from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, because I am sure that they have caught on to the realization that it is important that we begin to create linkage sin the Caribbean where sports is concerned and education is concerned. So we are marrying the two and creating the linkages. At the same time we are providing athletes the opportunity to perform at a highest level in the region, and hopefully they will move on to performing at the international level,” Mr. Conibert stated.
Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Oscar George stated that this tour is indicative of the relationship between the two countries. He noted that there are numerous opportunities for sports in the Caribbean but it has to be developed from the grass root level.
“A main priority area for the Ministry of Sports is to ensure that we find opportunities for our young athletes. We all can agree that three are tremendous opportunities for sports in the Caribbean. Back in the days, it was very limited. We only had cricket on a big scale. Now we have success stories in all different type of sports. I am sure that St. Lucia and other countries had delegations at the CARIFTA games so there are opportunities for athletes, regardless of what sport you play. And while we seek to create these opportunities, one of the things we want to do is we want to ensure that sports is developed at the community level, at the grassroots level, in the villages and on the streets,” Hon. George noted.