Olympic Luncheon a treat for some

Olympic Solidarity Scholarship recipients from Front Row left to right: Sportswoman of the Year Levern Spencer, Stephanie Devaux Lovell, Junior Sportswoman of the Year Siona Huxley.  Back row: Albert Reynolds, President of the St Lucia Olympic Committee Richard Peterkin.  Missing, Erma Gene Evans.

Olympic Solidarity Scholarship recipients from Front Row left to right: Sportswoman of the Year Levern Spencer, Stephanie Devaux Lovell, Junior Sportswoman of the Year Siona Huxley. Back row: Albert Reynolds, President of the St Lucia Olympic Committee Richard Peterkin. Missing, Erma Gene Evans.

The St Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) looked back on the highlights of the past year and announced plans for 2011, at their fourth Annual Luncheon last Friday at the Pier Restaurant (Sandals Halcyon). The luncheon was a real treat for a five athletes who have the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, high on their agenda.

Distinguished guests included President of the SLOC, Richard Peterkin; First Vice President, Fortuna Belrose; Second Vice President, Brian Louisy; General Secretary, Alfred Emmanuel; Multi Senior Sportswoman of the Year and Olympian, Levern Spencer; Junior Sportswoman of the Year, Siona Huxley; Junior Olympians Stephanie Devaux Lovell, Albert Reynolds; Presidents and Coaches of National Federations. Master of Ceremonies was SLOC Public Relations Officer, Ryan O’Brian.

After welcoming everyone, Peterkin said: “The main purpose of these luncheons is to express our gratitude and appreciation to stakeholders who helped us during the course of the year to achieve our objectives. The government, our affiliates, their athletes and in particular the media.”

Peterkin referred to 2010 as one of the busiest for the SLOC. He pointed out that even though the overall results were “a little mixed,” the SLOC was able to assist almost all their member federations and a large number of athletes with courses, activities and attendance at a number of regional and international competitions. He mentioned the Central American and Caribbean Games (Puerto Rico) under the management of Cyril Mangal, where Spencer was able to retain her gold medal in ladies high jump.

The inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (August 2010) under the management of Chef de Mission, Jamie Peterkin, saw four athletes represent St Lucia in athletics swimming, boxing and sailing. The SLOC President encouraged competitors to try and improve on their performances, so they will be our elite athletes of the future.

At the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, St Lucia was represented in athletics, swimming, table tennis, cycling, lawn tennis and boxing under Chef de Mission, Teddy Matthews. Spencer was St Lucia’s top performer coming away with a bronze medal in ladies high jump.

Peterkin pointed out that some of the results and performances were a little less than expected.

In addition to attending those competitions, the SLOC President remarked that officials attended a number of assemblies of Pan American Sports of the Commonwealth Games Federation, which clearly indicated that the future looks good and the Olympic Movement is stronger than it ever was before.

Peterkin had the opportunity to attend the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, and during that time participated in the meetings of the IOC Finance Commission and Olympic Solidarity Commission.

Shifting gears to the current year, Peterkin said: “We do not have as many sports as we had before, so the emphasis is probably going to be more on preparation for the two significant events—the Pan American Games in Mexico in October and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.”

One of the biggest announcements at this SLOC luncheon, has to do with St Lucia’s successfully bid to host the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017. Peterkin considers this a milestone for St Lucia to host such a prestigious competition but cautioned everyone that it is not a done deal.

“As I indicated before,”said Peterkin. “It requires support of both the government and opposition and we need to show that we are in a position to put on those games by having the facilities and organization.”

This year’s Commonwealth Youth Games takes place on the Isle of Man in September.

It seems Peterkin saved the best of last. He announced that five St Lucians who are classified as Elite Athletes and nominated by their respective National Federations, are recipients of Olympic Solidarity Scholarships to assist in their preparation and qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The athletes are Spencer (high jump), Erma Gene Evans (javelin), Reynolds (javelin), Lovell (sailing), Huxley (swimming).

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