Athletes set for Commonwealth Youth Games

From front row left to right officials and athletes at a recent press conference to announce St Lucia’s team for the Commonwealth Youth Games: Chef de Mission and Swimming Coach, Jamie Peterkin; Athletics Coach, Denise Herman; President of the St Lucia Olympic Committee, Richard Peterkin; First Vice President SLOC, Fortuna Belrose. Back row: Marbeq Edgar, Talberc Poleon, Verlyn Taylor and Ruanko Daniel. Missing Jeannelle Scheper.

St Lucia will be represented by a group of young promising athletes in two sports at the fourth Edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG), taking place on the Isle of Mann from September 7-13.
The team was officially announced at a recent press conference at Olympic House, Barnard Hill. Officials in attendance included President of the St Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC), Richard Peterkin; First Vice President of the SLOC and Regional Vice President for the Commonwealth Games Caribbean,  Fortuna Belrose; Swimming Coach and Chef de Mission, Jamie Peterkin; and Athletics Coach, Denise Herman.
Four of the five athletes representing St Lucia Verlyn Taylor (100 metres), Marbeq Edgar (800 m and 1500 m), Talberc Poleon ( 400 m) and Runako Daniel were all in attendance. The exception was Jeannelle Scheper  (high jump) who is currently training in the United States.
During his opening remarks, Peterkin mentioned that St Lucia would be hosting the CYG in 2017 and in addition to the athletes competing on the Isle of Mann. He also told the gathering “we are going to have observers there, so we get a chance to see how the Games are being run to make sure we put on a great competition here in 2017.”
With that in mind, the SLOC President Peterkin pointed out that the SLOC Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association are focusing now on the next generation of athletes. He made it clear that they are not giving up on our present crop of athletes, but the focus would be on youngsters from eight to 12 who are capable of representing St Lucia at the 2017 Youth Games here.
In explaining the rationale behind that such a move Peterkin said: “We think that’s a legitimate approach. We will always be able to support those athletes who represent us at competitions and federations who ask for support for various programs, but the focus is on the next generation. Because we never, never, want again to hear anyone say, had they received that level of support when they were younger they would have stayed in the sport and would have performed admirably.”
After introducing the track and field athletes who will compete at the CYG, Coach Herman was asked: “How you were able to identify these young athletes and what made them the pick of the crop for the Games.”
She replied: “The athletes have been participating in many local competitions. Some were at CARIFTA and demonstrated they have the ability to perform at the highest level. They have been given the opportunity and I hope they make the best of it and give their all.”
For his part, Coach Peterkin spoke very highly of Daniel who is a two-time Junior Sportsman of the Year and received numerous accolades in swimming.”
The team which flies out of St Lucia September 1, will attend a pre training camp prior to the CYG.

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