The 2013 Cycling Championships ended with an abundance of promise for the future and the assurance that the sport is in capable hands. Over thirty-four participants from nineteen schools proved their mettle at the event in five categories.
Many were witness to the emerging talent of Hayley Joseph of Dame Pearlette and Nya Polius of Ave Maria with their respective victories in the female 10 and under category along with Olivia Descartes from Clendon Mason in the 15 to 16. In the male 10 and under Kevin Victor, Patience Combined and Jeannot Walters, Carmen Renee took the top spots, 11 to 12 Jordan John, Carmen Renee and Kermani Evans, Mon Repos Combined earned titles, and 13 to 14 Damian Joseph, Clendon Mason and Janick Paul, St Mary’s College stood tall. In the 15 to 16 Male Calixte Williams, St Mary’s College and Andrew Norbert, Anse Ger Secondary captured the titles.
For the first showing of an Interschool Cycling Championships, St. Lucia Cycling Association President Cyril H Mangal was encouraged by the display, sensing the great potential for growth. However he pointed out that this will not happen without the support of the schools and teachers accompanying the participants from the school. He lamented the fact that communication was not effective in getting to potential cyclists and that some schools could not find teachers to go with the kids. Most kids rode with the support of their parents and on their own. Mangal indicated that he has “no doubt that there are many more kids who are willing to participate had they been aware. This was confirmed by the number of parents who said they were unaware of the event. It is therefore either a lack of effective communication or a lack of interest by those who are supposed to communicate this to the students”.
He continued, “We cannot continue without fully supporting our young people and expect success. Sports has many social benefits to society and if we cannot find the time to support the kids at this level. Yet we complain about the deviant behaviour of our youth today, when our lack of support and love are the cause of it.”
Mangal made special mention of the Ministry of Youth and Sports for their support and Cuban coach Ramon Miguel Leal, who has been working with some of the schools.
The event drew students from St. Mary’s College, Bocage Secondary, Micoud Secondary, Gros Islet Secondary, Corinth Secondary, Vieux-Fort Comprehensive Campus A and B, Clendon Mason Memorial, Choiseul Secondary and Anse Ger Secondary. The primary schools participants came from Camille Henry, Ave Maria, Carmen Rene, Methodist, Dame Pearlette, Mon Repos Combined, Patience Combined, Anglican and Richfond Combined.