The Beausejour Cricket Grounds served as the backdrop for the official launch of a series of sports administration training workshops organized in collaboration with the National Lotteries Authority, the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports and the St Lucia National Youth Council. In attendance were representatives from CAGE and Canadian Bank Note (CBN), executive members of the NYC, youth and sports officers, board members, staff of the National Lotteries Authority, and administrators from all districts.
NLA board representative, Dennis James, who also served as master of ceremonies expressed his satisfaction with the response from the various organizations involved.
“It is indeed a significant day in the history of youth and sports in St Lucia when we can witness the collaboration of these three organizations to implement and execute such a worthy program. The National Youth Council and the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports have constantly clamored for better club and administrative structure within our organizations.”
James continued: “We have heard the constant pleas from our sponsors for program planning and the successful implementation of these programs by our organizations. And from the walls of the NLA we continue to make requests for better project proposals from those who seek sponsorship for their various projects and activities. With these concerns in mind it is imperative that a series of workshops be launched to answer the calls of these respective agencies and to present our clubs and organizations with the tools to function better.”
President of the National Youth Council, Timothy Ferdinand, shared his hope that St Lucia would capitalize on the many opportunities that the sports industry presents.
“I think the time has come for sports to finally be used as a real tool for development. Not just sports development or sports competitions but actual economic development in St Lucia. We’re not just trying to raise one or two Olympic athletes. Sports can offer a lot more to St Lucia.”
Ferdinand also praised the National Lotteries Authority’s efforts to ensure that clubs on the island are better equipped to request funding for projects and events.
“It is not often that you find a funding agency trying to teach you how to get money from them and I think that is what the NLA is doing. They find that the proposals are not of acceptable enough quality to guarantee acceptance and approval. If young people are not educated and if our clubs are not educated and empowered to write those proposals properly they cannot access what is there for them.”
Ferdinand added: “As the National Youth Council, we are very happy that we did not have to beg to get the money, we did not have to try to source funds for these workshops. At the right time the NLA came across seeing the very same need and we will partner from now on in that regard.”
Michael St Catherine, Chairman of the National Lotteries Authority echoed Ferdinand’s sentiment and took it a step further by explaining the motivation behind the company’s decision to undertake the initiative.
“NLA is moving away from merely being an organization giving donations and we’re looking a little deeper into what happens outside. We are concerned about the clubs, the associations, and the groups. How they function. We recognize there are interim bodies without a structure so they need some assistance in getting themselves organized,” he explained.
St Catherine expects participants to receive a wealth of valuable and effective training from the team that has been assembled, which includes some of the most experienced professionals in the industry.
“We have some good facilitators who I think will impart some good information because these guys have been involved in sports administration, club administration, and ministry administration. So these guys, they know. And thereafter we have a better product coming to us for funding, we get a better structure coming to us in organizing activities for the development of youth and sports in St Lucia.”
Speaking for the Minister of Youth, Development and Sports, Jim Xavier reiterated the ministry’s support and pointed out the necessity for continuous training in the sports administration field. He implored participants to glean as much as possible from the workshop in order to aid in the development of our most precious resource: the youth.
“ I must point out that I am noticing a resurgence in youth and sports development and this series of workshops is extremely timely and will facilitate the harnessing and development of the leadership skills of the many new entrants into the youth and sports development movement,” he said. Xavier also offered a slight twist on a popular quote made famous by the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, while urging St Lucians to become more involved in their respective areas.
“Too many times too many people sit idly by and allow the bulk of the work to be undertaken by just a few. Ask what can you do for your community and not what your community can do for you.”
The workshops will be divided into four geographical categories to ensure that all clubs and organizations have an opportunity to participate. The first session begins on June 1.