“It has not been all smooth sailing. There have been many potential pitfalls along the way. There were times when I felt like giving up, but having surrounded myself with the right people and using my formula, I kept on going and today looking back I’m glad I did continue.”
Many are unaware of the trials and tribulations of St Lucia’s world class high jumper and Olympian Levern Spencer. In the opening paragraph Spencer gave an inkling of what she went through to attain a level of success unparallel by any female athlete here.
Normally, we would never have had any insight into the difficulties she experienced while representing St Lucia at numerous international competitions—that’s because this unique and gifted athlete never complained. However, Saturday evening during the launching of Levern London 2012 at Bay Gardens Beach Resort she felt compelled to do so.
Levern London 2012 involves major support from corporate sponsors, for Spencer to compete at her best during the rest of her career, with particular focus on the 2012 Olympics. During the evening the following sponsors pledged their support to this endeavour which they hope will culminate with St Lucia’s first ever medal at the Summer Olympic Games: Lime St Lucia, St Lucia Tourist Board, First National Bank of St Lucia, Financial Investment and Consultancy Services (FICS), St Lucia Olympic Committee, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Paradise Water and Peter & Company. Representatives from each of the mentioned sponsors, gave brief remarks and congratulated Spencer on what has been an outstanding career.
Sad to say, but on this night when one of their own was being honoured, not one official with the St Lucia Athletics Association was in attendance.
During his brief remarks, Minister of Sports, Lenard Montoute, gave his full endorsement to Levern London 2012. He referred to it as “a remarkable undertaking that is long overdue in sports in St Lucia.”
He told the gathering that for a long time Spencer has been playing her part and it’s about time we played our part.
“We as a nation have finally come to the realization that we to have to play our part,” said Montoute. “We have to provide the support, not just lip service but tangible support. That’s why I am pleased to see the kind of support that is being rendered here today. I am sure this support will take Levern all the way to London and over the bar that will provide us with our first Olympic medal in 2012.”
During her speech, Spencer made no predictions about this year’s Olympics but instead focused on the momentous occasion. Needless to say she was overwhelmed by corporate St Lucia coming together for one common goal.
“Tonight I feel honoured and I am humbled by this initiative,” said Spencer. “Not because I don’t think I am deserving of it, but more for the pleasure of being the beneficiary of what I believe should be done for anyone who has shown great promise and has given to this country.”
This 27-year-old fit the bill like no one else has. Besides great promise which she’s fulfilled time and time again, there’s been 13 years (and counting) of unbroken representation to this country at various competitions.
Spencer who is a multi Sportswoman of the Year, is the first to tell you she could never have achieved great heights without a supporting cast which included her first coach at Entrepot Secondary School Gregory Lubin, Manager Gregory Dixon, her family, St Lucia Athletics Association, St Lucia Olympic Committee, Government of St Lucia and initial sponsors First National Bank and LIME.
However, for this deeply religious athlete they all pale in comparison when it comes to her formula for success, which has and always will be the Almighty God. The other ingredients are hard work and discipline.
Spencer is excited about the London 2012 initiative, put together by her management team headed by Dixon.
In closing she told the gathering: “There is no doubt in my mind that this initiative will assist in a big way as I continue what I have been doing over the years. Giving of my very best to be a good ambassador for the sport of track and field and for my country and doing what it takes to ensure the flag of St Lucia is proudly flown around the world.”