National Federations (NF’s) and associations took the opportunity to promote their sport on Sunday during the Olympic Day festivities organized by the St Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC). Although there are 24 NF’s not all of them took the opportunity to not only promote their sport but keep themselves in good standing with the SLOC. There could be consequences.
This time around the SLOC went all out to make this event which celebrates the Olympic Movement and Olympiansm bigger than ever by staging it at Beausejour, where the Indoor Facility, Beausejour Cricket Ground and National Tennis Centre could be put to good use by the various NF’s.
Commenting on the day’s activities President of the SLOC Fortuna Belrose said: “I think generally the day went well, perhaps not according to plan but I think generally we as an Olympic Committee are extremely happy with what transpired. The morning’s walk was very good. It was the first time the SLOC had gone out in a big way to promote our walk and I think we had well over 500 walkers.”
In terms of the new venue for the event Belrose had mixed emotions. She told me: “As an Olympic Committee in terms of the venue here we had quite a large space to work with. It is something we have to revisit in terms of how we structure the program next year but generally we are satisfied that the national sports federations played their part to make the event what we wanted it to be.”
Public participation and support has always been a concern and this year was no exception. “I think its something we need to work on said Belrose. The walk was fine. People came out to patronize it but in terms of coming in here [Beausejour] sitting down and watching the various events, I don’t think people have the patience yet.”
There are other concerns. General Secretary of the SLOC, Alfred Emmanuel, expressed dissatisfaction with NF’s employing of what can best be described as a hit and run tactic when it came to presentations.
“We are trying to keep people at the venue for the entire day but most persons think they just simply have to come do their thing then depart,” said Emmanuel. “We have to work on that to make them realize it is a whole day activity and there is need not only to get their sporting aspect out of the way and depart but to remain and support the others.”
NF’s not part of the Olympic Day celebrations had better beware. When asked if there would be any sanctions or penalties for NF’s who did not take participate in the Olympic Day festivities Emmanuel replied: “No sanctions, no penalties but I can tell you if the pie [SLOC funding] is extremely thin, we will surely have to look at that and take it into consideration when we are making awards.”