On Wednesday, during its cocktail hour, Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa celebrated the performance of two star athletes, as well as Saint Lucia’s Beach Soccer team which won gold in the Commonwealth Youth Games.
“Last year Saint Lucia had a small breakthrough moment for the first time to qualify for the finals; Levern Spencer qualified for the Olympic finals and placed sixth overall,” Sanovnik Destang, Executive Director of Bay Gardens commented.
The Commonwealth Youth Games were held in the Bahamas and though these athletes may not be Olympians (yet), they gave Saint Lucia a wonderful surprise.
“These games were originally scheduled to be right here in Saint Lucia but due to limited resources we were not able to actually hold it here,” Mr Destang went on to say. “It really makes you wonder how many more goals we would have picked up if the Commonwealth Games were actually hosted here in Saint Lucia as planned.”
Despite the island’s limited resources, the Managing Director said the athletes had gone out and made the nation proud.
Julian Alfred qualified for the women’s semi final 100m sprint and secured a record-making first place in the first heat with a set time of 12.02 seconds. She was also the first person to cross the finish line during the finals with the record time of 11.56 seconds.
At the age of 16, Julian Alfred is the first Saint Lucian athlete to achieve a gold medal in the women’s 100m sprint.
“Saint Lucia prior to that only had silver and bronze medals – two medals ever at the Commonwealth Games. She got our first gold medal,” Sanovnik Destang emphasised. “We’re very proud of Julian and we want her to keep inspiring her generation.”
Julian’s teammate, Kimani Alphonse, was also recognised for placing sixth in the women’s 200m sprint with a set of time 27.10 seconds.
Furthermore, Saint Lucia’s Beach Soccer team qualified for the finals despite the fact that they lost to Trinidad and Tobago, 4-3 in the preliminary round. But, that did not stop the soccer team from defeating Trinidad and Tobago in the finals with an impressive score of 6-2.
“When you listen to the story of the coach and how little support they had, and how little they had to work with in terms of resources,” Destang remarked, “you have to really be proud of these young men for doing so well and getting a gold medal.”
Bay Gardens Resorts awarded the athletes with certificates to ‘honour their achievements and encourage them to continue thriving, and making Saint Lucia proud’.