A Year opening Press Conference by the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee Incorporated (SLOC Inc) recently took place at their headquarters in La Clery. On the agenda was the year 2018 which was historic, given the fact two athletes namely high jumper Levern Spencer and sprinter Julien Alfred accomplished something that had never been done in the history of sports in St Lucia.
President of the SLOC Inc, Fortuna Belrose highlighted the outstanding achievements of both athletes, while reflecting back on the previous year and provided a glimpse of what to look forward to in 2019. “In 2018 we recorded yet another successful year,” remarked Belrose. “I say so because our St Lucian athletes Levern Spencer and Julien Alfred gave us the results we were looking for. In the case of Levern, she stamped her authority at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April winning the gold medal (a first for St Lucia). She also became a three time gold medalist at the CACSO Games – establishing a record for the Games as the longest gold medal winning streak of any event. In Julien’s case she won a silver medal at the most prestigious Sporting Event for juniors, the Youth Olympics. She did so in Argentina last October.”
Success in the way of medals by other athletes at international competitions was disappointing and by the president’s admission “there is much work to be done.” With the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo on the horizon, the SLOC Inc has approved Elite athlete support grants for Sandisha Antoine (triple and long jumper) and Stephanie Devaux Lovel (sailing). The organization has also secured three Olympic Solidarity Scholarships for Luc Cheviere (sailing) Levern Spencer and Janelle Scheper (high jumper). In the case of Alfred, she has secured a scholarship and should be leaving for Texas shortly.
Belrose pointed out that the Pan American Games Organization continues to assist the SLOC Inc and recently made it possible for St Lucia to secure the services of a much needed Project Development Officer [Andy Behl] who was recently introduced to the media. Behl is no stranger to St Lucia have worked here as a Peace Corps volunteer. Furthermore he is experienced internationally having worked for the USOC and the Singapore government in Sports Development. He will work with the SLOC Inc to strengthen its programming and also be available to offer technical services to its members.
Before looking ahead to 2019, Belrose mentioned that Jonathan Everett, an Honorary Member passed away and that the SLOC Inc is working on a project to immortalize him. She also offered condolences to the family of former national tennis player Paul Christopher who recently passed away.
On the bright side, the organization congratulated Immediate Past President and IOC Member Richard Peterkin, who was awarded the prestigious Olympic Order. What’s in store for the SLOC Inc in 2019? If things go according to plan initiatives include: the Development of Strategic Plan 2024, Supporting Building capacity initiatives for their membership, Pan-American Games 2019, tapping on the IOC programs and the execution of Panam Projects.
Here’s hoping 2019 will be even more successful than 2018 and surpass all expections.