When you have a publisher who has won just about every major body-building competition including Mr Universe and Mr World titles (the exception being Mr Olympia) and his wife who also made a name for herself in this discipline, sports is definitely high on the STAR’s agenda.
Oh, and yes, I forgot to mention, it’s definitely in the genes given the fact their son Christian was national swimmer and a former Junior Sportsman of the Year.
As you would expect, publisher Rick Wayne and his wife Mae made sure that body-building got more than its share of coverage when the paper first began covering sports in the late 1980s. At that time body-building was on a high in Saint Lucia, even more so when Rick and Mae became proprietors of Body Inc. located at Gablewoods Mall. Several of Saint Lucia’s top bodybuilders, including Julian Felix, Monica Dudley and Melicia Thomas, trained there.
But, for the STAR, diversity has always been the norm when it comes to sports coverage. Over the years well-known athletes here and abroad from various sports have graced our sports pages.
Some memorable moments included former Heavyweight Champion George Foreman who made Saint Lucia his second home, and was not only featured in the STAR, but also photographed right here for a Sports Illustrated cover.
Then there was British Boxing Champion Frank Bruno who vacationed here. He happily posed for a picture while on the beach at the former Hotel La Toc (now Sandals La Toc). However, he declined to be interviewed.
Speaking of boxing, how many of you remember Boxing in Paradise which featured several professional boxers slugging it out at Beausejour? The STAR was there to feature this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that people are still talking about, albeit for all the wrong reasons.
Another major event which caught our attention and coverage and drew a worldwide viewing audience, was the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup staged in several Caribbean islands including St Lucia.
Jack Nicklaus, who is widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time (sorry Tiger Woods) with a record 18 career major championships, held a press conference at the Saint Lucia Golf and Country Club and mentioned the possibility of designing an 18-hole golf course here. It was a major story at the time.
Closer to home, the STAR has always highlighted the achievements of our athletes in several sports and is on the scene, whenever possible, to capture the moment, even if it means going beyond our borders; for example, being front and centre at the 2012 London Olympics to photograph and report on athletes Levern Spencer (high jump), Danielle Beaubrun (swimming), Beth Lygoe (sailing) and Darvin Edwards (high jump) who competed for Saint Lucia.
In the past the STAR dedicated at least three pages, including a back page, to sports coverage. In an attempt to provide more sports coverage locally, regionally and internationally, the newspaper upped its game on August 9, 2014 with the first publication of Sports & Health Inc. Featured on the first cover were Danny Augustin and Michael Sankar who are well schooled in a form of Brazilian martial arts known as Capoeira.
In subsequent months and years, Sports & Health Inc has featured several prominent athletes on the cover in living colour, including former West Indies Cricket Captain Daren Sammy, multi Sportswoman of the Year, Levern Spencer and many other athletes who are destined to become household names and maybe future Stars.