Sports for All! That’s the tag line of Sports Academy St Lucia, which is a registered charity organization which teamed up with various agencies in order to meet their objective.
Secretary and Executive member for the Sports Academy, Ann-Marie Joseph feels sports should be available no matter where you come from, your background or ability. With that in mind the organization has aligned themselves with CARE, St Lucia Crisis Centre, Upton Gardens Girls Centre and New Beginnings Transit Home, to provide not only sports programs, but training on healthy lifestyles and career opportunity.
Joseph, who referred to the Sports Academy as a boot camp, told me: “One of our philosophies is about social integration through sports and giving young people the opportunity they may not have for a number of reasons. So the Sports Academy will have children from various backgrounds and ability from age 5-16 taking part.”
Swimming is the major activity during the morning session and in the afternoon there are various sports options like golf, martial arts and tennis. There are qualified instructors who have offered their services at minimal cost.
The Sports Academy, which got off the ground last year, has a target number of 30 children. From that number 10 of them from the agencies previously mentioned will be subsidized by the organization. The cost is $25.00 a day or $100 a week which hardly covers the academy’s expenses.
In order to meet their operating costs, the Sports Academy is appealing to business and individuals to assist in any way possible for this worthwhile cause.
Julien Bryce, who is one of the camp instructors, is back for another year. His name is synonymous with swimming here, having represented St Lucia at several international competitions including the FINA World Championships and the Youth Olympics.
Bryce is thrilled to be associated with the organization and believes in what they stand for. He said “I like to see kids from various backgrounds not only learn to swim but become competitive in the sport.”
You never know there could be another Julien Brice somewhere out there but we never know unless youngsters get the chance to participate in the sport.
The camp is also delighted to have the services of Rachel who is a personal trainer, nutritionist and swim coach. She feels the camp is a wonderful opportunity for so many children to learn and try new things, find what they enjoy and see it through.
Anthia Stephen started out as a volunteer and has a daughter who swim with the St Lucia Sports Academy. She feels at a tender age youngsters don’t really know where their interest are and the academy because of what is being offered, can steer them in the right direction.
In addition to being a registered charitable trust, the Sports Academy has also received certification as a bona fide organization recognized by the Ministry of Social Transformation and Ministry of Youth Development and Sports.
The summer camp is from July 14 to August 15. Registration takes place Monday July 14 at the Ocean View Hotel, Gros Islet. For more information call 518-2396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org