Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss is winding up a visit to Saint Lucia during which he visited the village of Choiseul and met with a number of youth cricketers from that part of the island.
With support from the Ministry of Youth Development & Sports, Strauss called on members of the national under-15 cricket team to play a friendly game of cricket at the Piaye playing field on Friday, January 4.
Strauss has been a strong and active endorser of the Freedom Bay brand on the international circuit having pre-purchased a condominium well over a year ago. Strauss therefore, along with the resort’s executive team, profited the opportunity to communicate on the new resort’s intended focus on youth development and sports, and to share on Freedom’s Bay’s ideas in that regard, one of which is the eventual formation of the Andrew Strauss Cricket Academy for aspiring cricketers hailing from the island’s south western communities of Choiseul and Soufriere.
Minister of Youth Development and Sports Hon. Shawn Edward cites such an endeavor as timely and in concert with the current strategic focus of his ministry, and Choiseul’s track record in producing players of promise material for the sport at the national level.
“Andrew Strauss’s presence in this community augurs well for the further development of cricket. This serves as a wonderful motivator for the young cricketers and it is opportune that this is happening in Choiseul as for the last ten years the majority of Saint Lucia’s under 15 cricketers have come from the Choiseul/ Saltibus Area.”
According to the minister, an Andrew Strauss Cricket Academy would do much to help realize government’s objectives as it relates to the ministry’s new Emerging and Elite Athlete programme, and for the inspiration of young cricketers on a whole.
The former English cricket captain, who is set to serve as patron of the proposed cricket academy, has identified coaching and improvement of local sporting facilities as some of the major mandates of the cricket academy; he intimated that such a facility will service the region but give Saint Lucia a place of prominence in cricket: “This is really the start of a building process this week. We are going to be working with young persons from the region, to help with the development of the game in Saint Lucia especially, as well as to help West Indies cricket grow and thrive.”
Community stalwarts such as McArthur Phillip of the Choiseul Development Foundation are thrilled moreso that a Choiseul Centre of Excellence established some years ago had as its main focus, the development of the game, to maintain Choiseul’s record as a prolific breeding ground for the island’s best cricketing talent.
Also on hand to receive Strauss was Parliamentary Representative for Choiseul and Minister for Tourism, Heritage & the Creative Industries, Hon. Lorne Theophilus; representatives from Choiseul Development Foundation and Village Council; and a contingent from the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation.
Freedom Bay, which is expected to raise the bar in hospitality services in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean, promises to be an outstanding eco-luxury resort development, with prime real estate located uniquely within a UNESCO World Heritage site at the foot of the iconic Pitons.