Did you know throughout the years, St. Lucia has produced some outstanding sports persons who have made a positive impact on their chosen discipline? Some of them represented their schools, clubs, communities, the island, the Windward Islands and the West Indies, while others were awarded Sports Person of the Year.
Francis Mindoo Phillip is a household name in cricket and in March 1979, Victoria Park was renamed Mindoo Phillip Park in his honour.
Vincent Gabriel ‘Quayak’ Devaux was an all-round sportsman who excelled as a swimmer, pole vaulter, goal-keeper, and lawn tennis player.
In the late 1950s and 1960s Russel ‘Pelage’ Lake emerged as an outstanding goal-keeper. The now Reverend Desmond Mason also played goal-keeper for St. Mary’s College and the national squad.
There were also some exceptional ladies in sports in the likes of Anna Cherry, Sybil Corion, Vernetta lesporis – athletics; Mary Ann Martial, Jennifer King, Paula Goddard, Rumelia Elwin, Martha Biscette, Laurette Isaac, Kerth Payne – netball; Lindy Ann Alexander – squash; Jane Duboulay and Una francis – lawn tennis; Eugenia Gregg and Verena Felicien – cricket.
Did you know in the 1960s Nuffield Hinkson and Errol Hunte were two of St. Lucia’s most prolific goal-getters? The duo enabled Shamrock to become the dominating force in local football for the decades of the 60s and 70s.
Did you know while George Odlum was one of the St. Lucia’s finest goalkeepers he also played cricket as an opening batsman and wicketkeeper? George represented Bristol University in cricket and football.
Did you know Jon Odlum was a permanent player on the national team, and then he was selected as captain of the St. Lucia side to the Popham series in 1961? A shoulder injury obliged him to retire from top-level football and he moved on to serve as secretary and then president of the St. Lucia Football Association from 1960 until the mid 1970s.
Source: Outstanding Sports Personalities of St. Lucia by Rupert J. Branford – 2000
This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is written by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]