Monday, October 15, 2012 – The Ministries of Youth Development and Sports, Education, Human Resource Development and Labour joined forces with several corporate partners to officially launch the Inter-Schools’ Sports Programme 2012/2013 on Friday, October 12th, 2012 with renewed vigor and passion towards youth and sports development.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the respective ministries cementing their commitment towards making the schools’ sports programme successful.
Minister for Youth Development and Sports, the Honourable Shawn Edward, says a comprehensive schools’ sports programme will help address Saint Lucia’s poor performances at the regional level.
“It is my dream and my desire to see a sports programme in the schools that will go just beyond the realm of competition. Coaching is equally important as engaging in competition. Today, I am happy as I said that we’re back with this programme. We cannot achieve everything in one year, it will take us time, but I look forward to the day when the competitions will span more than two weeks.”
Local heroes Darren Sammy, captain of the West Indies Cricket team, and his teammate, Johnson Charles, made a surprise appearance at the launch of the 2012/2013 Schools Sports Programme, amusing all who were in attendance.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sammy encouraged the students to aspire to being Saint Lucia’s first Olympic gold medalist and to pursue their dreams, adding once they tried their best, no one could fault them.
“Education is very important. I would urge every youngster to go out and try to learn. But also sports could instil a lot of good disciplines in any person. Cricket has changed my life; it has made me a more responsible person… I’ll put a challenge to all of you here. We’ve not had a gold medal. I would urge anybody here to try to be the first Saint Lucian to win a gold medal at the Olympics.”
The corporate community has come on board in support of the school’s sports programme.
Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) donated $150,000 to be used over a three-year period and Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL) continued with consistent sponsorship of $10,000.
The 2012/2013 sports programme, which outlines the calendar of events for secondary schools in numerous sporting disciplines, including netball, basketball, football, volleyball and cricket, is designed to identify and develop the sporting skills of the nation’s youth from an early age.