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Remarks by SLOC President Fortuna Belrose at annual press briefing

By Fortuna Belrose

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Good morning to all. Happy New Year

Last year, we built on the success we enjoyed in 2017. You will recall in 2017 we won gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games which were held in the Bahamas. Our Beach Soccer team won the first ever scheduled Beach Soccer of the Games and Julien Alfred won the 100 meters in the Bahamas.

In 2018 we recorded yet another successful year. I say so because our St. Lucian athletes Levern Spencer and Julien Alfred gave us the results we were looking for. In the case of Levern she stamped her authority at the Commonwealth Games In Australia in April winning the gold medal. She also became a three time gold medalist at the CACSO Games. Establishing a record for the Games as the longest gold medal winning streak of any event. In Julien’s case she won a silver medal at the most prestigious Sporting Event for juniors the Youth Olympics. She did so In Argentina last October 2018.

Both of these young people were celebrated by our nation. And we continue to laud them. As they display great positive attitudes and values that our organization expouse. They relish success, demonstrate humility, they focused, they are disciplined and above all they continue to display a high level of commitment and passion. They are indeed the models for all of us. And we thank all those who worked with them to enable them to achieve the results they did. We thank the Athletics Association for remaining vibrant so that our young people can continue to get these opportunities.

We also have a number of young people who enthusiastically continue to pursue their passions through sport. And we continue to work through the National Sports Federations to support them.

We were able to send delegations to the Commonwealth Games and the Central American and Caribbean Games. But there is much work to be done.

We have approved Elite athlete support grants for Sandisha Antoine who is a triple and long jumper, Stephanie Devaux Lovel a sailor. In both cases the support is to enable these athletes through to their preparation for the PanAm Games in Lima, Peru in the hope too that they would qualify for Tokyo. Stephanie has already qualified for PanAm. We have also secured three Olympic Solidarity Scholarships for Luc Cheviere for Sailing Levern Spencer Janelle Schaper. As you all know Julien Alfred has herself secured a scholarship and should be leaving for Texas shortly. We will continue to monitor her through her National Federation.

The (SLOC Inc.) remains committed to serving our athletes within the framework issued to us by the IOC. And we are working assiduously with them (that is the athletes) to operationalising their own Commission that would serve as a voice for them within and without. In fact Stephanie Devaux Lovell and Adrian Albert were beneficiaries of the Miami conference for athlete representatives.

The SLOC Inc has a membership of 20 National Sports Federations. Each of these are autonomous and they are affiliated to their respective national sports Federations. All personnel who make up these Federations are volunteers. And we thank those volunteers who remain faithful to the cause of sports. But as we continue to grow and move to a higher level in the sports many have to review their status and assess whether they are having the level of impact that they potentially can have. Because sports organization benefits society in a myriad of ways. particularly helping our nation understand the value and how to appreciate success, how to engage our youth, and how to remain focus.

With the support of the Pan American Games Organization we have secured the services of the Project Development Officer who will work with the SLOC to strengthen its programming and also be available to offer technical services our membership. Earlier this week we introduced Mr. Andy Behl who worked here previously as a peace corps volunteer. He understands our language. More importantly he is highly trained and has experience internationally. He has worked for the USOC and the Singapore Government in sports development.

PanAm also provided some additional resources for infrastructural projects and we are working with our affiliates to deliver the projects identified. We also provide funding to facilitate their programming and in the last year we expended over one million dollars on programs for our membership. That includes Training, Travel, Camps and the staging Events and Tournaments.

This year Gene Morelle of the Volleyball Association completed the Executive Masters in Sport Organization and Management in Switzerland. Young Naima Hazel and Mickali Charlemagne attended a continental swim camp in Miami. Two Netball Officials went on to Barbados for further training. Neso Etienne attended a Taekwondo camp in the Dominican Republic.

Our organization is financially supported by PanAm IOC, and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Our Audited statements will be made available to the media via our website once they become available.

Sadly Jonathan Everette Honorary member of the SLOC passed and we are working on a project to memorialise him. Former National Table Tennis player Paul Christopher passed recently and we have offered our condolences. Immediate Past President of the (SLOC Inc.) Richard Peterkin was awarded the Olympic Order.

Looking towards 2019 we plan :

* Development of Strategic Plan 2024
* Support Building capacity initiatives for our membership
* Panamerican Games 2019
* Tapping on the IOC programs
* Panam Projects execution.

We certainly want to thank the Executive Board and in particular Secretary General Alfred Emmanuel and Administrative Assistant Greta Stedman for their efforts.

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