Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has said he is “happy” that legendary retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt endorsed his government’s plans for sports development.
Chastanet revealed in a post on his official Facebook page that he had the opportunity this morning to host Bolt who arrived in Saint Lucia to “participate and experience” a few events for Saint Lucia Carnival.
The prime minister said the “living legend” was accompanied by his management team as well as “our local hero Daren Sammy”.
“During our engagement I shared some of our plans for sports that includes the upgrading of several sports facilities which is currently underway, the establishment of the School of Sports Excellence from this September and our overall strategy to use sports as a medium to deter our youth from involvement in crime,” Chastanet said.
“I was happy that Usain endorsed our plans and was even happier to know that he took some time to host a number of Saint Lucia’s young sportsmen and women at a special function this morning at the Sandals Grande Saint Lucia Resort,” Chastanet said, adding, “Thank you for visiting our beautiful island Usain and thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to all of us!”
According to Sandals, in a media advisory on Monday, Bolt “will be hosting a number of Saint Lucia’s young sportsmen and women at a special function to be held at the Sandals Grande Saint Lucia Resort on Thursday, July 11th at 9 am”.
A Sandals spokesperson had told St. Lucia News Online that though Sandals is not the one bringing Bolt to the island, he will be a guest at the resort.
“He’s here to participate in the Opium event and staying with Sandals so he’s accommodating our request to inspire our young athletes,” the spokesperson said.
In a 2017 interview with The Telegraph (UK) newspaper, Bolt was asked about his “favourite view” in the world and he chose the majestic Pitons in Saint Lucia.
He said: “I went to The Pitons in St Lucia when I was 21 and the sight of these twin mountains from the cliffside is something that has really stuck with me.”
In an interview with another UK publication in August 2012, The Daily Mail, the Olympic and World 100 and 200m world record holder pointed out Saint Lucia as his favourite place to vacation.
“St Lucia is my favourite place to relax. The beaches are beautiful, the water is so clear, and the food is great,” he said at the time.