Tuesday, October 09, 2012 – West Indies Captain Darren Sammy and upcoming batting star Johnson Charles will receive a hero’s welcome when they arrive home today, Wednesday October 11 , 2012.
Clad in official West Indies wear and their 2012 ICC World T20 champions gold medals, the Saint Lucian duo are scheduled to touch down at the Hewanorra International Airport about 1:45 pm where they will be met by a high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Honourable Dr Kenny D Anthony.
Following a brief welcome reception at the airport’s VIP lounge, Darren Sammy and Johnson Charles will meet with students and other citizens at the arrival terminal before motorcading to Castries for a special ceremony at the Derek Walcott square.
Minister for Youth Development and Sports Honourable Sean Edward says government recognises its important role in rewarding citizens who have done well – on this occasion Darren Sammy and Johnson Charles.
“I think this is an opportunity for all Saint Lucians to come out and support the national event because this is really a national celebration and it is an opportunity for us to put all our differences aside so we want this to be truly Saint Lucian because two of our sons have made us extremely proud and there is no better way to show appreciation for their exploits than to come out in large numbers and support. So am appealing to residents of the south to try to have a presence in the vicinity of the airport to cheer on the boys when they come through and I know it will be a challenge for many people who live in the north of the country to make it to the airport so it is for this reason we are asking them if they can’t come to the airport to try to be at the Derek Walcott square to show appreciation.”
Amidst the hype, the Government of Saint Lucia has also announced plans to utilise Darren Sammy and Johnson Charles as part of a national drive to encourage the youth to engage in sports and other positive activities.
Minister Edward says he is optimistic the cricket euphoria will rekindle an interest in sports locally.
“The success of the West Indies cricket team and in our case Darren Sammy and Johnson Charles provides us with a platform where we can harness the potential and skills that are available for development. Cricket is leading the way as we speak but there is an opportunity for football amidst what is happening likewise basketball, swimming and other sporting disciplines so it is an opportunity for all sporting organisations to piggy back on the present hype.”
Minister Edward also applauded Captain Darren Sammy and Johnson Charles for their roles in bringing smiles back to the faces of cricket fans in Saint Lucia and across the West Indies.