A VIBRANT SPORTS PROGRAM
Sports development entails much more than constructing playing fields and courts. It starts with a focus on the athlete at the school level and continues with consistent support and attention throughout the development of the athlete into an elite, successful sportsman or sportswoman. This must be the philosophy of the sports development program.
Support must be provided to schools at the primary and secondary levels to develop young athletes with the right mix of basic skills, temperament and focus. The sports facilities at all schools must receive priority attention.
Financial and technical support should be provided for the annual hosting of schools sporting competitions in all disciplines at the primary and secondary levels.
The Public Broadcasting Network must be mandated to broadcast as many school sports events and competitions on radio and television as possible. This will give increased exposure to our young athletes, encourage them to improve their performances, and cultivate a greater appreciation in the wider public for the efforts and accomplishments of our athletes.
The club structure must be re-energized and support given for the staging of club-based competitions in all the major sporting disciplines. The hosting of at least one major national club-based competition must be a prerequisite for the increased financial support that should be provided to all sports associations.
An appropriate allocation must be made in the yearly Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for the maintenance of sports facilities around the island.
Medical insurance coverage should be provided for all athletes chosen to represent Saint Lucia for the duration of their training for, and participation in, all sanctioned regional and international competitions.
Due recognition should be given to every person who has captained a Saint Lucia national sports team. This is one of the highest honours that an athlete can attain and it is fitting that the State recognize and appreciate those who have served at this level through an appropriate mechanism.
Through its relationships with countries that have embassies in Saint Lucia, skilled professional coaches should be sourced from these countries to provide support to local coaches and to transfer skills and knowledge in targeted sporting disciplines.
A dedicated unit should be established within the Ministry of Sports to source scholarships for promising Saint Lucian athletes.