“Youth and sports development on the island has received an additional injection of coaching talent and expertise, required to take sports to a higher level on the island.” So says the department’s coaching coordinator Dane Magloire. Magloire spoke on Wednesday morning at a press briefing held to introduce a number of coaches who have been added to their coaching unit.
The seven coaches range from a mixture of veterans from the sporting disciplines, to current national sportspersons chosen to work with the next generation of athletes. In their selection of these individuals, the department also took into consideration the level of volunteerism initiated by these persons in their various sporting disciplines. One of these individuals is Ron Du Murville. As one of the more talented basketballers on the island, Ron has been instrumental in establishing his own basketball academy for young persons in the Castries basin. Ron will now be expected to leap to new heights and develop the sport on a more national level.
Another individual who has been handpicked by the department is Alban Estephane. Estephane has been a supporter of basketball development for a number of years, and as such, he will be responsible for furthering this cause in the Dennery area. At the press conference the department made it abundantly clear that basketball is a special area of interest for Prime Minister and the ministry, and, as such, will be given additional attention in the coming years.
In the area of track and field, the ministry has decided that it may be time to go back to the glory days of long distance running. According to Magloire, “we need to go into the communities and find the next Victor Ledgers.” The department therefore tapped Michael Biscette to work with veteran Cuthbert Modeste to improve performances in the middle and long distances.
The area of cricket also received an addition of a competent coach in the person of Junior Derose. Derose who has been working in the southern community, is now given the mandate of further developing cricket in the Micoud and Choiseul areas. The avid cricket lover will join the department’s highly touted team of John Eugene and Alton Crafton, as they seek to further improve Saint Lucia’s performance on the regional and international circuit.
Another individual who has given of his services to St. Lucia in the area of sports freely, is Conrad Fredericks. As such, the department has seen it fit to ensure they provide Mr. Fredericks with the added resources to go out and nurture even more boxing talent in the schools and communities. The current national boxing coach has already brought home the Creole Boxing and OECS boxing title to St. Lucia in 2017. With the added support, Fredericks will be expected to aid in putting on a decent performance at the Caribbean Boxing championships scheduled for Saint Lucia in December 2017.
In the area of Netball, the department introduced the ever versatile Shernelle Francis, as the coach responsible for the development of this sport in the Anse-La-Raye and Canaries communities. Ms. Francis has been known for her exploits in also coaching youth football in the community and, as such, will be expected to use her established connections to develop Netball on the west coast.
The west coast will also benefit from the department’s addition of David Henry to their coaching unit. The former national striker and Canaries native will use his additional involvement in youth work to further develop the sport of football in the community.
When asked what this means for the development of sports in schools on the island, Schools sports coordinator Isabelle Marquis explained, that these coaches are expected to work very closely with schools around the islands. “The coaching unit and the school’s sports unit work hand in hand, and so we expect to do much better in the various sporting disciplines at the schools level in the coming years.”