Saint Lucia: Sports associations and federations met recently with officials from the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports at a retreat organized with the aim of fostering stronger partnerships.
The event registered the participation of 20 organizations, from athletics, aquatics, badminton, basketball, bodybuilding, boxing, chess, cricket, and cycling, to football, martial arts, squash, tennis, and volleyball.
Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Kenson Casimir said, “We have 20 associations represented at this retreat, and the idea is to determine the challenges they face and to foster a way forward in developing sports in Saint Lucia. The associations play an integral part in sports development in Saint Lucia, so it is important to understand how the roles of the ministry and the sports associations entwine toward the development of sports in Saint Lucia.”
While acknowledging the constraints under which most associations operate, Minister Casimir said the ministry’s intention is to establish a functioning sports policy to guide processes.
“We would like every single association to have access to as many resources required for them to flourish, but the reality is that we have the cost constraints. This is an opportunity for us to sit at the table to discuss the challenges we face as sports administrators. The ministry is also working on a sports policy to chart the way forward and guide strategy and implementation.”
The minister also highlighted the lack of attention and recognition given to former athletes.
Some of the topics covered at the retreat included long-term athlete development, annual subventions, partnerships and collaborations, safeguarding in sports, national sports policies, rewards and incentives, and women in sports.
The National Sports Associations Retreat was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel, Rodney Bay.