FORTUNA Belrose retained the top post of the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) following last Friday’s election of a new SLOC executive at the Conference Room of AubergeSeraphine Hotel. She won unopposed.
Belrose created history four years ago becoming the first woman to head the SLOC. Currently she is the Minister with responsibility for Local Government and Culture in the Ministry of Equity, Social, Justice, Employment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government.
Best known as a qualified Education Specialist with four decades in the field of sports administration, she continues to be the Vice-President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Regional Representative for the Caribbean region.
The post of First Vice-President was won by President of the Saint Lucia Football Association, Lyndon Cooper, who made a last-minute decision to run against Theodore “Teddy” Matthews. Cooper defeated Matthews by a 14-7 margin.
Other members of the executive are:
• Second Vice President: Claude Charlemagne
• Secretary General: Alfred Emmanuel
• Treasurer: Joyce Huxley
• Assistant Secretary General/Assistant Treasurer: Trevor Hunte
• IOC Member, resident in Saint Lucia: Richard Peterkin
• Representatives of National Federations: Velica Augustin (Saint Lucia Basketball Association), David Christopher (Saint Lucia Boxing Association), Monica Dudley (Saint Lucia Bodybuilding Association), Liota Charlemagne (Saint Lucia National Netball Association), Joan Paul (Saint Lucia Golf Association) and Cyril Mangal (Saint Lucia Cycling Association).
The new executive will serve for the period 2017-2021.
Speaking to The VOICE following the elections, Belrose said, “It is always a good feeling when the members you work with have that confidence in you and the work you do. Over the last four years, we have had a tremendous amount of success as an Olympic committee. When we began that course in 2013, we talked about the delivery of a headquarters for the SLOC and I think our team was able to deliver that successfully. We have a long road ahead for the next four years to continue to deliver and make the work of the SLOC more meaningful in this country and we are committed to that task.”
She continued: “The team that was appointed here are people who are deeply involved in the administration and management of sports and we trust that the work we will do in the next four years will reap the kind of benefit that we want. We came pretty close with a good performance in the Olympic Games in Rio last year. We continue to invest heavily in athletes even as we speak; we hoping Saint Lucia will continue to do well and what we looking to do is to increase the numbers of athletes and young people who get the opportunity to compete at the highest level in sports in Saint Lucia.”
The VOICE: What about support for athletes like JeanelleScheper and MakebaAlcide?
Belrose: We continue to provide the support; we are working hand in hand with national sports federations to ensure they do the evaluation on the athletes along with the SLOC so we can provide the right type of support for the athletes. It’s not all on the SLOC, but we are working along with our affiliates to ensure the athletes get what’s due to them to represent Saint Lucia.
The VOICE: There is a new National Sports Federation in place (Karate) and they have already started preparing for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Your thoughts?
Belrose: We are quite excited. Karate has the opportunity to compete at the Olympics and we will continue to provide support to enable them to profile themselves a lot more to achieve their goals. Karate is a sport that is very popular across the country.
The VOICE: You have quite a few national associations in the SLOC mix falling along the wayside. Any advice for them?
Belrose: There is a lot of work to be done. We have some members who are strong and some members who are weak. Our responsibility is to see the entire 20 of them strengthen in their areas of weakness. It’s a major challenge, we have few resources and from what we have seen, we have five associations that are well on course in terms of the work they want to do. We still need to provide tremendous amount of support to the majority of them to enable them to get there. We are pretty open, but they must be organized.