A Saint Lucian contingent comprising 23 athletes and 5 officials will leave the island today for the 6th edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) in the Bahamas.
The CYG, which is scheduled to run from July 18-23 at a number of venues, including the Thomas Robinson Stadium, will see well over 1,000 athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 years old representing 71 nations.
This is Saint Lucia’s biggest team at the Games. In 2015, Saint Lucia was represented by seven athletes in Apia, Samoa.
While in the Bahamas, Team Saint Lucia will compete in seven sporting disciplines, namely athletics, boxing, cycling, beach soccer, beach volleyball, swimming and tennis.
The CYG began in 2000, but Saint Lucia participated for the first time in 2008. To date, track and field is the only sporting discipline in which Saint Lucia has medaled, through high jumper JeannelleScheper (in Isle of Man, 2011) and javelin thrower Rochelle Etienne (in Samoa, 2015).
Julien Alfred and Kimani Alphonse will compete in the Girls’ 100-metres and 200-metres; middle distance runner KamillahMonroque in the 800-metres and 1500-metres; and Devon Moise in the Boys’ Javelin. The four athletes are under the guidance of Head Coach Denise Herman.
Silver medallist at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Boxing Championship held here recently, Kareem Boyce, is expected to do battle in the Lightweight (60 kg) class. While in the Bahamas, Boyce will have Head Coach Conrad Frederick in his corner.
Fresh from finishing 7th overall at the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Cycling Championship in Dominica, Kluivert Mitchel will compete in the individual road race and time trial.
According to the SLOC, while in the Bahamas, a technical person will be assigned to Mitchell for the duration of the championship.
Junior nominee for Sportsman of the Year, tennis player Jean Philippe Murray, is making his second CYG appearance. Murray competed in Apia, Samoa in 2015. In the Bahamas, he will be assisted by SLTA representative, Mellissa François, who is also Saint Lucia Chef de Mission to the Games.
Junior Female Sportswoman of the Year, swimmer Katie Kyle, will compete in 50-metres and 100-metres Butterfly.
Also making his second appearance at these games is Jyasi Daniel, who is currently at college in the USA. He will compete in the 50-metres Butterfly and 100-metres Freestyle.
The home team will also be represented in Beach Volleyball in the boys’ category. Junior Volleyball Player of the Year, Levi Leonce, will lead the charge with Kyhim Remy while females Niah Arnold and Tenayestlgni Joseph will do so in the female category.
Former national footballer Felix St. Rose will keep a watchful eye on the beach football team as it is the first time in the history of Saint Lucia footballers at any level will be competiting at a major event. The team includes Dillon Francis, Dylan Elliott, Zane Amedee, Linus Clovis, Aley Clovis, Kwame Fontenelle, Vino Bartlett, Hakeem Harrow, Julian Fernest and Sebastien Ribot.
SLOC President, Fortuna Belrose, told the athletes that the challenge now is for them to go out and give of their best. She added that it is also a highly-competitive environment and they need to embrace the challenge of the Games and be ambassadors for Saint Lucia.
Belrose said, “You will be that reflection of Saint Lucia and we expect that you will represent your country with pride and dignity in that arena.”