THE Saint Lucia Olympic Committee Inc (SLOC), led by its President Fortuna Belrose, last Wednesday moved one step closer to finalizing plans for the inaugural week of activities for its members under the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC).
CANOC was established in 2001; however discussion took place from 1998 to ensure that there was better coordination of sports within the Caribbean; to ensure that the benefit of sports was ventilated across the Caribbean and to guarantee promotion of sports in the region. Leading the charge at the time was Steve Stoute – President Barbados Olympic Committee.
A number of countries within the Caribbean are not members of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) by virtue of the fact they are territories and dependencies of Great Britain, such as Anguilla, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos. When CANOC was formed Saint Lucia’s very own and SLOC General Secretary Alfred Emmanuel served as Treasurer.
The week-long activities will start Sunday afternoon, as the umbrella body of men representing their respective National Sports Federation will meet at the SLOC Headquarters in La Clery where they will relate to each other issues with respect to sports development following which they will challenge each other in a series of indoor table games including dominoes.
The activities will continue on Monday, with schools in close proximity to the SLOC headquarters expected to visit to get an appreciation what the Olympic movement is all about. The students will also have a chance to see some of the memorabilia and museum, the things the SLOC has gathered over the years with respect to the Olympic family.
The Commonwealth Games Federations Regional Vice President, which happens to be the SLOC President Fortuna Belrose, on Tuesday, will deliver a message to both print and electronic media across the Caribbean. The following day the SLOC will meet athletes with respect to the Athletes Commission, as sports cannot exist without athletes.
Belrose said, “The athletes are at the centre of everything that we are doing and what we want to do is to establish a commission that allows them to manage their own affairs as it relates to sports at the highest level”.
Friday will be the turn of the women; the women sports administrators will meet at the Olympic House to do their own introspection and also engaged in some fun events. Bringing the curtains down on Sunday will be the 5 kilometer walk commencing from the Castries Market to end outside the SLOC Inc Headquarters”.
Belrose said, “CANOC week is a time of reflection, with respect to our administrators and how we can engage even more, those persons that we have committed ourselves to serving”.
She took the time out to introduce Liota Charlemagne – Mason who was recently appointed Deputy Acting Permanent Secretary in the Department of Youth Development and Sports.
Said the former netballer now President of the Saint Lucia Netball Association: “That decision to serve as a sports administrator was taken by me because I felt there was need to give back; I saw the benefits gained as a player what it had done for me. I felt it was necessary for me to ensure that other young people were able to benefit from playing sports so I got involved as an administrator”.
She added, “As acting Permanent Secretary in the Department of Youth Development and Sports, what this means for me, now I have an opportunity not only to touch netballers, but to touch young people throughout Saint Lucia in all sports and in all youth organizations. My mandate is not just sports but also youth development and empowering young people. I had what it took to make a difference and I am looking to make a difference in the life of the young people, the students, and the athletes. It is a challenge especially with the new millenniums because it is very difficult getting them out to sporting events but it is a challenge that we have and is something we have to work to ensure that our young people realise the importance of sports and being involved in sports”.
According to the SLOC, information on the week of ber federation including family members will face the starter’s pistol on Sunday for the 5K walk.
The SLOC will be keeping close tabs on the numbers represented so too will be the National Sport’s Federation which continue to show keen interest in the various activities planned throughout the year under its banner.