IT’S been a long wait. But finally, Leverne Spencer has brought home the big bacon.
The island’s best-known international sportswoman last week placed first and won the Gold Medal in the Women’s High Jump category at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Outclassing every other competitor from the over-50-member British Commonwealth is no small feat and Saint Lucians were over the moon with pride this past weekend following the good news from the Gold Coast.
Leverne, honoured in 2016 with a National Medal of Honour, has participated in Olympics and other international, hemispheric and regional high-jumping events.
She has almost always made it to the final top three places and Saint Lucians the world over have always remained glued to their television sets and IT gadgets each time, every day, every step of the way.
Never mind the disappointments that she did not always take the top prize, Leverne was also, on each occasion, a real source of national pride to her fellow Saint Lucians everywhere, who proudly displayed the national flag, colours and symbols in every way they could.
Leverne has always been an inspiration to younger fellow Saint Lucians and has countless times returned home from her overseas studies and tough sporting and practice schedules, to participate in and/or sponsor activities back home to encourage youth and students, in particular, to choose sport over crime and violence.
Bringing home the big Commonwealth bacon is indeed one of the biggest candles atop the icing on Leverne’s career to date. She deserves every single accolade. May she continue to jump even higher!
In the midst of all the celebration of Leverne’s high-jumping success over the weekend, yet another big feat was quietly achieved here on Saturday: the launch of the Zina and Zhane Foundation for Self Development and Inner Healing.
The well-attended launch at the Financial Complex at Pointe Seraphine – Acting Prime Minister Stephenson King was present and Monsignor Patrick A.B. Anthony blessed the proceedings — was of a foundation in memory of two very young women who left this earth by car accident in the prime youth of their lives.
Their parents undertook this exemplary initiative to offer avenues for their children’s friends and peers to search and find alternatives that will assist in their self-development and encourage deeper inner-learning, even as they ‘live the life’ and enjoy every day.
The level of support pledged by all who spoke and the contributions delivered by the first set of grassroots and commercial donors was also quite encouraging.
Saint Lucians have over the years developed the method of making permanent floral tributes at various roadside points around the island where young lives have been lost through accidents, including that on the West Coast dedicated the popular and creative Jani the Calypsonian.
Launching of the Zina and Zhane Foundation has introduced another even more meaningful way of paying tribute to our young ones who parted without chances of growing old — or even older.
Leverne’s accomplishment and the launch of the Z and Z Foundation were – and still are — two laurel achievements worth both celebrating and continuing.