THEY are better known for their prowess on the football pitch. However, this time around there was no letting up by Vieux Fort South as they made a clean sweep at the Saint Lucia Football Association’s annual awards held at the Palm Haven Hotel on Saturday evening.
Footballers Britanya St. Prix, MakeshSavery and SarnSavery were named Youth and Senior players of the Year respectively, while the Administrator, Football League of the Year and Best Supportive District awards all went to the south.
All three nominees were on hand to collect the awards for male and female footballer of the year and a number of other individuals made podium calls.
A member of the Vieux Fort South Under-15 team, St. Prix was a national champion with her district team in 2016 when she awed football fans with her skills. She went on to represent Saint Lucia in the 2016 CONCACAF girls’ championships in Orlando, Florida, where she was instrumental in Saint Lucia advancing to the quarterfinals stage in a tournament that featured football superpowers the USA, Puerto Rico, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico.
It was MekeshSavery’s first major award at the national level. Also from Vieux Fort South, she plays for the Under-20 ladies’ team and is regarded as one of the more senior campaigners in female football in Saint Lucia and one of the best in her position. Strong and stern as a central defender, she is an outstanding captain and was recently declared MVP by Vieux Fort South Football League.
SarnSavery was part of the all-conquering Vieux Fort South Under-20 squad which won the SLFA Men’s Under-21 Inter-District Leaguea Championship. He was also captain of the VFS team and has mastered his craft in the heart of his team’s defense line. Beside winning the Under-21 championship, Savery’s exploits have led to VFS winning the Blackheart Championship and he was also pivotal in his district’s effort as a finalist in the Vizions National Super League Competition.
Other awards presented on the night, included Referee of the Year (Leo Clarke), Coach of the Year (Cassim ‘Vaso’ St. Croix), Club of the Year (Vempers Sports Athletic Dramatic Club, or VSADC), Media Personality of the Year (Anthony De Beauville, The VOICE Publishing), Administrator of the Year (Emmanuel Belasse ,Vieux Fort South), Football League of the Year (Vieux Fort South), Best Supportive District (Vieux Fort South), Sponsor of the Year (Windward and Leeward Brewery) and Lifetime Achievement Award (Arnold Clouden).
Newly-appointed Director of Sports in the Department of Youth Development and Sports, Claudia Noel- Jn. Baptiste, congratulated the awardees for their sterling contribution to the sport, adding that they were selected because they possessed the right skills and attitude to excel in the sport. She also challenged the SLFA to continue its efforts to support the players.
“Over the past years, we have witnessed a number of initiatives put on by the SLFA, in instances where they partner with organizations to provide opportunities for young footballers to get scholarships to study in colleges and in universities abroad,” she said. “These initiatives are very commendable for they afford our athletes the opportunity to obtain a college degree free of charge while at the same time doing what they love — playing football.”
She continued: “In order for us to get our athletes to prepare to enjoy these opportunities, I would like to implore the SLFA to set up mentorship programmes that will help these young athletes with their academics and prepare them to do the SATs so when they go out and study they will be able to handle the volume of work given to them. If this is done, it will assist our athletes to enjoy more programmes and opportunities that are afforded to them by the colleges and universities overseas.”
In addressing the gathering, SLFA President Lyndon Cooper said 2016 was a very memorable one for the organization. He praised the performances of the Under-17 and Under-20 national teams in international competition, but promised that there will be significant changes to those two teams to ensure that they continue to remain the SLFA’s flagship teams.
Said Cooper: “Rest assured, those two teams are going to be given all the support, including the assurance that all the scholarships that are being given to the SLFA through any institution, colleges and universities will be received and supported 100 percent to ensure that those two groups of players continue to make us proud.”