Sportlight, Sports

A Sports Mother: Mother’s Day Tribute To Tessa Charles – Louis

Mothers are everything for us when we are little; our lives revolve around them. We call upon them for everything we need, and to protect us from all perceivable dangers. We want our mother’s around all the time to hold us, and comfort us. Even when we are grown, we appreciate her.

There is simply no way we can ever really repay our mothers for all they have done for us, but Mother’s Day, is a great start.

Today the VOICE pays special tribute to Tessa Charles -Louis, a mother who is deeply involved in sports in Saint Lucia – swimming to be exact.

Tessa Charles-Louis is employed with the Saint Lucia Mortgage and Finance Company located in Castries. She is married to Gregor Louis and is the proud mother of two daughters and one son.

She is Business Development / Loan Officer, and primarily her function at the Mortgage and Finance Company is to bring in new business.

In her words, “We are a mortgage company and we deal with strictly residential mortgages – getting new business means getting new residential loans”.

(L-R) Tessa Charles-Louis and daughter Neikeisha Louis. (PHOTO: Anthony De Beauville)

She spoke to the Voice about her daughter, Neikeisha Louis.

“My daughter started swimming at the age of four,” she said. “She was not into competitive swimming when she started as she was fearful of competition and very worried about people beating her, or not performing well. It took a while to get her into competition.”

According to Charles-Louis, her daughter’s then coach Roosevelt Romain tried to get her into competition at age seven, but Neikeisha decided she was not ready to make the transition.

“We did not give up,” her mother said. “We continued to take her to competitions even if she wouldn’t participate. At one competition the coach said to her, ‘Look there are kids your age, you should try it.’ She said, ‘Okay, next time I will try.’ Here we are seven years later, still into competition”.

Beaming with pride, Neikeisha’s mom spoke about being a parent with a child actively involved in sports: “It is very demanding. It is demanding of your time and demanding of your pocket. It is costly, but worth it. Neikeisha is also involved in track and field. She used to be a member of the Rockets Athletics Club, but she decided to focus more on swimming. She still does track primarily for St. Joseph’s Convent so she competes in her school’s Inter House competition and at the Inter Secondary School Games. She loves the 400/800, 1000 metres and the school road race, but she has decided to put her all into swimming, which is her first love”.

A very expensive love, Charles-Louis revealed that professional swimsuits on average cost upwards of US$200. Practice / training time is also costly, but most families, including Neikeisha’s understand the value.

“It’s well worth the money spent,” she said. “It is challenging and demanding, but I believe the formula for success for any athlete regardless of the sport is parental involvement. If you are involved and you know what’s going on in the sport you are better able to get a feel to make a contribution.”

Charles – Louis is also an executive member of the Saint Lucia Aquatic Federation (SLAF) and President of the Lightning Aquatic Swim Club. She has been President of Lightning Aquatic Swim Club for the last four years, and current Treasurer of the Saint Lucia Aquatic Federation/ Fund Raising Officer. She is currently on a second term on the SLAF.

Charles- Louis, a mother of three, took time out to encourage parents to get involved. She said, “I would encourage parents who have children in sports to take on an active role; you don’t have to be as active as I am because it’s very demanding, but it’s good”.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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