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Sports versus Covid -19:National Athletes Share their Experiences

Continuing its focus on national athletes and the effect on them by Covid -19, the VOICE made contact with national Under 19 cricketer Simeon Gerson. Simeon is a Year 2 student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) and currently plays for Gros Islet Under 19 and SALCC cricket teams.

Simeon is currently studying Architecture Technology, undergoing the studies in four subjects in his final semester. These subjects include, (a) Structural Theory and practice; (b) Architectural Detailing and Computer Aided Design (c) Calculus 2 and (d) Construction Survey.

(L-R) Simeon Gerson (cricket); Anyka Holder (swimming) and Keegan Caul (football). (Photo: Anthony De Beauville)

He said, “Covid-19 has affected me significantly as it pertains to school. The teachers were forced to decrease the workload with the understanding that a physical classroom is very much different to online classes. Although, on the other hand I have realized that the lecturers have been over working us with assignments to ensure that we understand our various courses.”

Simeon continued, “As you may know, Zoom has been the main platform for most educational facilities. Some difficulties we encounter as students are that zoom only offers a limited amount of time and lecturers can’t express themselves as compared to a physical class. Also, our practical classes have suffered a bit due to protocol and social distancing.”

The left arm orthodox spinner last represented Saint Lucia in the Windward Islands Under 19 Tournament in Dominica in 2019 and won the MVP title for Saint Lucia. He also represented the Windward Islands in the Rising Stars Under 19 Tournament in Saint Vincent in 2019.

In terms of disappointments: He said, “Well, I am kind of disappointed, since the season started off on a successful note for me, in the few tournaments I have participated in thus far. I have come to realize that this quarantine has benefited such as working on my physicals and some one on one coaching with my father and sister.”

Postponement wise:” I was looking towards the third edition of the Sandals Under 19 Cup. Sandals Cup brings much joy and competitiveness compared to any other Under 19 cricket tournament (Domestic), which makes me so happy that it has been postponed and not cancelled.”

According to Simeon, “I have downloaded a home workout app, which requires no equipment and I perform my fitness workouts on a daily basis right in my bedroom. Also, I gather with my fellow colleagues on the beach to do workouts on Sundays headed by Dane Edward.”

Simeon said he was very eager to get back on the competitive field. “I have been working very hard indoors. When I return, success will surely be my noise by the grace and will of the Almighty God.”

The VOICE also made contact with 15-year-old female swimmer Anyka Holder. Anyka is a member of the Southern Flying Fish Swim Club (Vieux Fort) and is a fourth form student of the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School.  For CXC this year she is doing Maths and Music.

In terms of online schooling, she responded: “Covid-19 has affected the volume of school work I will be covering, otherwise I am coping well with the online classes, but I definitely rather the normal school setting where I can interact with my teachers and classmates/friends”.

She last represented the Southern Flying Fish Swim Club at the Independence Swimming Classic held at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre in February; her favourite event is the 400 metres freestyle.

In terms of disappointments, Anyka said, “I am very disappointed that SLAF had to postpone all related swimming activities as I was looking forward to represent SFF in the RHAC Caribbean Invitational swim meet, but I understand that we have to follow guidelines/ protocols to include social distancing and take every precaution as we can to stay safe.”

Fitness level: “I am maintaining my fitness level by exercising three to four times a week with my Dad, and with guidance and advice from Sherma Bernard (Coach). I also train at the beach whenever it’s possible.”

Anyka said, “I am hoping that the all clear will be given pretty soon, because I am very eager to get back into my swimming gear and compete once more. I miss the pool.”

Also getting in on the action is National Under 15 footballer Keegan Caul. Keegan is member of VSADC Football Club; he also represents Central Castries at the national level and is a fourth form student of the Saint Lucia Sports Academy (SLSA) in Gros Islet.

Keegan is the reigning Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc Junior Footballer for the Year.

On the pitch, Keegan last represented Saint Lucia in the CONCACAF Under 15 Division II tournament at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida in August 2019. It must be noted that Team Saint Lucia won that tournament.

Playing as a team: He said, “I am very disappointed because the team was just getting back to its normal style of play after not playing together for a while.”

Fitness level:  “I have a very simple way of maintaining my fitness level; I make it my daily routine to get up early every day, jog a certain distance and afterwards I head to the Marigot playing field where I do a number of rounds with the ball in my feet, warm down and head back home.”

He continued, “Covid has had a huge effect on me because I was just putting together my SBA’s and with the online classes, it is hard to cope with at home because I am less focused.”

Keegan noted that he was very eager to get back into competitive football. “I’m very eager because I was already in form scoring 4 goals in 2 games in the Saint Lucia Football Association (SLFA) Inc Division II Tournament. I can’t wait to get back to continue the good work.”

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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