Electra Marcelle — A Powerful Rugby Player

IN the sporting world the Island of Saint Lucia has never been short of talent as the well is overflowing. Like a number of communities island wide, Corinth, Gros Islet has its fair share of outstanding sports personalities.

Image: Electra Marcelle, a true champion of the sport. (Photo: EM/ZA)
Electra Marcelle, a true champion of the sport. (Photo: EM/ZA)

As The VOICE continues to highlight Saint Lucia’s prince and princesses in the World of Sports, we caught up with Electra Marcelle, a former track and field athlete, now rugby player. She is a resident of Corinth and a former student of the Vide Boutielle Secondary School (VBSS). Upon leaving VBSS, she went on to further her education at the Universidad Agraria de la Habana, Cuba, for six years and then Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where she attained her teaching diploma in 2014.

She is a teacher by profession and is currently assigned to the Corinth Secondary School from 2008 to present.

Earlier this week this reporter spoke to Electra Marcelle about her sporting journey and more. This is what she had to say.

With her usual smile, she said, “Along with track and field I was also a member of the Saint Lucia Cadet Corps where I held the record in the obstacle course which I think still stands. I have competed in track throughout my entire secondary school life and participated in the 100m, 200m and 400m as well as both the 4x100m and 4x4m relay races but focused on the 200m and 400m and hurdles in my club. I represented the Morne Stars Athletic Club (1995-2001) with Coach Michael Olivierre (former OECS Sports Director). I only had the chance to represent Saint Lucia at the Whitsuntide Game in Grenada”.

According to Electra, “After leaving university I no longer focused on track and field but because I liked to keep active I had a short stint at volleyball. I was then introduced to the game of Rugby by Vonette Victor and the first time did not take her invitation seriously, but being the persistent person that she is I finally gave in.”.

National debut: “The first time I represented Saint Lucia was in the summer of 2008 in the RAN competition held in Barbados against other teams in the Caribbean as well as Canada and the U.S.A, I was part of Fighting Mongoose, Stingers, Body Holiday and my present club is Renegades Rugby Club. My primary position is winger but I have found myself playing in all positions on the field. In the scrum, fly half and center to name a few”.

Leadership quality: “Since I have joined rugby, I have improved my physical and mental abilities due to the contact nature of this sport. My participation in the sport of rugby has also improved my leadership skills thus being rewarded the captain of the Saint Lucia Women’s National Team on a few occasions”.

Electra continued, “Rugby has instilled in me its core values which is integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect. I try to use in every aspect of my life. Like everything else, I am still a work in progress”.

She added, “Surprisingly, Rugby has already been introduced to the students at the Corinth Secondary School. It was somewhat dormant but with the help of the Saint Lucia Rugby Football Union (SLRFU), the Technical Director Wayne Pantor, myself and Chantel John we were able to breathe a little life into rugby at the school. We participated in the Secondary School Rugby extravaganza at the SAB playing facility where the students gave a good account of themselves and now some of these students are being filtered into different clubs as well as being part of the Saint Lucia Rugby Football Union Under 19 programme. Sadly COVID has slowed down the progress”.

Image: (L-R) Electra in action versus Scion Sirens out of Washington DC; Electra with ball in hand is being chased by Makeba Alcide ( r) and Rennetta Frederick (l) as she heads home for a Try run. (Photo: EM/Anthony De Beauville)
(L-R) Electra in action versus Scion Sirens out of Washington DC; Electra with ball in hand is being chased by Makeba Alcide ( r) and Rennetta Frederick (l) as she heads home for a Try run. (Photo: EM/Anthony De Beauville)

In terms of rivals on the pitch she said, “Both Whiptails and Rogues are our (Renegades) rivals but the experience of the Rogue team has made it our biggest rival to date”.

Short / long term goal: Short term Goal: Electra said, “Continue to educate myself during this down time and keep my fitness levels up as much as possible. Long term: To continue to represent my country Saint Lucia by playing as long as I can. Introduce and develop others as coach and mentor and try to put Saint Lucia on the map as a rugby nation”.

In terms of support during training and at games: “I would say that my biggest supporter is my nephew Joshua Nixon Marcelle who is always at my side at training and at games and always there to motivate me and cheer me on. No matter how tough the game of rugby may seem, a little smile from him and sometimes his criticism is enough encouragement and motivation to keep going. Hopefully he can take a cue from me and become an athlete in whatever sport he decides to choose. Hopefully rugby,” she noted.

On the question of the COVID -19 pandemic and training, she said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all countries of the world. Social and physical distancing measures are in place; lock down of businesses, schools and a ban on all contact sports to reduce the spread of the disease. As a result I along with my team mates can no longer play the game that we love, for now. Therefore adjustments had to be made to doing my own personal development by training at home or resorting to doing strength and conditioning exercises on the beach during the early morning. Also in my personal development, while I am at home, I do as many rugby online certificates as I can and I am also in my last certificate of my Rugby Level 2 Coaching course. But I can tell you training on your own and motivating yourself takes a lot of self-discipline”.

To young and aspiring athletes considering playing rugby: “This is the most addictive sport ever. Please be open minded to this sport as a number of things can be derived from playing rugby such as: scholarship opportunities, improving physical health, developing social skills, character building, bonding, equal opportunity, build self-esteem and confidence, learn valuable life lessons, positive role models, making life-long friends, feeling of being part of a team, you will respect others regardless of their decision, help relieve stress, travel and meeting different people and learnng different cultures, and it could also become a career. Always bear in mind that hard work and commitment pays off and the opportunities in rugby are endless on and off the field”.

Like previous profiles, I also spoke to the SLRFU Technical Director, Wayne Pantor about this amazing female athlete: This is what he said.

“Senior Veteran player, one of the foundation members of the squad, she has also played an active roll with the “Get into Rugby” school programme at the Corinth Secondary School for 2019 -2020”.

“Electra was one of the first cross over athlete in Saint Lucia rugby programme as a national athlete, so the track background helps with her very high rate”.

“She is always trying to motivate her peers to work harder on and off the pitch, she enforces her final selection to the squad with her high fitness output and has a no nonsense approach to training”

“She leaves it all on the field when she is required too. Electra has a good knowledge of the game in attack and defence. She is also pursuing her Level 2 Coaching Certification”.

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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