As we bring the curtains down on what has been a mixed year for sports not only in Saint Lucia but around the globe due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we present the final in the Rugby profile series for 2020.
More profiles on Fair Helen’s prince and princesses in the various sporting disciplines will continue in the coming year.
Our final princess is 33-year-old Renetta Alecia Fredericks a former student of the Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School (SISS) and a former netball player.
In 2004 Renetta captained the SISS to gold medal honors in the Inter Secondary Schools netball tournament.
Renetta is a student nurse by profession and like many female rugby players before her time was introduced to the sport by her best friend Vonette Victor.
Here she speaks to this reporter about her journey to date. This is what she said.
“Playing rugby was never a deliberate decision of mine, it was by chance Vonette approached me asking me to join, I was curious and decided to join. That’s how I started”.
Renetta added, “What made me play the sport for so long was that I found a newfound sense of belonging and competitiveness. I found an instant connection with the ladies that I train and played with within the SLRFU structure. I then decided to take up the sport seriously, I am still involved today after so many years.”
On the local scene, she represents the Rouge Rugby Club.
In terms of challenges in the latter part of her rugby career and her being a student nurse, according to Renetta, “I had to balance my studies while playing the sport”.
On the pitch, Renetta made her debut in 2006 at the inaugural North America and Caribbean Rugby tournament in Barbados when she played against Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the USA and host nation Barbados.
She is an explosive player on the pitch as she looks to out- run her opponents but off the pitch she is a very shy and reserved individual.
Regarding short term and long term goals: “I want to be a part of Saint Lucia national team and aim to win the Rugby America North title; and for the near future to represent my nation at the Olympic Games, hopefully to lead the charge and also become a Level 2 Rugby coach and referee”.
Renetta’s achievements to date: 2019 National team for Olympic Qualifiers, Rugby America North Championship (bronze medalist) Cayman Islands; Captain of National team 10 a side Rugby America North Championship, (semi-finalist) Barbados; Captain of National team 7 a side Bouclier Monique Ribeaut Championship, (silver medalist) Guadeloupe.
2018: Coach of National team 7 a side Rugby America North Championship, (semi finalist) Barbados; Coach of National team 7 a side Bouclier Monique Ribeaut Championship, (gold medalist) Guadeloupe; 2018 National Sports Award, Rugby coach of the year.
2017: Coach of Body Holiday Rugby Club, winners of SLRFU beach, community and LUCELEC Mike Mathurin local tournaments.
2014: Rugby America Coaching and Athletic Nutrition Certification, Las Vegas.
2013: Captain of National team 7 a side World Rugby Championship, Trinidad and Tobago
2012: National Sports Awards, Senior Rugby Sportswoman for the Year.
2011: Captain of National team North America and Caribbean Championship, (semi finalist) Barbados; National Sport Award, Senior Rugby Sportswoman for the Year.
2010: Captain of National team North America and Caribbean Championship, (semi finalist) Guyana; 2010 National Sports Award, Senior Rugby Sportswoman for the Year.
2009: Captain of National team North America and Caribbean Championship, (silver medalist) Mexico.
2008: National Sports Awards Senior Rugby Sportswoman for the Year.
2006: National Sports Awards Junior Rugby Sportswoman for the Year; MVP, Highest scorer awards at Saint Lucia International Carnival Tournament; Captain of National rugby 7s a side North America West Indies Rugby Championship; West Indies Rugby team selectee.
2005: National team of Saint Lucia first time participation in North America West Indies Rugby Tournament; Female athlete and netballer of the year Sir Ira Simmons Secondary School (SISS) graduate.
2004: Captain of SISS netball Inter school championship, (gold medalist)
In terms of support during training and tournaments: She was to the point, “My close friends and family members”.
On the question of Covid-19 pandemic and training, she said, “I have continued off field training at home and sometimes the gym but I really miss training with my team”.
To young and aspiring athletes considering playing rugby she had words of inspiration: “Follow your passion and work hard, be consistent with your training both on and off the field and ignore any negativity towards you as a female athlete”.
As customary, the VOICE also spoke to the SLRFU Technical Director, Wayne Pantor on one of Saint Lucia’s finest female rugby player. This is what he had to say.
“She is a senior player with a wealth of playing knowledge and has earned a lot of respect as a player from her peers both locally and regionally”.
“Her playing style is very dynamic and explosive at times both in attack and defence”.
“I have seen her at times take the battle to the opposition to give team Saint Lucia that much needed point to secure victory”.
He added, “Going forward she also has the potential to be a good coach if she decides to pursue that avenue in her future as she has had a Stella rugby career thus far”..
According to Wayne, “My aim for the SLRFU is to create future leaders of the programme at the levels of coaches and administrators”.