The St. Lucia Basketball Federation and St. Lucia Volleyball Association received sponsorship from the St. Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) Inc. last week Friday (October 7th) towards their participation in upcoming tournaments.
The St. Lucia Basketball Federation received $7,000.00 for their participation in the FIBA 3×3 Americup Tournament in Miami, Florida, from November 4th – 6th, while the St. Lucia Volleyball Association received $31,200.00 for their participation in the ECVA Senior Women’s Tournament in Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten, from October 12th – 17th.
The presentations were made in the Jonathan H. Everett Conference Room.
President of SLOC Inc., Alfred Emmanuel, presented cheques to representatives of both associations, noting that the SLOC Inc. is continuing with its mandate of supporting members with the aim of assisting them in fulfilling their own individual mandates. However, he called on members to be accountable.
“Fulfilling the individual mandate is one thing; providing financial assistance to fulfil such a mandate is another thing,” said Emmanuel. “And when we put the two together, as the funding agency, we’re calling on our members to ensure that the funds are put to good use.”
He added: “We do not want to find the experience of going (to tournaments) knowing fully well that we have no business being there. Some members want their continental and international federations to believe that they are working so hard at home that they are in a position to be out there competing and that’s fine, but we want members to go out there and be competitive, and for persons in those tournaments to remember the Saint Lucian contingents as contingents they had great difficulty with on the field of play.”
While Emmanuel acknowledged that athletes will not always be victorious in their outings, he said performances need to reflect an upward trend – not stagnated or regressive.
Emmanuel said there are three major championships under there umbrella of the SLOC Inc. for 2023. These are the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, the Centro Caribe Sports (formerly known as the CACSO Games) in El Salvador, and the Pan American Championships in Santiago, Chile.
He lamented that while the SLOC Inc. invited members to make submissions re their preparation plans for these championships by September 30 this year, only three members have done so. He called on federations to tighten up on their internal planning so as to be more efficient.
Emmanuel also wished the teams the best as they prepare to represent the island in the respective tournaments.
“The SLOC Inc. wishes both delegations every success in their outing. We hope that the other delegations will see us as being serious contenders and not just being there making up numbers,” he said.
Leslie Collymore, President of the Saint Lucia Basketball Federation, accepted the cheque on his association’s behalf.
“We’d like to express sincere gratitude to the St. Lucia Olympic Committee for the support granted for our participation in the upcoming FIBA Americas 3×3 Championship,” said Collymore.
Collymore said Saint Lucia participated in the tournament for the first time last year, and ranking 12th in the Americas, dispatched world number seven ranked team Argentina, but missed out on the semifinals by just one point after losing to Puerto Rico. Since then, Saint Lucia’s ranking has slipped to 14th in the Americas. The aim, he said, is to move up in the rankings.
He noted that since catching the attention of other teams through their impressive performance last year, Team Saint Lucia is up and ready for the challenge at next month’s tournament. This, he said, is partly due to the SLOC Inc.’s generous assistance and insistence on members being accountable.
“Make no mistake – we are in support of the conditions that are put in place,” he said. “We can’t go out there and expect to perform at the highest level without proper administration, proper programming and proper preparation.”
Kerin Neptune, senior volleyball player, accepted the cheque on her association’s behalf.
“I would like to thank the St. Lucia Olympic Committee for the support and let everyone know that our team has been preparing for the last three months for this tournament,” Neptune said. “I feel we are prepared for this tournament.”
Thus far this year, the SLOC Inc. has approved a total of $508,442.46 to member associations.