Sports, Top Story


VIEUX FORT Comprehensive Secondary School (VFCSS) and St. Joseph’s Convent are the winners of the 2024 1st National Bank Island Champs Meet.

VFSS led the field in the male division while St Joseph’s Convent [SJC] won the female category to emerge winners respectively at the Island Champs event which was held at the Soufriere Mini Stadium (SMS) on Sunday.

After eight rounds of preliminary events and races, the qualifying athletes were prepped and ready to go on the Big Day as the inter-secondary school meet made its inaugural weekend debut.
The athletes went all out to demonstrate their prowess on the tracks before a supportive crowd of fans and sports enthusiasts.

The SMS was transformed into a colourful scene with animated supporters, flag bearers and athletes racing down the tracks as the excitement increased to the joy and delight of the many spectators.

VFSS cheerleaders in a jubilant mood

A ministry spokesperson at the tracks said “we are witnessing the power of togetherness as the crowd shows up to cheer on the athletes and their kids. Let us all be inspired by their unwavering support and electrifying energy!”

Sports Minister Kenson Casimir expressed elation with the outcome of the track-meet finals and heaped kudos on the athletes and their supporting teams, and the parents and supporters that turned out for the event.

The sports minister noted that it was a ‘deliberate and calculated’ move taken by the organisers to move the popular Island Champs to the weekend, so that more persons would be able to come out and support the island’s top young athletes in competition.

Notably, posters featuring Julien Alfred the island’s first Senior Global Champion were plastered all over the facility to acknowledge Julien’s recent accomplishment in winning the Indoor World Championships 60 metre event.

“We knew the benefit of moving Island Champs to the weekend, and we saw it. We saw so many parents, (and) so many families with their coolers coming in and making it a vibe,” Casimir told reporters, at a media briefing, Monday.

Commenting on the significance of organising the inter-secondary schools track meet, he added: “I am of the firm belief that when you invest in track and field and you have an Island Champs, it really is the heartbeat of sports development. Track and field is pulsating, its infectious and you could really see that, especially during the relays.

“And of course, if you look at Jamaica, you look at Trinidad and Tobago, and you look at Grenada what they’ve really done is to invest in their schools’ competition. And by moving it to the weekend we’ve commenced that.”

Athletes blaze down the tracks with lively crowd support

Casimir said despite some “kinks” in this initial phase, the sports meet “is deemed as an overall success and we’re only going to improve.”

The sports minister acknowledged the “huge investment” from major corporate sponsors – 1st National Bank with a $100, 000 to “our sports development programme as it pertains to Island Champs.”

On Julien Alfred’s feature at the facility, he said: “That was deliberate featuring Julien Alfred in the posters all around the mini-stadium, simply because she is the benchmark, she is the example we want. These are the young ladies and young men to follow. And in the interviews with the winners most of them are inspired by Julien Alfred.”

Casimir declared: “And 1st National Bank, in terms of collaborating with the ministry have indicated that we are going to come onboard to really make Julien Alfred the centre-piece off our Island Champs, from henceforth, and so we see the inspiration that she brings to our athletes.”

The final results were as follows:

In the Male division:

1st Place – VFSS with 166 points
2nd Place – Soufriere Secondary School with 144 points
3rd Place – Micoud Secondary School with 135 points

In the female division:

1st Place – St Joseph Convent with 218 points
2nd Place – Vieux Fort Secondary School with 179 points
3rd Place – St. Lucia Sports Academy with 165 points

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