Bank’s investment in Julien Alfred has paid heavy dividends for Saint Lucia!

By VOICE Reporter

SAINT Lucia-born World Athletics Indoor Championships 60-meters Gold-medalist Julien Alfred, has been roundly-congratulated for establishing a local foundation dedicated to empowering youth through education, sports and community development initiatives.

The Julien Alfred Foundation was launched here last weekend (April 6) with enthusiastic public gestures and has been getting rave reviews ever since.

The global sporting star received a Hero’s Welcome Home last Friday (April 5) at the Hewanorra International Airport, where Sports Minister Kenson Casimir and President of the Saint Lucia Athletics Association Brendalyn Descartes welcomed her with glowing and flowery praise.

1st National Bank has been her proud sponsor since 2022, and followed her career successes since then, including her college graduation in Dallas, Texas in April 2023.

Julien’s connection with the bank is also highly-appreciated by her family – and her mother represented 1st National Bank in the February 2024 Independence Baton
Relay in the City of Castries.

In recognition of her sterling performances, the sponsoring bank’s Marketing and Commercial Manager, Tishanna Jeffers, noted at the airport welcome ceremony that her bank had wisely-invested in the budding athlete long before she became a national icon.

The 22-year-old Alfred is Saint Lucia’s latest sporting gem — and bank officials are not thrifty with words acknowledging the high-value returns its investment in her has brought Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians.

Chief Investment Officer Samuel Agiste told the Foundation’s media launch last Saturday the bank had “recognized a star in Julien early-on in the game” when “we saw someone who would be First — and we wanted to align her with Our First.”

He recalled the bank approached the budding young athlete about sponsorship in 2022, “and thankfully she said yes…”

Thereafter, the sponsor undertook a nationwide marketing strategy that saw it “plaster Julien’s image across Saint Lucia,” because, he explained, “we felt that Saint Lucia needed to know her, to be more aware of her greatness and her potential to be even greater…”

Mr. Agiste publicly reiterated the bank’s assurance to the home-grown global athlete from Ciceron – in keeping with its national tagline: “1st National Bank will always be here, for you!”

1st National Bank, he added, was “very excited to be part of this new initiative with you, as you seek to give back to the community…”
“As a community-based bank,” he noted, “we grow when you grow; and we always want to give-back to foster further development.”

The Chief Investment Officer sealed his delivery saying, “We believe now, that we are no longer sponsoring Julien Alfred, but rather – Julien Alfred is sponsoring 1st National Bank.”

Saint Lucia’s global Sprint Queen told well-wishers she doesn’t wish that any other local athlete would encounter the difficulties she (and others) faced on their ladder to the top.

Alfred recalled not having any sponsorship at all, until 1st National Bank knocked on her door long before her name started making news headlines.

She was “honoured” to be Saint Lucia’s first global medalist, but also noted that “it takes a village to raise a child…” and hoped the Foundation “will encourage the country to get on board and start supporting the youth.”

The world champion said: “We can have so-many-more Darren Sammys and Levern Spencers, but we need to come together and encourage future athletes.”

1st National Bank officials say its early investment has yielded profitable rates-of-return for Saint Lucia – and Ms. Alfred can continue to rest assured of its support, as the island’s latest global brand ambassador.

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