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SLOC Inc. Announces Commonwealth Youth Games Team

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The St. Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) has announced the team that will compete in this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games which will be held in Trinidad and Tobago from August 4-11, 2023.

The six athletes and their events are as follows:

  • Tristan Dorville (Swimming) — 100M Freestyle, 100M Butterfly
  • Naima Hazell (Swimming) — 50M Freestyle, 50M Breaststroke
  • Naomi London (Athletics) — 100M, 200M
  • Ishmael Duran (Athletics) — 100M, 200M
  • Naya Jules (Javelin)
  • Denzel Phillips (Shot Put, Discus)

The Head of Delegation is Makeba Alcide, while the coaches are Claude Charlemagne (Track and Field) and Andy Edward (Swimming).

President of SLOC Inc., Alfred Emmanuel, said that due to the nature of the Commonwealth Youth Games, Saint Lucia was awarded only five slots, forcing SLOC Inc. to take some tough decisions.

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“The five slots were awarded based on information that was provided by the respective national federations, and, having gone through the submissions, we arrived at the final team,” Emmanuel said during a press briefing at Olympic House last Tuesday.

“We’re still battling with the sport of volleyball,” Emmanuel added. “Battling in the sense that we need assurances that up to yesterday (Monday) could not have been given. Having said that, I want to make it abundantly clear that associations need to leave the politics in the background (and) among themselves, and not extend their internal politics to the Olympic Committee to make a decision. The leaders of the sporting disciplines must have the courage to face their athletes when they know fully well that their athletes are not up to the task (and) to tell their athletes that they are not up to the task, and, as such, you cannot get my support nominating and sending you forward to the Olympic Committee.”

Emmanuel further explained that SLOC Inc. will not accept nominations from associations for athletes who do not meet the criteria for competition.

“Whenever we see that those leaders do not have the courage to do that, and they would provide the Olympic Committee with athletes performing poorly and below par, we would have absolutely no choice but to send a resounding ‘no’ to those federations and have their athletes remain at home,” he stated. “They must have the courage to tell their athletes that they need to work harder and perform better.”

He added: “Let me send a warning: the days for universality are over under my leadership. You’ve got to meet the minimum required standard for participation going forward. There is nothing like you are out there for exposure or gaining experience. You’re going to get exposure and gain experience under the umbrella of your national federation, not under the banner of the St. Lucia Olympic Committee.

“When associations send us athletes, they need to send us athletes that have attained standards in a genuine way, not by making the cut because athletes that have met the standards decided that they’re not participating in the Games, and, as such, by you not having made the cut, you are in a position to move up in the number game. As an organization, we are committed to our funding agencies, we are committed to sponsors, and, as such, the breaks that were given in the past are no more.”

Nevertheless, Emmanuel encouraged the athletes to give of their best at the upcoming Games, and not to be intimidated by their competition.

“We would be extremely happy for you to mount the podium because that is the end-game,” Emmanuel told the athletes. “But to mount the podium, you will have to do that with courage, with skill, and performing at your best. I hope that the opportunity provided to the six lucky individuals, that they’re going to make the best of it, and, at the end of the day, make their country, sport and themselves proud by their performances.”

SLOC Inc. Secretary General, Teddy Matthews, also had some encouraging words for the young athletes, telling them that the opportunity being provided at the upcoming Commonwealth Youth Games is a stepping stone to the senior phase of their careers. He also explained to them the need for great preparation.

“As athletes, it is very important that you prepare properly,” Matthews said. “If your preparation is not right, your actual performance is not going to be as good as it should be. So, as young athletes, if you have the passion and desire to get to the higher levels, you must know, with your coaches, how often you must train, how many hours you must put in a week, and you must know for what length of time that you must continue to train so that you can get to the level for different competitions you want to be in.”

Meanwhile, Head of Delegation, Makeba Alcide, said the young team comes with enough experience to match up to their competitors.

“I believe we have an experienced cadre of athletes,” she said. “For all of these athletes, it’s not their first time representing Saint Lucia, so we know they have the experience to go out there and give of their best.”

Alcide said the swimming events will be held from August 6-9, while athletics will be held from August 7-10.

SOURCE: St. Lucia Olympic Committee

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