St Lucia, a 238 square
mile-island situated mid-way down the Caribbean archipelago is known
for its spectacular natural beauty. The lush tropical rainforests
of the interior undulate towards the sparkling Caribbean Sea on the
west coast and the Atlantic on the east coast. A varied and stunning
topography, a warm, friendly population of 160,000 and a national
joie de vivre make the former French and British colony among the
most appealing in the Caribbean.
St Lucians are no strangers to excellence, the small
island nation boasts two Nobel Laureates, one for economics and
the other for literature, and sons and daughters of the soil have
had their influence felt in the far reaches of the world. If there
is one thing though that St Lucians know how to do well, it is recreation.
There are no better, more passionate devotees of sport than the
St Lucian school child, bank teller or lawyer. Sport in St Lucia
has always enjoyed the ability to unify its participants and spectators
And with the limited resources that must necessarily
restrict the ambitions of a small island nation, a spirit of commitment
to excellence in sport has nevertheless thrived. Many an athlete,
before starting his early morning bus route, has risen to train
for several hours before work; as a result of these individual and
collective devotions, St Lucia has been able to participate in international
sports and St Lucian athletes have acquitted themselves admirably
competing at the higher levels.
Part of that has been too, the support of devoted
fans – Sundays reveal community cricket pitches bustling with
activity, Saturday football with sell-out crowds and evening net-ball
matches bursting at the seams. The recent appointment of St Lucian
Darren Sammy to the West Indies cricket squad seems to give testament
to this support.
has always been committed to hosting, when it can, regional and
international tournaments and meets. The ITF Coca Cola Junior Tennis
tournament attracts players from around the world, several OECS
swimming, cycling and other tournaments are regularly held here.
Many of these successes have been due in part to the efforts of
the people behind the scenes at the association level. The SLOC
has the privilege of acting as host to some sixteen associations,
giving them the advantage of a platform and a unifying body, sharing
the Olympic spirit which articulates an ideal that is a natural
part of St Lucian culture.