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St. Lucian Team Off to OECS Women's Volleyball

Optimistic  Bodybuilders  Leave for CAC

Football's 'Ti Loy' Jn Marie takes over

Mon Repos: Cricketing Stronghold

Football Stadium Being Planned for St. Lucia

No Mo' Motocross at Pigeon Island


West Indies Cricket Tournament


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St. Lucian Team Off to OECS Women's Volleyball

    (September 27) - Jetsetter Sabina Gaston leads a team of eight women named for this weekend's Tenth Annual Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States' Women's Volleyball Tournament. The St. Lucian women left for the tournament Thursday morning under head coach Terry Verdant and assistant coach Meinrad (Moffy) Joseph. Marcia Vite (Ciceron Seagulls) will serve as vice captain. In August, Vite coached the women's team to the Caribbean Under-20 Championships in Jamaica.
    Three of her former charges accompany her to St. Vincent this weekend. Le Club's Garvinia Gill was the captain of that side, Ciceron Seagull Shana Aubrey was vice-captain. Signa President (Phoenix) was the third junior player selected for OECS. Rebecca Flermius, Joana Reynolds and Gifta Dujon are the other three Le Club players now in St. Vincent. Ciceron Seagulls Cherry Ann Antoine and Lottie Philip complete the team, which headed for St. Vincent with weighty expectations.
    St. Lucia's women will be looking for their eighth OECS volleyball title, having dominated the previous nine tournaments. Only twice has St. Lucia failed to come away with the OECS Championship, and they would be very disappointed if they were to lose in St. Vincent this weekend. The team is athletic, with experience in key positions, not least of which is setter, where Vite may have to play and play well for St. Lucia to win. Philip, a young middle blocker, could have a breakout tournament.


Optimistic St. Lucian Bodybuilding Team Leaves for CAC

    (September 23) - A confident St. Lucian quartet departs Thursday for the 1999 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding Championships in St. Martin, September 24-26. The group includes coach Alleyne Duncan, with competitors Julian Felix, Alphonsus Joseph and Monica Dudley. It's the smallest contingent named by the St. Lucia Amateur Bodybuilding Association to contest the CAC Championships in the last six or seven years. Duncan and Felix have decided that Julian, the inaugural Commonwealth middleweight champion, will remain in his usual weight class. Felix is the two-time defending CAC middleweight champion, but he had been thinking about moving into the light heavyweight division this year. In July he successfully contested the Eastern Caribbean Championships in the light heavy division.
    Bantamweight Alphonsus Joseph finished second at CAC in 1998, and coach Duncan says that the experienced campaigner may be in the best shape of his life. Lightweight competitor Monica Dudley finished fourth in 1998. Herself and Julian Felix excel in pairs competition. Duncan says that although the team is small, he's confident that St. Lucia will do well. The athletes weigh in on Friday.


Football's 'Ti Loy' Jn Marie takes over from Titus Elva

    (September 22) - Twenty five year old Emmerson (Ti Loy) Jn Marie of Roots Alley Ballers is probably the best player in domestic football this season, but the forward/midfielder freely admits that he is only a couple of years removed from his struggles with indiscipline and immaturity. The turning point for Ti Loy came last year when he was on trial with Plymouth Argyle in England's Third Division. "I saw how the clubs were organised, and I looked at the discipline of the players," he says.
    Since returning home, Jn Marie has taken his lessons to heart. His dedication to training and fitness have been an example to the youngsters in the side, and everything has fallen into place. Most notable are his coolness and composure in the eighteen yard box, which have him among the leading scorers in the Premier League. Last weekend alone he scored six goals in the Heineken FA Cup, having notched a hat trick in Roots Alley Ballers' second round match.
    Approximately three quarters of the way through the season Roots Alley Ballers are at the top of the premier league, leading from VSADC. They're also in the quarter finals of the FA Cup, one of only three Premier League teams to have made it to that stage. All this has come in the absence of Titus "Titi" Elva, the team's main scoring threat in recent years. Elva is plying his trade with W Connection in the Trinidad Professional Football Leauge's inaugural season.
    In Elva's absence, Emerson's role has changed significantly. Compact and diminutive, Ti Loy ran the midfield which supplied Elva with scoring opportunities. Now it's Emerson's turn to carry the team, although he's quick to add that "a lot of young players have come in, and they've made the most of their opportunities." Sheldon Mark and Sheldon Emmauel have been notable for their work from the midfield, but Jn Marie is the team leader, on the pitch or off.
    With his newly discovered discipline, maturity and a fine scoring touch, Ti Loy is getting his just desserts at international level. During the Goodwill tournament in Guyana two weeks ago, he scored both goals in St. Lucia's victory over Dominica, earning his side the Goowill trophy. Emerson says that one day he'd like to play as a full-time professional, but right now he's focused on finishing off the domestic season in style, and focussed on meeting his many goals.


Mon Repos: Cricketing Stronghold

    (September 23) - There's probably no region in St. Lucia that has been as consistent in the sport of cricket as Mon Repos. Over the years one recalls great players of the likes of Henry Wilson, Ismond Monrose, the Serieux brothers and of course Brian Stephen. Mon Repos won the 1995 Inter-District Championship; they made it back to the 1999 Piton Beer Inter-Disctrict final, where .they lost to Gros Islet. Not satisfied with just making the final, Mon Repos' cricket administrators are already making plans for the 2000 season and beyond.
    A committee comprising former players Patrick Augustin, Marcellus Serieux, Octavian Charles, Bernard Gaston, Dennis James and Nicholas Jean-Baptiste recently held a meeting to prepare for next year's domestic competition and to set the foundation for the development of the sport in St. Lucia. A number of decisions were made which are sure to affect the Mon Repos team's performance in years to come. Among other things, the committee looked at coaching, facilities, sponsorship and an expanded season for the Mon Repos League.
    The committee has proposed that all teams in the Mon Repos League ought to have an official coach. Jean-Baptiste says that the committee is looking into staging a series of clinics to prepare coaches for the 2000 season. Also proposed was an expanded Mon Repos season, beginning in January with the SLBC Shield competition. Under a sponsorship deal with Caribbean Metals Limited, all cricket venues in Mon Repos will be equipped with scoreboards. The Mon Repos committee will be atempting to secure further sponsorship deals.
    Mon Repos has a very solid youth structure, and a youth development programme is being put in place to nurture junior players. Special mention was made of women's cricket, which will be officially recognised by Mon Repos' Youth and Sports Council. The committee also examined the state of umpiring, selection criteria and ground maintenance. The comprehensive work done by this committee ought to serve Mon Repos cricket well.


Football Stadium Being Planned for St. Lucia

    (September 22) - A purpose-built football stadium is on the cards for St. Lucia, according to senior officials of the St. Lucia Football Association. FA General Secretary Victor Reid and President Mark Louis, speaking in separate radio interviews, explained that the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports is actively examining the possibility of situating a facility in the Mabouya Valley. As Louis put it, the Valley is "a hotbed" of St. Lucian football. Few superior locations could be identified.
    The Ministry is working closely with the FA to see this project to fruition. The FA has sought the assistance of the world governing body FIFA, towards funding the facility. Under FIFA's Gold Programme, five CONCACAF territories will share a subvention of US$100 million, principally for the development of football stadia. Louis says that strictly speaking, the facility will be classified by FIFA as a training facility, but Reid adds that the plans currently being drawn up by an architect include all of the relevant bells and whistles. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and a recent (recurrent) debate as to whether the Mindoo Philip Park ought to be devoted solely to cricket serves to highlight the need for an exclusive football facility. Such a development would allow the FA to expand the scope of its current programmes, while significantly advancing the growth of the game. Louis explains that other existing grounds, including Vieux Fort's Friendship Park, are being identified for further improvement. All would fall within the FIFA mandate.
    Many readers will remember getting excited early in 1998 when Mario Michel and George Odlum told us that a stadium was being planned for Vieux Fort. We were told, too, that ground would be broken by year end. That was eighteen months ago, and a cynic would ask which year Mr. Michel was talking about. Myself, I have a great deal of faith in the Ministry, especially since Ernest Hilaire was appointed as Permanent Secretary. I look forward to hearing more about the Ministry's plans for one of St. Lucia's most succesful sports.


No Mo' Motocross at Pigeon Island

    (September 21) - The St. Lucia Motocross Club was struck a serious, but not unexpected blow this week, with word coming down from the National Conservation Authority (NCA) that the Pigeon Point Causeway will no longer be available for motocross events. For nearly a decade, this venue has been the home of St. Lucian motocross, but with the construction of the Hyatt Regency St. Lucia on the Causeway the NCA has called for a halt to the Club's activities.
    According to NCA Chairman Senator Perry Thomas the Club must stop racing by October 5. Thomas, in a letter to Motocross Club President Wayne Quintyne, informs the riders that the move is being made "to facilitate the development of the area." The Hyatt chain has promised to be very involved in the landscaping of the Causeway, and the plans for the hotel include a luxurious garden. The Hyatt Regency St. Lucia got underway in 1998. Since that time the Motocross Club has been aware of the need to find a new home, but aside from the establishment of a Committee for that purpose, little has been done towards actually identifying a site for the young sport. The Club had hoped to stage two domestic events this year, and a team is being prepared for a race in November at Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Tuesday's news has set the Club further back in its preparations for those events.
    Still some time away is the fifth Havoline Supercross, which is slated for the year 2000. The club is hoping to build on the success of the 1999 event, which drew riders from Barbados and the French Caribbean. Guyana, Jamaica and North America are being invited to next year's event. Before the Club starts thinking about next year, though, it will have to think seriously about finding a permanent home for motocross in St. Lucia; they've got their work cut out.







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