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Windward Island Secondary Schools Games Kick Off in St. Lucia

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Monday, August 05, 2002 - St. Lucia has begun playing host to the 2002 Windward Islands Secondary Schools Games. The first discipline that of track and field, got underway on the weekend at the National Stadium in the southern town of Vieux Fort. Apart from track and field, athletes are competing in basketball, football, netball, and volleyball. Permanent Secretary in the Department of Youth and Sports Ernest Hilaire told hundreds of spectators who converged on the stadium grounds on Saturday August 3, 2002 for the opening event, that the games represent gleams of the future of sports in the sub-region.

“It is not a perfect championship because although we have five disciplines you will not have five specialized teams. Each country is allowed a maximum of forty athletes from which they will participate in all of the five sporting disciplines. Therefore you will not have your best volleyball or football or for that matter any of the other disciplines and athletes are expected in most cases to participate in more than one discipline,” said Hilaire.

Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports Honourable Mario Michel who declared the games opened, noted that the hosting of the Windward Islands Championship was a fitting way to commission the track and field facility at the National Stadium.

According to Minister Michel, “as I said to the St. Lucian contingent when we did the inspection of teams, you are what this facility is all about. You are the ones this facility was built for. When we decided on this project and when we gave it all the energies and resources that we could to ensure that it happened and happened in the best way possible, we did it with our young athletes and students in mind because it is they whom we hope will make use of this facility and go on to make their country proud.”

With Grenada as the overall defending champions, some 200 athletes accompanied in most cases by their respective Youth and Sports Ministers from Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and host country St. Lucia are participating in the games, which come to an end on August 11, 2002.


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