ACHIEVEMENT: Johnson Charles in batting action
SAINT LUCIA is celebrating the accomplishment of Johnson Charles, a young cricketer who has become only the second Saint Lucian to qualify for the West Indies.
The cricketer who first consummated this feat, Darren Sammy, now captain of the West Indies team congratulated Johnson Charles for his achievement, during a ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Youth & Sports.
Sammy applauded the Youth & Sports Minister for responding to his concerns and providing the platform for young sports persons to excel, especially by increasing accessibility to practice facilities.
“Right now we are seeing new interests being generated into sports - not only sports men and women looking to excel - but people in authority such as the Ministry of Youth & Sports and Sports Saint Lucia Inc.- the people who are in a position to push the youngsters.”
Sammy cited the Elite Athlete Programme - an initiative of the Ministry to provide employment and support for aspiring professional athletes - as a catalyst in the development of young athletes.
Sports Minister, the Honourable Lenard Spider Montoute, who spoke at the ceremony, urged Charles to remain confident and determined and not allow external forces to deter or distract him.
“We had people like Julian Charles, John Eugene, many Saint Lucians who came very close and possessed the talent, but just did not make it past that threshold into the West Indies team.
“I think that despite the fact that you did not make it to the West Indies team, you unlocked the door. Then came Darren Sammy who opened the door.
“And now, I think I can make a pronouncement that as of now we are going to see the procession of Saint Lucians going through that door,” Minister Montoute said.