THE National Lotteries Authority (NLA) has come to the assistance of Sports Saint Lucia Inc. (SSI) and the Department of Youth Development and Sports, recently handing over $500,000 to the latter two organisations for the maintenance of various sporting facilities on the island.
The pronouncement was made by Nancy Charles, Vice-Chair/Director of National Lotteries Authority, at a press conference on October 12 in the conference room of the Department of Youth Development and Sports.
Charles said, “The National Lotteries Authorities does not have a choice in supporting youth and sports development in Saint Lucia because that is the mandate of the NLA: it is what we are asked to do. The funding for those activities does not come from us; they are the monies of Saint Lucians who play the various games and we are mandated to use those monies in the best way possible for the development of youth and sports in Saint Lucia. NLA is pleased to continue our partnership with SSI in terms of the development and the maintenance of our sporting facilities around the island.”
The NLA believes that better maintenance of the facilities will result in increased participation and better results from our athletes who use those facilities.
“If you are going to have athletes playing on a field that is not up to standard, it means that your athletes will get injured and not able to train as consistently as they want,” she said. “You will not get the desired results. The maintenance programme is very important in ensuring that our athletes can give of their best.”
The NLA is hoping the budget will cover cost of equipment, salary and wages, transportation of materials and supplies, servicing of equipment, training of staff members.
Chairman of Sports Saint Lucia Inc, Steven Regis, said, “The Department of Youth and Sports is responsible for all playing fields around the island and they have a mandate to ensure all the facilities, including open facilities, are kept to a standard so that individuals can have somewhere to train and recreate.
He said, “With the NICE programme coming to an end, where those facilities were not being kept as required, SSI saw it fitting to engage the Department of Youth and Sports and NLA to put forward a proposal to have these facilities maintained, not just grass cutting.”
The Island is divided into five, within which there is a coordinator for each, along with some caretakers who have been mandated to look after these facilities on a daily basis.