Two Saint Lucian Olympians – Zephrinus Joseph who competed in the Sydney Olympics marathon (left) and Dr. Vernetta Lesporis who competed in the 400 metres at the 2000 Olympiad. (photo:

The grapevine have been buzzing with the news that a former Saint Lucian track star Olympian is being considered to fill the post of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports.

Since the retirement of Donovan Williams, sources say that the government have been keen to fill the position with someone who would galvanise the island’s thrust towards a more improved sporting environment.

Donavan Williams had been Permanent Secretary within that cluster of ministries, and sources say, he performed his duties with distinction during his multiple stints at the Ministry.

The sources revealed that officials of the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports are fully supportive of Dr. Vernetta Lesforis, receiving the nod, for she is “perfect for the job.”

In a cabinet reshuffle last year, former Saint Lucia and OECS 100 and 200 metre record holder Edmund Estephane was handed the newly formed full-fledge Ministry of Youth Development and Sports. Previously, it was just a department, forming part of a cluster of ministries.

There is an urgent need for a replacement to oversee the implementation of policy as it pertains to youth and sports development, according to the sources.

Vernetta Lesforis is a former Saint Lucian sprinter who specialized in the 400 metres. She attended Missouri Valley College, where she graduated with top marks both in athletics and academics.

In the year 1999 Lesporis won gold at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in a career best time of 52.21 seconds. The following year, she went on to represent St. Lucia at the 2000 Olympic Games, in Sydney Australia.

Her studies at university was in Management, and she earned a doctorate in the field of Education. Returning to her native Saint Lucia, Lesporis was elected unto the executive of the Elite Sports Club, and helped in the development of a number of athletes including Albert Reynolds who was Saint Lucia javelin record holder, and is the current Sportsman of the Year.

Lesforis had a brief stint at the Department of Youth Development and Sports, before being transferred to the Ministry of Education.