Julien Alfred (left) wins Commonwealth Youth gold in the 100 metres

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA – Nominations have been submitted by the various sporting associations for prestigious awards at Saint Lucia’s 2018 National Sports Awards, scheduled to take place at Royalton Resorts on February 17.

At a recent press briefing held at the Department of Youth Development and Sports, Acting Director of Youth and Sports Patrick Mathurin, said that plans for this year’s proceedings are well underway to make things run smoothly.

According to Mathurin, “We received nominations from 14 national associations and we had 36 persons being nominated. We saw an upward in terms of number of persons being nominated, but again we have some concerns. This year we have seen the absence of certain persons who would have nominated personnel.”

Mathurin made specific mention that the Saint Lucia Football Association did not nominate anyone.

The Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association despite having over the years nominated four individuals, this year only nominated one person.

Also having one nominee was the Saint Lucia Netball Association.

Following are the athletes were so far made the grade in the prestigious awards category.

Athletes short listed by the Department of Youth Development and Sports for Sportsman of the Year, Sportswoman of the Year, Junior Sportsman of the Year and Junior Sportswoman of the year, are as follows.

Junior Sportswoman shortlist-:

* Julien Alfred (Saint Lucia Athletics Association): Alfred made history by becoming Saint Lucia’s first gold medalist at the Commonwealth Youth Games. She ended 2017 being ranked the seventh in the World in the Under-18 category by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). During the period under review, Alfred continued her dominance in the 100 metres (m) and 200 m events in which she was undefeated at the national level setting records in both sprints.

* Megan Nestor (Saint Lucia Netball Association): Nestor represented her school Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School at the Under-15 and Under-19 age group, and was a force to reckon with at both ends of the court. Megan was awarded the MVP and Best Attacking Player after her school won the Under-19 title. She played a vital role in helping Saint Lucia secure the netball championship at the Windward Islands School Games in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Nestor was named MVP for St Lucia at the OECS Under 23 Netball Tournament and placed second in the shooting competition. She was also instrumental in Saint Lucia being awarded third place in the shooting competition at the ECBB/OECS Under-23 Netball Tournament. This dynamic performer was a member of the Under-16 National Team and also played for Saint Lucia in a tri-series against Dominica.

Saint Lucia Junior and Senior Female Cricketer of the Year 2017

* Qiana Joseph (Saint Lucia National Cricket Association): Among her achievements in 2017 and there were many, Joseph was selected to the Windward Islands Women’s Cricket team. Following her brilliant display of batting and bowling in the Cricket West Indies Regional Senior Women Cricket Tournament held in St Vincent and the Grenadines, the selectors had no choice but select her to the West Indies Women’s Senior Cricket Team.

Joseph is the only Saint Lucian player on the side. Joseph made her one day International debut on July 2, 2017 against South Africa in the ICC Women’s World Cup played in England from June 16 to July 24. Thereafter she played in a match against England and registered one for 29.

Other achievements include recording her first century scoring a superb 139 not out for the Northern Cluster Grass Roots Cricket Program representative team against a touring boy’s school team from the UK at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

Junior Sportsman shortlist-:

* Nathan Ferrari (Saint Lucia Amateur Boxing Association): Nicknamed “Furious” for the way his furiousness in the ring, Ferrari is one of the most dedicated, disciplined young boxers in Saint Lucia. His dedication inspires other young boxers to remain motivated in the sport and realize their full potential. Ferrari was a gold medalist in a tournament held in Guyana and was also named the Most Outstanding Boxer there.

He was also a medaled at three major boxing events held at the Beausejour Indoor Facility. He captured a gold medal at the OECS boxing Championships, a silver at the Creole Boxing Championships, and a bronze medal at the highly competitive Caribbean Boxing Championships.

* Kimani Melius (Saint Lucia National Cricket Association) He was Saint Lucia’s pride and joy after being named to the West Indies Under-19 team, which played in the 2018 ICC Youth World Cup in New Zealand. Melius scored the second most runs in the Massy United Insurance Under-19 Cricket Tournament and achieved the tournament’s highest score of 184.

In community cricket this Babonneau Secondary School student scored the most runs including two centuries in the Ezeckiel Joseph Babonneau Twenty20 Cricket Competition. Playing for the national Under-19, Melius scored the most runs in the Windward Under-19 Tournament including a century against St Vincent and the Grenadines.

This prolific batsman continued his good form in the Regional Under-19 Tournament scoring the most runs (441) in the three-day tournament, which included a century vs Jamaica (109) and four half centuries.

Kimani Melius in action during the 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand

* Reuben Nichols (St Lucia Athletics Association): In 2017, Nichols improved in nearly every competition, becoming the leading athlete his age in the OECS – one of the top 10 fastest in the Caribbean, top 20 in the Americas and finished the year as the 11th fastest in the world in his age group or younger. He placed 11th overall at the World Championships. This sprinter ended the year with a remarkable 17 individual gold medals and four silver as well as other medals in relays. This 16 year-old is the two time defending 400 m champion at the Independence Track and Field Championships, and the two time age group champion for the 400 m and 800 mat the Inter Schools Track and Field Championships, National Junior Championships, National Championships. In July, Nichols became the first male St Lucian athlete to qualify for the track semifinals of a global event at any level. At the meet he ran a personal best in the 400 m (48.01) at the IAAF World Under 18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sportswoman of the Year shortlist-:

* Katie Kyle (Saint Lucia Amateur Swimming Association: No doubt about it, Kyle is like a fish in the water. This past year she dominated swimming at the local level. For example she won all of her three events at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre Invitational and all four events at the Karen Beaubrun Swim Meet.

At Carifta, she came away with silver and bronze and set two national records. Competing at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships, Kyle earned a silver and bronze medal to go along with three national records. Kyle presently attending school in the UK on a scholarship. Her first meet there was the Manchester International Championships where she placed third in the 50 fly (28.64) which established a new national record.

* Julien Alfred (Saint Lucia Athletics Association) Besides being shortlisted for Junior Sportswoman of the Year, Alfred is also on the shortlist for Sportswoman of the Year.

Sportsman of the Year shortlist-:

* Sportsman of the Year: Albert Reynolds (Saint Lucia Athletics Association): Reynolds had an outstanding year competing in local, regional and international meets. He was undefeated in local meets, placed in the top three in every other meet and reset the national record twice in javelin.

The Babonneau resident set a new Martinique javelin record at the Elite French Championships while representing his French club ASCOIA Inter Atlas. His best throw of 79.44 is the second best toss in the OECS for 2017. Reynolds is also ranked 67th in the world in the event – his highest ranking ever and the third thrower from the Caribbean on the list. He has qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games taking place in Australia.

Albert represented Saint Lucia with distinction in 2017 and is regarded as one of the best javelin throwers in the region.

Johnson Charles batting during the inaugural Ten10 League in Sharjah

* Lyndel Marcellin (Saint Lucia Amateur Boxing Association) 2017 was a big year for Marcellin and in turn the SLABA who benefitted from his success in the ring. His success in a sport he dominated had a positive effect on boxers who kept coming back to the gym in hopes of following in his footsteps.

Competing at the Beausejour Indoor Facility, Saint Lucia won the OECS Boxing Championships, Creole Boxing Championships and boxers gave a good account of themselves at the Caribbean Boxing Championships. At the three competitions Marcellin who is nicknamed “The Russian” came away with a gold medal. In addition, at the Creole Boxing Championships and the OECS Boxing Championships the Castries resident the Most Outstanding Boxer.

* Johnson Charles (Saint Lucia National Cricket Association) Locally Charles represented South Castries in the SLNCA Division One Competition. His 119 in the semi-final was instrumental in securing a spot for his team in the final of the competition. In regional competition he totaled 105 runs in nine innings of the WICB Nagico Regional Super50 Tournament.

In a Regional Four Day tournament match against Barbados, Charles totaled 34 runs in two innings with a highest score of 28. In the Caribbean Premiere League, this outstanding batsman finished with the fourth highest aggregate (158) for the Saint Lucia Stars with a highest individual score of 53.

Charles made his debut in the Twenty20 Bangladesh Premiere League with the Rangpur Riders. He earned the team a finals birth with a century in the semi-finals and they eventually went on to win the tournament. Charles played in the inaugural Ten10 Tournament in Sharjah for Bengal Tigers. He scored the second most runs for the team, amassing 102 runs in four innings to finish ninth in the tournament’s overall batting average.

Albert Reynolds – wold number 67, and one of three wold class Caribbean throwers

* Chris Wells (Saint Lucia Table Tennis Association) Wells is well known not only for his outstanding play in table tennis but just as proficient as a high level coach especially when it comes to grooming young players. At the Independence Day Classic Singles competition, he won singles gold medal and followed that up with another gold medal at the Independence Day Classic Doubles tournament.

Competing at the highly competitive Caribbean Table Tennis Championships, this player/coach advanced to the last 32 in singles and participated in the team event with Saint Lucia placing sixth overall.