The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) saw an incredible 67 per cent increase in Television, Streaming and Digital viewership in 2020, reaching 523.5million viewers and passing half a billion for the first time in the tournament’s history.

Visionary founder, Sherneil Charlery, is at the heart of a fledgling initiative that it is hoped will blossom to produce top-class female athletes for the tiny island of St Lucia in the next few years.

More importantly, however, ‘Supporting Girls in Sports’ has targeted bringing hope and knowledge to underprivileged young girls, hoping to find a way to rise out of poverty through sports.

If Charlery could choose just one Jamaican athlete to help with the organisation’s ‘Adopt A Girl’ initiative, she admits it would be difficult.  Jamaica is renowned through the Caribbean and the perhaps the world for producing top-class athletes.

In the end, she settled on Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Khadija Shaw. “Our current group of girls is involved in football and track and field. I would choose Fraser-Pryce and Shaw, not only because they play the same sports as our girls, but because they share the same stories. Like them, our girls come from single-parent homes or are raised in violent communities,” Charely explained.

“Seeing people who were able to succeed, despite the obstacles they faced, would inspire our girls to continue giving out their best.”

The ‘Adopt A Girl’ initiative aims to assist underprivileged female athletes (11- 14 years old) who are unable to afford their sporting expenses, such as club fees, equipment, and uniform. Additionally, the girls are paired with an advisor (an older member of the organisation) who will mentor and help them balance school, sports, and their personal lives.

It’s easy for an up and coming athlete to spot an internationally acclaimed Jamaican athlete to identify with.  The list is long and varied. Take Elaine Thompson-Herah for instance. When asked what motivates her, she told Dalton Myers on the August 31st’s episode of the Drive Phase, “I remember when I was growing up, I was looking at Veronica Campbell-Brown, Merlene Ottey and they motivated me to work hard and reach where I’m at,” she said.

The young girls can also look for inspiration further home.  A recent SportsMax.tv article In Honour of Levern Spencer spoke about the accomplishments of the great St Lucian athlete.  The article pointed to Spencer as a role model and pointed out that she was the best St. Lucia has ever produced, adding that “the next generation of St Lucian athletes have a marker to chase.”

The ‘Supporting Girls in Sports’ organisation wishes to expand the initiative to other Caribbean islands in the next five years, but in the meantime, their ‘Adopt A Girl’ program, which has helped seven girls to date, is already ensuring St. Lucia has a brighter future in athletics. 

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

There has to be something said for being the best your country has ever produced.

For every personal milestone to be considered a ground-breaking moment for your land and for every step up the international ladder to be treated as a moment for major celebration are feats worthy of being honoured.

St Lucian high jumper Levern Spencer has had to deal with the expectations and thankfully admiration that comes with being her country’s best and often only hope when it comes to the sport of track and field.

At 36 years old, she is no doubt wrapping up what has been a noteworthy career and one that nobody else in her country can boast.

In 2018, Spencer won St Lucia’s biggest ever title, Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

She returned to Castries to a hero’s welcome, one reminiscent of those winning World and Olympic titles in other countries, such was the significance of what she had achieved, 56 years after St Lucia first graced the Commonwealth stage in Perth 1962.

“This is all I have sought to do for all my professional career,” she said after being taken amidst fanfare in a motorcade to Castries.

She explained that her life’s dream had been, “to place St Lucia on top of the world, and show, that despite our size, we can soar to great heights.”

St Lucia wasn’t exactly on top of the world, but in that moment it must have felt like it, since it was the highest they had ever been.

Spencer had given her island of just under two hundred thousand people, a taste of international glory three years prior when she won Gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.

It is important to point out that Spencer’s two biggest titles came after the age of 30 but her impact on St Lucia’s athletics started when she was just 17 years old.

In 2001, at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen Hungary, Spencer leapt 1.81 metres to secure the bronze medal.

It remains their only medal at the event.

She dominated at the Central America and Caribbean, CAC, track and field Championships, winning the high jump on all six occasions she participated.

At the CAC Games, she won 3 of the 4 times, including at the 2018 edition in Barranquilla, Colombia.

She successfully defended her Pan Am Games title in 2019 and has also won two Commonwealth Games bronze medals to go with the 2018 Gold.

Her story is indeed one of perseverance which has culminated in triumph.

Despite all that however, Spencer and maybe St Lucia would be, if only a little, disappointed that she has not been able to cop a medal at the Olympic Games or senior World Championships.

At the Rio 2016 Olympics, she had her best shot, having finally reached a final.

She soared to a commendable 1.93 metres but it wasn’t enough as she had to settle for 6th.

And while she would have been disappointed, it was the best St Lucia had ever done at the Games and for today’s story that is the most important take-away.

And so, as Levern contemplates whether to give it one or two more attempts in the coming years, we say well done for what has already been achieved.

The way is paved and the next generation of St Lucian athletes have a marker for which to chase.

Daren Sammy will return as captain of the St. Lucia Zouks for the 2020 season.

The Caribbean Premier League is holding to its intended start date of August 19 amid concerns over the pandemic that has so far seen most sporting activities shut down. For now, they say, the season will proceed as planned.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will once again work with Cricket West Indies (CWI) to ensure that the best young players from across the region will be in CPL squads during the tournament, as well as ensuring that these talented youngsters will be given game time.

Kieran Powell and Amir Jangoo followed up a strong bowling performance led by West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph to put Leeward Islands Hurricanes in a strong position against Windward Islands Volcanoes in their rain-marred, day/night contest at Gros Islet.

 The 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) had an economic impact of over US$136 million, a record for the T20 league since its inception in 2013, the CPL has announced.

Nathan Ferrari and Dudley O'Shaughnessy will comprise a two-member boxing team from St Lucia set to contest the 2019 Caribbean Boxing Championships, which begins on Monday, December 9, in Trinidad and Tobago.

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has come out in support of new St Lucia Cricket Association President Carol Henry, who on Saturday unseated incumbent Julian Charles, who led the association for a decade.

Montserrat have qualified for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup playoffs after posting a 1-0 win over Saint Lucia in Group B of League B of the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League on Tuesday night at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia.

The result vaulted Montserrat into second place in the group over the Dominican Republic.

Montserrat started strong as they pressured the Saint Lucia defence in hopes of a first-half goal.

Their efforts would be handsomely rewarded in the 35’ when Joseph Taylor curled in a perfect cross from the right-wing and a surging Nathan Pond smacked the header into goal for a 1-0 Montserrat lead.

Saint Lucia had a chance themselves in the first half through Antonio Joseph but was unable to finish. They then had a second great look at goal in the second half in the 69’ through Jevick McFarlane, but the striker could not land his shot on target.

Montserrat GK Corrin Brooks, who was excellent against El Salvador on Saturday, then became a hero for the visitors with a massive stop on a Kieran Monlouis shot in the 88’ to secure the clean sheet win for Montserrat.

Digicel and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today (Wednesday, October 23) that the top 14 boys and girls from the Digicel NBA Jumpstart Elite Camp, held in Trinidad and Tobago from July 20-21, will participate in the Digicel NBA Jumpstart’s NBA Experience in New York from October 30 – November 4.

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