The Caribbean nation of Saint Lucia hopes to send squash players to this summer’s Commonwealth Games for the first time since 2002 after officially joining the Federación Panamericana de Squash (FPS).
Squash has long been a popular sport in Saint Lucia, with the island nation sending Charles Sonson to squash’s Commonwealth Games debut in the Kuala Lumpur Games of 1998 and Sonson joining Lindy-Ann Alexander and Alana Simmons in 2002, Manchester.
While in recent times squash has faced difficulties in Saint Lucia, most notably last year when one of the nation’s two courts – which are popular for their high-standard and beach-side location – was badly damaged in a hurricane, the future is looking bright.
Renovation work is planned for the courts, which Saint Lucia Squash Vice President Dr. Carlos Segovia described to WSF media as being: “The highlights of visiting squash players to our tournaments, as the courts are ideally situated at the St. Lucia Yacht Club, which sits on Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay. Nothing like having an intense game of squash, and then being able to jump in the sea to cool off!”
Saint Lucia Squash plans to send players to this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, while the Association is in the process of renewing affiliations with the Saint Lucia government and Olympic Committee in order to begin introducing a youth development programme and a coaching programme.
Segovia added: “We hope that by becoming members of the FPS, and also WSF, it will help us in promoting squash locally. Whether it be by staying up to date in the sport, having access to resources, programs, training, coaching, competitions, etc. this will strengthen our association and the value that we can offer current and future players.
“Competing in the current Commonwealth Games, would be a unique and valuable experience for our top players, as they would be playing against the best of the best from different countries, experiencing different styles and levels of play, in world-class facilities, and that knowledge and experience would be shared and passed on to fellow squash players in Saint Lucia.”