Among the many alternative sports is drag racing, often hosted in Vieux Fort on the old airport’s runway. For the first time, Saint Lucia will be a competitor at a drag racing competition in Antigua and Barbuda. Alternative Sports Officer at the Ministry, Craig Gustave, is enthusiastic about the event, acknowledging that the sport still has a long way to go.
“We’re hoping for some more vehicles. Some of them, their vehicles are in body shops, some of them are awaiting parts and we couldn’t wait any longer because we need to give the participants who are going to be chosen the time frame in which to prepare the cars for the event,” Gustave said.
He adds that although the initiative is facing difficulty for its debut, he hopes racers and other stakeholders will be motivated to continue in the coming years. “This is the first time that we’re actually going over to Antigua as a group to represent the country, not as individuals. So it is something that we are hoping to continue and not just fall back after this year.”
Creating avenues for alternative sports has been highlighted as one of the Ministry’s strategic goals. Prior to this, racers would participate in friendly and competitive matches on island. However, Gustave says, intensive and professional preparations are underway to equip racers with the skills and resources to compete regionally. President of the Motor Sports Association, Terroll Compton, aired similar sentiments. He says drivers need to meet the standards required for competing on the regional stage.
“We had to see where our drivers are, and of course, inform them of the standards that they need to meet, so today was qualifying time. Then we have to qualify based on the categories in which they’re going to run – be it the 10-second bracket, 9-second or 11-second - these are the areas we are hoping to have representation.”
Four racers have been selected to compete in the games in Antigua on behalf of Saint Lucia in November 2023.