This initiative fulfills one of last year’s budget promises in the policy statement.
The government partnered with the Saint Lucia Football Association to make this dream a reality for many youth across the country, who prior to this, played for cheers and sport.
A footballer himself, Sports Minister Kenson Casimir recalled his days as a player. He says this injection into footballers is only the beginning of the government’s support.
“I played national football for Saint Lucia. And after all the “plocks”, and all the injuries, I would say I came out with negative $20,000 at the very least. But we are moving from that position and it's an initiation. It's the commencement. It is the beginning. It is the inaugural event. The hopes and dreams of this [Administration] is to get these players to a position where they are making millions in semi-pro and professional leagues around the world,” Kenson vowed.
Despite the injection, the Sports Minister says there will still be teething issues with the sport. The goal, he adds, is to press on.
“I can tell you personally, as you age, it's not easy. But we will push on. We will have issues this year. We'll have issues with referees. We'll have issues with venues. We'll have issues with delays. We'll have issues with weather patterns. We will have teething issues in this first year. But we will push through and think of the generation that we have and the next generation and generations to come that will remember the men and women sitting here that decided to come together and semi-professionalise football in Saint Lucia,” he said.
The Saint Lucia National Football Team has been a member of FIFA since 1988 and a member of CONCACAF since 1986.