Cameron Bellamy Swims From Barbados to St Lucia to Raise Funds for United Through Sport.

On Friday the 13th of September endurance athlete Cameron Bellamy will be attempting to swim from Barbados to St Lucia to raise funds his departing island Barbados, his arrival island St Lucia, as well as his home country, South Africa. Cameron has a large focus on making a difference in youths lives with education and development. The funds raised for United Through Sport will be going towards our learn to swim programme which has been running for two years. With this we hope to be able to expand and reach even more children in the island of St Lucia. 

This swim has never been attempted before, the swim is a massive 160km long and is expected to take 60 hours to complete.

Cameron will start his endeavour from St Peters Bay, north west coast of Barbados, and end in Vieux Fort in the south of St Lucia. Previously Cameron has swam around the entire island of Barbados he was the first person ever to complete this and it was the 4th longest open water swim ever. Cameron has also completed the The Oceans Seven which is a marathon swimming challenge consisting of seven open water channel swims. 

You can track his progress here: https://ubunye.web.app

We wish him all the best for the journey and any funds raised are greatly appreciated and will go along way with developing swimming skills for the children of St Lucia. 

  

United Through Sports Establish Senior Rugby Team in St. Lucia

Over the last 8 years United Through Sport Caribbean volunteers and staff have competed in a number of domestic and international tournaments to boost competition and add international flavour to proceedings. United Through Sport RFC aka ‘The UTeS’ has now been formed into a permanent domestic rugby club .  

  

UTeS was created by United Through Sport to improve rugby involvement and to increase game time in the area. This is beneficial to both our team and the opposition such as Rouges and Reela as well as creating a great rapport between the coaches and players.  Every weekend UTeS play in 7’s tournaments, these are hosted by a different team each week. The tournaments are competitive and rewarding to each participant. 

 

We have open weekly training sessions to introduce and encourage new persons to come and get involved in rugby. This is coached by Evan Rae the UTS coordinator. We focus on different aims each session to ensure we improve and better ourselves as a team before the next game and to develop rugby and social skills.

 

After each training session or tournament the UTeS host team building activities involving all teams and supporters, this is a great way to get to know teammates outside of rugby which improves communication on the pitch, as well as providing positive role models for the up and coming St Lucian rugby players.

 

UTeS RFC has its own Instagram page which is used to display player profiles with key information about each player on the team. We also post highlights from training and game day so that we can look back and analyse our progress and our international supporters can stay up to date with UTeS progress.

Hartland and Clovelly AFC support United Through Sport

The local run football club Hartland and Clovelly AFC have provided a donation of £1220 for United Through Sport in memory of their former member, Martin Heard, who tragically died in 2014.

Hartland and Clovelly AFC runs 3 teams and have been an intrinsic part of local village life for many generations. Every other year the football club organise a fundraising day in memory of their dear friend, Marty. This year they have decided to donate a share of the proceeds to United Through Sport to reflect the importance they believe sport and community were to him. The objective of the event was not just about raising money, but to bring the local community together and make a positive impact from such a terrible tragedy. 

The event took place on a farm in Hartland and was a great success. It started of with an afternoon of family fun with a sport emphasis. This included a large amount of activities, such as football and boxing coaching, badminton and rope swings. Moreover, they organised a ticketed event in the evening “Party for Marty” which consisted of a live band, bar and hog roast.

We would like to thank Hartland and Clovelly AFC and their team of helpers and supporters for their contribution, it will be vital across our global projects.

UTS Caribbean Volunteer Running Saint Lucia Marathon For Beneficiary

Following a tragic car accident, Garvin, a young beneficiary from our Vide Boutielle after school football programme, was left fighting for his life, surviving on only two pints of blood. After weeks on life support and multiple operations he is now in a much more stable state.

Garvin will now require a long course of physiotherapy, and the lifesaving medical treatment has come at great cost to the family. Our Saint Lucia staff and volunteer team have been fundraising in a variety of ways to alleviate the financial pressure on the family. But one of our current volunteers is going that extra mile:

Rugby coach Bryn Owen-Conway will be running a Marathon on Sunday 26th in order to raise much needed funds for the cause and will be accompanied along the way by our friends and team. He has set an overall target of £2000, which will go a long way towards covering the current medical debt, providing Garvin with a wheelchair and the physiotherapy course that we hope will eventually get him back playing for our partner: Shamrock Football Club!

Donations can still be made via Bryn’s Total giving page: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/runforgarvin

 

UTS Caribbean Roll Out Marchand Swim Programme

St. Lucia is a beautiful island surrounded by clear blue sea however many of its inhabitants are unable to swim and drownings are not uncommon, particularly within the island’s underprivileged communities.

Our seven-week Marchand swim programme is designed to give the opportunity for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn basic swimming techniques in open water as well as vital survival, and even lifesaving skills! Sessions are being run daily for up to 8 children at a time during and after school, with free transport to and from sessions provided for participants.

Lessons are being led by our swim coach Megan Holms; who is returning after previous placements with us in St. Lucia (2015) and our South Africa project (2016).  As an experienced and qualified lifeguard and swim coach Megan has been working hard to enhance our St. Lucia swim programme and expand our reach across the island.

United Through Sport Caribbean Provide St. Lucia Rugby Team Uniform

United Through Sport Caribbean were able to provide 25 full uniforms for the St. Lucia National Men team and 15 for the Ladies side. The kits were bought as part as UTS Caribbean’s objective to raise the standard and profile of the St. Lucia’s National Rugby Teams.

In-country director Joël Martin:

We are delighted to be able to provide both teams with pro-playing kits and hope it is a design the players will be proud to wear. We wanted to give the young players within our programme something to aspire towards; the greater the National Team is, the greater the motivation to get there.

Uniforms will be worn for all National fixtures including oncoming Rugby America North tournaments.

The design of the kit pays tribute to the St. Lucian Flag with it’s cyan to epitomise the sky, and surrounding Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Yellow to symbolise the sunshine and prosperity, and triangles representing the island’s iconic Gros and Petit pitons. The background is made up of Carib tribal patterns as an homage to the original settlers to the island. The emblem of the SLRFU contains the Zandoli lizard which is endemic to the region and traditionally a sign of ‘good spirits’.

St. Lucia shirts and shorts are available to buy in the UK with proceeds going to back into UTS grassroots projects in St. Lucia, follow link to order yours: https://www.scimitarclubs.com/product-category/st-lucia-rugby

UTS Run Free Summer Camps For Over 80 Children In St. Lucia

United Through Sport ran simultaneous netball and multi sports camps over the school holidays this summer providing childcare and sporting expertise for underprivileged families in St. Lucia.

Our girls netball camp was run on the Vigie sports complex with girls from Egrets, Bocage, Soufriere and St. Lucia U14s netball clubs, who had been attending our after school projects in the year. The girls were treated to a range of games, exercises and drills from our UK volunteer coaches and programme coordinator Sarah Mosley.  

The La Clery summer camp was a chance for children to sample a range of different sports including; Football, Basketball, Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, Athletics and Swimming. Attended by boys and girls from the La Clery community, Pioneers FC and our ongoing after school projects in Vide Boutielle, Marchand and Corinth, children were encouraged to find the sports they most enjoyed, and linked to our partner clubs to encourage adherence to the game.

The main focus of our camps were fun and inclusivity; Camps ran 4 days a week, food, transport, swimming lessons and one-on-one supervision was provided for those that needed it and our large volunteer numbers meant ability levels and age groups could be split during session. Meaning children from all backgrounds social backgrounds, age, ability and health got the opportunity to attend. United Through Sport was also able to donate playing shirts, boots and other sports equipment for camp attendees.

Highlights of the summer included; Fortnightly beach days and swimming lessons at Vigie beach, fun day on Splash island with Daren Sammy and the St. Lucia Stars cricket team, winners dinner at Coco Palms Hotel and our National youth Netball tournament.  

Saint Lucia Stars Meet our Stars

St. Lucia Stars host fun day for UTS Summer programme children  

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is back in town! And although so far this season the Stars have not had the success they’d might had hoped for out in the middle, they certainly made an impact off the pitch this week.

On Monday 14th The St. Lucia Stars, Bay Gardens Hotel and United Through Sport collaborated to host a Beach Olympics fun day for local underprivileged children to meet their cricketing heroes. Hosted by Bay Gardens at their ‘Splash Island’ water park; St. Lucia Stars Captain Daren Sammy and team mates: Shane Shillingford, Eddie Leie, Obed McCoy and Kyle Mayers joined teams comprising of children from our La Clery and Vigie Summer Camps programmes and UTS volunteers, as they competed in volleyball matches and time trials on the inflatable assault course.

The competition was hard fought with great leadership, teamwork and bravery on display throughout. It was also the perfect chance for our children to utilise their newly learnt swim skills from the ongoing Summer Camp swim lessons.

An award ceremony and lunch buffet followed, hosted by Bay gardens in their beach side restaurant. Prizes included: St. Lucia Stars Tee-shirts and Match for tickets St. Lucia versus Jamaica Tallawahs for everyone who competed. 1st prize included free lunch for the team and their captains for the following week courtesy of the Bay Gardens Hotel. It was a great experience for all the children involved and is sure to prove one of the highlights of their summer holidays.

De Montfort University Cricket Team Support UTS St. Lucia Projects

A touring cricket team from De Montfort University took time out from their busy tour schedule to spend a day within the United Through Sport projects.

The day was designed to display the UTS development model: from the mass participation stage up to competition level and give the De Montfort players a chance to impart some expertise to our students.

Accompanied by UTS volunteer coaches Jamie Inglis, Freddie Nehls, George Thomson and Director Joël Martin, the squad first visited our grassroots project at Bocage school. The arrival of a large team of English cricketers caused great excitement within the school: the session had been scheduled for 30 children however another 30 came to watch, even the school’s principal participated in the session! The De Montfort players were able to do fielding, bowling and batting drills before mini-games to finish. Perhaps more essentially the team bought a vast amount of specialist equipment which they were able to donate and will be of benefit to the children in the school for years to come.

The team were then taken down to our after school project at the SDA academy, where many of the players were scheduled to face De Montfort in the weekends fixtures. Here the guys were able to create more game-like scenarios with our players and really put them through their paces, leaving our visitors notably impressed with the talent on offer.

We finished the day at Gros Islet Cricket Club, allowing the De Montfort player so get in a quick practice net.

Chairman of the De Montfort University Cricket Society Amer Nazir:  

“United Through Sport were great to work with as they were able to put in place all of the coaching sessions, school visits and fixtures, which was a real help.

“We visited a sports academy which schooled the upcoming talent of the island and we donated two bags of kit to them, which you could see they needed.

“Being out there witnessing this, just shows how privileged we are here in the UK, having access to all the kit and equipment we could possibly need. It just doesn’t compare.”

 We would like to thank De Montfort University for their generous donations of cricket kit and gears to our children and projects and hope to continue working with them in the future.

UTS Product Ervin wins St. Lucia Rugby Player of the Year Award

A true product of the United Through Sport St. Lucia project. Ervin Joseph’s  association with the organisation came when he got his first taste of competitive rugby in the United Through Sport Youth Rugby Tournament in 2011, representing his hometown of Laborie.

Consequently, a UTS community rugby programme was set up in Laborie the following year. Ervin and his identical twin brother Elvin’s attendance, aptitude and attitude within the sessions lead them to immediate success in the sport, highlights included: winning 2012’s edition of the UTS Youth Tournament with the Laborie team, representing the South of St. Lucia in our North vs South series that same year, captaining the St. Lucia U19’s in Trinidad 2013 and gaining their first senior caps the following year.

Ervin’s development off the pitch was also staggering, as aspiring coaches he and his brother took up positions with United Through Sport. As a graduate of the UTS projects Ervin is the perfect role model to deliver our programmes to the next generation, while collecting a variety of coaching badges; he has ran numerous rugby programmes across the island, travelled with a St. Lucian youth team to the UK as a coach for an international rugby tournament and even established his own senior rugby team.

The 2016/17 season has been his best yet; starring for St. Lucia National Rugby Team in matches against Rugby Club Diamant Martinique and SVG Rugby Union while leading his previous domestic club VBCC Stingers and  current club Rouges RFC to a perfect record of 28 games- 28 wins, leaving voters with no choice as to who should be named the St. Lucia Rugby Football Union’s player of the year.

On receipt of the award Ervin’s focus inspiring others to follow is lead:

“I’m extremely proud to have won this award, this year I’ve been working harder then before. I’ve been surrounded by people that have encouraged me in getting better. It just shows me that with hard work miracles do happened. I say thanks to my team mates and as their captain, i hope leading by example will encourage them on being better as individuals. Right now rugby is a growing sport you never know how far one can reach.”