The youth of St. Maarten – St. Martin survived Hurricane Irma’s direct hit the September 2017 as the school year was set to start. Everything was destroyed from their schools, homes, parents cars, most parents lost jobs / their businesses and there athletics facilities. This past year has been a lifetime lesson to all in SXM on destruction, struggle, re-adjusting, resilience, perseverance and hope. The Athletic Team with LAB Sports Academy never gave up hope. Some High Schools under constructions had to shift to a noon through evening schedule, with no real concern about conflicting into athletic practices and not allowing these athletes to leave for training. The kids hunted for a clear path to train in the hills also adapting to additional training on Sunday mornings to include the kids with this odd school schedule. Like each year, the qualifiers really hoped to make it to the Bahamas IAFF CARIFTA Track Meet in April. Our airport and even our government had also crashed in with the storm, so there was no actual support and there was outrageous airfare rates. Many evacuated the island, many could not re-open there business, there was no real possibility of fundraising when the entire island was in need of charity, it was not possible to participate. The result was there was no representation from St. Maarten – St. Martin in the 2018 Caribbean Games. Yet these young athletes didn’t get disenchanted, they continued their training, their team grew in size. They hosted their own meet and had so much fun, at the end they requested to run more by making a Co-Ed Relay 4 x 100. It was a tight race and a ton of fun. They all thought the season had just no come to a close without having been able to compete in any high level meets. But a finally a stoke of luck, as they received an invitational to Aruba’s 55th Harry Janssen National Championship on Friday, June 29th by the President of the Aruba Athletic Federation.
Their goal is to bring a team of about 10 persons (includes a couple coaches) both boys and girls High School level to represent St. Maarten – St. Martin.
Any donation even small would be helpful (will be applied to airfare and lodging). The island heads into yet another hurricane season, many many homes are still without proper roofing. Many parents are still without jobs. But the energy and hope this next generations exudes is exactly what is needed to pull through!
100% of the proceeds of this fundraising page will go to the Athletic Program and the Trip Expenses to Aruba.
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photo credit ART BY ATU