Castries, Saint Lucia: The Union Orchard was a hive of activity on Friday 5th May 2023, when the Republic of China (Taiwan) embassy hosted a Handing Over Ceremony of Table Tennis equipment to the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports of Saint Lucia.
Present were Ambassador Peter Chen and his Wife Lady Chen, Saint Lucia Minister for Youth Development and Sports Kenson Casimir, National Table Tennis Coach attached to the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports – Chris Wells, the Joint Chinese College Alumni Association (JCCAA) of Southern USA, Staff of the Embassy, and members of the Media.
Ambassador Peter Chen was pleased to welcome his fellow countrymen and women from the United States and to attend the handover ceremony of the generosity of them Taiwanese-affiliated association.
He said, “Today, the alumnus from JCCAA is not here only for traveling, while it’s also their purpose, but they come here also to contribute to the development of sports and youth in Saint Lucia, representing generous Taiwanese people and private sectors in the United States. They bring to us over 1,080 table tennis, 15 nets, and 60 rackets. Along with the table tennis tables that we provided last time; I believe these could help promising athletes and teenagers uncover their potential”.
According to Ambassador Peter Chen, The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been working with Minister Kenson Casimir and the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports closely to support its national
development agenda. Last September, 30 footballs and clothes from Taiwan’s Football Association were donated to the Ministry. In February, 7 boxes of footballs from Simply Help, a charity foundation established by Taiwanese entrepreneurs arrived with the two table tennis tables.
“We once again observe the generosity and benevolence of Taiwanese people and overseas Taiwanese. Their kindness, compassion, neighborliness, and big or small acts of generosity are solid testimony to the staunch friendship between Taiwan and Saint Lucia”. Ambassador Peter Chen noted.
The ambassador took time out to show his appreciation to Ho, Yi-Chung, President of JCCAA for her leadership and effort to make this donation happen. He said, “Taiwan Government will continue to work with the Government of Saint Lucia to set our countries on a path towards a brighter tomorrow”.
Sports Minister, Kenson Casimir said, “Upon assuming the reigns of Minister for Youth Development and Sports, one of the first conversations I had with Ambassador, Peter Chen, was how we can move the sport of Table Tennis forward given Taiwan’s contribution and dominance in that game in the world”.
“In that first conversation, he said to me, I am going to mobilize our organizations and government and those involved in the sports in Taiwan to ensure that Saint Lucia continues to develop in the sport. Since then, he has lived up to every word you can imagine. I want to say thank you, Ambassador Chen, for being a standard man and delivering for the young people of Saint Lucia”.
According to the Sports Minister, “Saint Lucia has dominated and continues to dominate table tennis, Saint Lucia Under 19 team placed third in a regional competition, the under 19 boy’s doubles placed third, while under 19 boys singles, D’ Andrea Calderon finished second, the first
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States States (OECS) individual at the age of 18 years in a region of 14 million people to achieve such a feat”.
“We will not let up, our young people are doing great things, and the support we received from our friends like Taiwan will only assist in propelling Saint Lucia forward. I believe in my heart that when we finally qualify for the Olympic Games in Table Tennis, I will be standing as Sports Minister, saying it is not just Saint Lucia, but it was Saint Lucia and Taiwan”.