Ryan Pelley, who has been sent from Canada to help develop sports on St Helena, has clearly been enjoying the experience.
He took this picture of the sunrise over Sugarloaf during an early morning fishing trip. He’s also played cricket for the first time – an important experience to have on an island whose players defeated African national teams in their first-ever overseas tournament in 2012.
On Canada’s SportCafé website, Ryan has described being “blown away” by all that surrounds him:
“The locals, or Saints, as they like to be called, are a kind, compassionate group that have warmly welcomed me.
“I have been toured around most of the island, shown sport facilities, schools, fed the freshest tuna I have ever tasted and met a significant amount of the community. The Saints are proud to call this little rock in the middle of the ocean home, and they very well should be.
“I look forward to working together with a community and government that understands the importance of sport as a tool for development.”
He says there are challenges to be met in developing sustainable sports programmes, but says he is confident that island people “will identify sport as a tool that will help continue its progression while staying true to its cultural origins.”
Ryan holds a masters degree in International Sport Management from the Johan Cruyff Institute for Sport Studies in Amsterdam. His researches has taken him to the Philippines and much of Europe.
His year on St Helena under a “capacity support programme” is funded by the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games Canada and Olympic Solidarity.
“Although my swimming or cricket abilities are less than stellar,” he says, “I do have the expertise to benefit these sports by offering a strategic plan.
“There is much to accomplish here when it comes to the overall sport system structure of St Helena.
“But I do not foresee many barriers, as there are people here involved in sport who value its presence and are willing to get on board with anything that will benefit the future of sport on the island.”
Read Ryan’s SportCafé posts here.
COMMENT: A very beautiful picture ! One can almost taste the fresh air and the salty water… Tow Muc, via Facebook