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As I prepare to leave my temporary home in Athens, Georgia for another day of training in what I can only refer to as horrible weather conditions, I think it is necessary to finally do what I have been thinking of doing since hearing of Mr. Pierre's official retirement from the Public Service, or more specifically, the Ministry Of Youth Development & Sports and that is to say a few words concerning this remarkable individual.

To say that Mr. Pierre will be greatly missed by all sports loving students will be an understatement, and to say that he has left an indelible mark on all students who have participated in sports over the last three decades or so will be an even greater understatement. Mr. Pierre, simply put,  was the main driving force behind school sports on the island, especially track and field, and it sometimes appeared that without him there, things just wouldn't go well.  
 
It is by now well documented that Mr. Gregory Lubin is the one who introduced me to the sport of highjump and as my coach for at least 7 years, did a great job in guiding and preparing me for the greater challenges that awaited me in the outside world. It is also well known by now that my Local Manager Mr. Gregory Dickson has been the wind beneath my wings for most of my life, especially during my fifteen years as a national athlete. But although Mr. Pierre was never my coach or manager, I believe in his own unique way he indirectly served as a coach and manager to me for many years. His passion for sports, his constant words of encouragement, and his desire to to see not just me but other athletes  succeed, has served as motivation for me through the years. I can still see Mr. Pierre running all over the Mindo Phillip Park or George Odlum Stadium, whether at just a regular school meet or the popular Intersec. I can still hear him shouting to officials and athletes to get themselves ready. I can still see displeasure on his face when people are late and things are not as organized as they should be. I can still see him counselling delinquent student athletes, and I can still see him leaving the park or stadium disappointed when athletes performed below par, and he expressed all these emotions because he wanted all of us to make it to the highest level.
 
I remember being in the company of Mr. Pierre on a couple of trips to the Windward Islands school Games and his presence was always a great motivational tool for me. He always said the right things at the right time to inspire me when I was a little down or maybe not at my best. He definitely put country before self as he went all out to ensure that St. Lucia was always well represented at those games. He is indeed a true ambassador who deserves all the accolades that may be given to him by the many individuals whose lives he has touched.
 
As one who has made it to the highest level in my sport by competing twice at the Olympics and five times at the world Championships, I am extremely grateful for Mr.Pierre's contribution to my career. Reflecting on his contribution definitely makes me appreciate even more what has and is still being done at the grass roots level by local track and field coaches and volunteers like my former coach Mr. Gregory Lubin and others like Mr. Bailey and Trois Ti Neh just to name a few.
 
I therefore want to use this medium say a big thank you to Mr. Michael Midget Pierre for all of what he has done for me and for others, both directly and indirectly and to wish him all the best in anything else he aspires to in life. Indeed he is a true son of the soil and a great ambassador for sports in St. Lucia. He is a true champion in his own rights. God bless you Mr. Pierre.
 
Levern Spencer
National Athlete
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