Nevis Mourns the Loss of Athletic Pioneer: Lester Horace Blackett

****Nevis is reeling from the news of the passing of one of its most revered sons, Lester Horace Blackett, who breathed his last today at the age of 68 after a prolonged illness. With his departure, the island not only bids farewell to a remarkable individual but also to the father of Nevis athletics.Lester Blackett’s indelible mark on the sporting landscape of Nevis is undeniable. As the President of the Nevis Amateur Athletics Association, he spearheaded initiatives to revolutionize and modernize track and field in the region. Among his many contributions, perhaps his most enduring legacy is the inception of the Nevis Inter-primary Schools Athletic Competition in 1992. For a quarter of a century, Lester tirelessly organized and managed this event until it was eventually integrated into government operations. Today, the competition stands as the crowning jewel of Nevisian sports, fondly referred to as the Mini Olympics.However, Lester Blackett’s influence extended far beyond the realm of athletics. A true son of the soil, he pursued a diverse array of careers with unwavering dedication and passion. A product of institutions such as the Charlestown Secondary School, St. James School in Maryland, Brown University, and the University of the West Indies, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, laying the foundation for a distinguished professional journey.Over the course of his illustrious career spanning more than three decades, Lester served the Nevis Island Government in various capacities. From teaching Physics and Chemistry to assuming roles as Science Head and Sports Master, he left an indelible mark on the education sector. Transitioning to the field of civil engineering, he played pivotal roles in landmark projects such as the upgrading of Vance Amory International Airport and the rehabilitation of the Charlestown Waterfront Project.Blending his expertise in engineering with a passion for sports, Lester was a ubiquitous figure in the sporting community, serving as President, Administrator, Manager, Coach, and Fitness Trainer across multiple disciplines including football, track and field, netball, cricket, and basketball. His tireless dedication and unwavering commitment were duly recognized when he was honored with the prestigious “Lifetime Sports Award” by the Nevisian Association of Washington DC in 2014.In addition to his professional and sporting achievements, Lester Blackett also made significant contributions to community and national development. From his role as Vice President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Association of Professional Engineers to his involvement in the Federation’s Technical, Vocational Education & Training Project, he remained steadfast in his commitment to advancing the interests of his homeland.As Nevis mourns the loss of a true icon, Lester Horace Blackett’s legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, serving as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and dedication in shaping a brighter future for all.

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