SPORTE AVIS’ CO-FOUNDER NYUS AL­FRED IS DEAD SET ON TRANS­FORM­ING SAINT LU­CIA’S SPORTS LAND­SCAPE

The Star (St. Lucia) - Business Week - - MAKING MOVES -

Nyus Al­fred re­cently re­turned to Saint Lu­cia from the 2018 Youth Lead­ers of the Amer­i­cas Ini­tia­tive which pairs re­gional lead­ers with es­tab­lished in­ter­na­tional agen­cies in their field. The op­porunity, he says, has been one of his most re­ward­ing thus far though his own­er­ship of Sporte Avis has yielded a long list of ac­com­plish­ments in­clud­ing the award for Out­stand­ing Youth in En­trepreneur­ship and a place­ment at the Com­mon­wealth Youth Con­fer­ence on En­trepreneur­ship in Trinidad and Tobago ear­lier this year. De­spite be­ing known for its me­dia work, de­vel­op­ment through sports is at the crux of what Sporte Avis does. Al­fred and his team’s fo­cus is to con­sis­tently cu­rate re­sources to sup­port lo­cal and re­gional ath­letes in their pur­suit of sports schol­ar­ships, uni­ver­sity en­rol­ment and re­cruit­ment by in­ter­na­tional sports clubs.

STAR: HOW DID THE IDEA FOR SPORTE AVIS COME ABOUT?

NYUS: When I first got the idea to start Sporte Avis I was work­ing at a bank.

That was back in 2013. My­self and Yanoi Fevriere, who is a friend and a co-founder, we’re both sports lovers. We were talk­ing back then about the fact that there were plat­forms to ba­si­cally pro­mote ev­ery­thing from en­ter­tain­ment to tourism but there was noth­ing pro­mot­ing our ath­letes and sports in Saint Lu­cia. Ini­tially we talked about start­ing a sports mag­a­zine but when we got the quotes from pub­lish­ing com­pa­nies we re­al­ized we could not af­ford then to do any­thing in print. We de­cided to run Sporte Avis as an on­line plat­form; we worked on the con­cept and in 2014 we of­fi­cially regis­tered the busi­ness name. Our in­ten­tion was to start off as a so­cial en­ter­prise geared di­rectly to­wards pro­vid­ing ex­po­sure for tal­ented and specif­i­cally at risk young peo­ple. We had no money-mak­ing ob­jec­tive be­cause at the time we were both gain­fully em­ployed but, as the years went by, things had to change to be­come more sus­tain­able.

STAR: HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO JUG­GLE YOUR JOB AT THE BANK AND SI­MUL­TA­NE­OUSLY SPEAR­HEAD SPORTE AVIS?

NYUS: I’d like to be­lieve that I had an amaz­ing team. Like I said, I started off with Yanoi Fevriere, and Yanoi was a fan­tas­tic sup­port at the time. We were han­dling ev­ery­thing well but at one point we re­al­ized for what we wanted to ac­com­plish, we needed a strong team to do it. So we started reach­ing out to other pas­sion­ate, young peo­ple we knew who could con­tribute. The team has been re­ally in­stru­men­tal and that’s what helped me cre­ate that bal­ance be­tween work and Sporte Avis at the time.

STAR: HOW HAVE THINGS EVOLVED, BOTH FI­NAN­CIALLY AND IN TERMS OF THE WORK THAT YOU ALL DO?

NYUS: Sporte Avis is still a so­cial en­ter­prise but we had to find cre­ative ways of gen­er­at­ing rev­enue. For in­stance, af­ter we put out some re­ally good work, the OECS no­ticed and gave us as­sis­tance by help­ing us launch our web­site which we ba­si­cally use to sell ad­ver­tis­ing.

Also, in 2016 we had a show on Win­ners TV called “Youth Sport Ex­press” that was a source of rev­enue as well, and from then we’ve been do­ing a lot of the same work. As of re­cent, we’ve gone into tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion where we pro­duce the sports con­tent for Choice TV.

Our main work, how­ever, still cen­tres around the ath­letes and giv­ing them that sup­port that they need to get their names out there and to get the re­sources they re­quire. We help them with pro­file videos they can use when seek­ing re­cruit­ment and give them ad­vice on things like col­lege ap­pli­ca­tion. Ev­ery­thing we do is at no cost to the ath­lete.

STAR: HOW DOES YOUR TEAM MAN­AGE TO DO THIS WORK THROUGH­OUT THE CARIBBEAN?

NYUS: Well I must ad­mit that we have been heav­ily fo­cused on Saint Lu­cia but we do have a few cor­re­spon­dants in other coun­tries who would pro­vide us with in­for­ma­tion on the pro­posed ath­letes. We’ve in­ter­viewed quite a few ath­letes from across the OECS and worked with some from Do­minica, Gre­nada, Saint Kitts. Over the next year or so we re­ally want to build up on these net­works.

STAR: WHAT CHAL­LENGES HAVE YOU HAD TO OVER­COME?

NYUS: Def­i­nitely fund­ing. There are grants avail­able for the same work that we’re do­ing but we’re not el­i­gi­ble for them be­cause tech­ni­cally we’re not regis­tered as a non-profit and, in or­der to ac­cess these funds, your or­gan­i­sa­tion needs to be a non­profit or an NGO.

An­other prob­lem is that in Saint Lu­cia ev­ery­one wants ev­ery­thing for free. The way some ap­proach us is usu­ally, “We want to work with you; it would be good ex­po­sure to get your name out there.” Es­sen­tially they want to col­lab­o­rate but do not want to pay us.

STAR: WHAT MES­SAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEAVE OUR READ­ERS WITH?

NYUS: We’re al­ways look­ing to work with ath­letes across Saint Lu­cia in all sports. Our ser­vices will con­tinue to be at no cost to them as our main goal is to en­sure that they get as much as pos­si­ble from their skills. We al­ready have ath­letes from Saint Lu­cia cur­rently in uni­ver­sity on full and par­tial schol­ar­ships and peo­ple like Canig­gia

Elva who plays for Wurzburger Kick­ers in Ger­many, be­cause they use the God-given tal­ent that they have to get to that level. A lot of ath­letes say they don’t know about the process to get to the next stage so we’re al­ways will­ing to as­sist them. As long as we have the re­sources avail­able, we’re al­ways open to speak­ing to any­one.

To con­tact Sporte Avis visit its Face­book page at face­book.com/sporteavis, the web­site sporteavis.com or call (758) 728 0259.

Nyus Al­fred at the 2018 Youth Lead­ers of the Amer­i­cas Ini­tia­tive in Detroit.Al­fred be­lieves and lives by the mantra, “Ev­ery­where you go you must leave your mark.”

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