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Saint Lucia National Olympic Committee President Fortuna Belrose has been appointed a Minister in the new United Workers Party (UWP) Government.

The official, who replaced International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Richard Peterkin in 2013, wjll serve under newly elected Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.

She will serve as Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government.

Belrose, a former public servant with 34 years of experience, is also the Caribbean vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

A former tennis player, she also served as acting permanent secretary for the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports between 2012 and 2013.

Praise for her appointment was led by her Caribbean colleague Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee.

"Senator Belrose is a dedicated and determined leader whose long experience in the public service and as a sport administrator will no doubt give her the required attributes to succeed in her new role," he said.

"I am confident she will excel in her new endeavour and extend best wishes."

The announcement comes as preparations continue for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where St Lucia is seeking a first ever podium finish.

Pan American Games high jump champion Levern Spencer represents their best chance of breaking the deadlock.

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