Football community mourns death of Mathew “Shorty” Daly

The BVIFA and football community mourn the death of Mathew “Shorty” Daly

The BVIFA along with the rest of the football community across the Territory is united in passing on condolences to the family and friends of Matthew Daly, an avid player, vociferous fan and active supporter of the game – especially when it involved his Old Madrid F.C team or the BVI Masters.

“It is with great shock and sadness that the Old Madrid Football Club received the news of the death of our brother and member Mr. Mathew Daly or “Shorty” as he is commonly called,” lamented BVIFA Treasurer and a Founder Member as well as a Vice President of Old Madrid, Kenrick Grant “He has been very active in the club on and off the field and he will be greatly missed.”

Grant also noted that “Mathew became active with the club when we formed the veteran’s team ‘BVI Masters’ to compete in a regional Veterans’ tournament in 2007.  His passion for football would sometimes cause friction with the coach if he is substituted or not selected to play.”

Daly was also known for being well groomed, punctual, very competitive and not shy in bringing attention to his abilitie. “His competitive nature made him dedicated to training and being punctual for every match day. On the few occasions that Mathew scored for his team, he would glorify his goals for a very long time, reminding everyone of his ability,” said Grant.

Daly also held the position of Vice President and Public Relations Officer on the management council, and was a member of the organizing committee for the hosting of the yearly Invitational Masters Tournament. 

“ Old Madrid Football Club express our deepest condolences to the family and many friends of our brother Mathew Daly, and appeal to the public to give the police any assistance that can help to solve this horrific crime” concluded Grant.

World Cup Qualifiers’ delay beneficial to VI national team

BVIFA President Andy Bickerton believes the decision taken jointly by CONCACAF and FIFA to delay the World Cup Qualifiers will prove to be beneficial to the Virgin Islands’ national team.

According to BVI Football Association President, Mr. Andy Bickerton, the decision taken jointly by CONCACAF and FIFA to delay the World Cup Qualifiers will prove to be beneficial to the Virgin Islands’ national team.

CONCACAF and FIFA agreed that the CONCACAF Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will not be played in the match windows of October or November 2020, and will instead begin with the first round in the FIFA match window of March 2021.

“From the BVIFA’s perspective the delay in the World Cup Qualifiers until March 2021 makes a lot of sense,” commented Bickerton. “Hopefully by that time spectators will be able to attend the home matches and we will be able to bring all of our players together for preparation without facing the COVID-19 quarantine regulations. Travel will have become more relaxed allowing the BVI to benefit from the economic effects of the Sports Tourism opportunity provided by the visit of the fans from Guatemala and Curacao.”

Many parts of the region continue to have very challenging public health situations, and that has been a key factor in this decision.

Additionally, several countries across the confederation have travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, which would make international football involving 30 national teams extremely difficult. CONCACAF will now work with FIFA to finalize a new schedule, beginning with the first round in March 2021, which will be communicated in due course.

Islanders F.C. top National League

The Islanders F.C. returned to the top of the National League on Sunday, August 16 with a comfortable 3 – 0 victory over the defending champions, One Love F.C. at the Virgin Gorda Recreation Ground.

Ranalie Cain opened the scoring for the Islanders on the stroke of half-time from the penalty spot and then Devron Medica (59th min.) and Oswart Holder (65th) made sure of all 3 points padding out the score line, which not only saw their team leapfrog the F.C. back into first place, but also saw them level the goal difference between the two sides.

Playing the later game on the same pitch, the Wolues knew only a win would put them back to the league summit. However, they were thwarted by VG United, ultimately battling to a 2 – 2 draw, with the club second from bottom, but with a vociferous “home” crowd.

Noel Maxwell put the Wolues on their way, scoring in just the 7th minute, but then Sheldon Toney equalized in the 34th minute, before Marknique Williams put VG ahead in the 58th.

William Green calmed the Wolues nerves, netting the leveler in the 69th, but neither team could find a winner.

The Islanders are on 28 points and the Wolues 26, whilst the Sugar Boys are in 3rd place on 23 points, courtesy of a 2-0 win against Old Madrid F.C. with goals in each half by Andres Bailey (15th) and Rawl Hoyte (77th).

Upcoming schedule:

Sunday 23rd August

Rebels F.C. v One Caribbean F.C. East End / Long Look 4pm

Lion Heart F.C. v Islanders F.C. VG Rec. Ground 6pm

Sugar Boys F.C. v Panthers F.C. VG Rec. Ground 8pm

New date for BVIOC community walks to mark Olympic Day

The BVI Olympic Committee has rescheduled the community walks to mark Olympic Day to now take place on Saturday, July 4, 2020 with no changes to the original locations and registration time of 5:30am.

“The air quality forecast for Saturday, June 27 was cause for concern and after consultation with the Chief Medical Officer and the walk organisers, we decided that it was in the best interest of all participants to reschedule the Olympic Day Community Walks to take place at the same time next Saturday, July 4,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We realise that this may cause some disruption to plans but we would like to see more persons able to join in the walks in their neighbourhood and to move and stay active and encourage folks to mark the new date in their calendars.”

The BVIOC in collaboration with its National Federations and community groups will be hosting early morning community walks throughout the Virgin Islands to promote the Olympic Day message to #StayActive.

Registration for the walks in Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada will start at 5:30am in all locations apart from in Sea Cow’s Bay which will start at 6:00am and Brewer’s Bay which will start at 5:15am. Registration locations are as follows:
Basketball court, West End; Myett’s car park, Cane Garden Bay; Nichol’s Beach Bar, Brewer’s Bay; Manuel Reef car park, Sea Cow’s Bay; Tortola Sports Club, Road Town; YEP in Long Look and Trellis Bay car park in East End. Walks also will take place in Jost Van Dyke, registration in front of the Government Administration buildings, Great Harbour and at the HLSCC in The Valley, Virgin Gorda and the Claudia Creque Education Center in Anegada.

Walk managers include volunteers from the VI Archery Association, BVI Athletics Association, BVI Rugby, Taekwondo, BVI Squash Federation, VI Softball/Baseball Association, YEP, TSC, Brewer’s Bay Action Committee, Jost Van Dyke Resilience Team led by Mr. Mark Morris, Mr. Milton McLean and Sister Island Coordinator, Ms Sasha Flax.

Staggered start times will be managed to keep walking groups to a maximum of 20 persons with 6ft distance between participating households. Walkers are requested to cooperate with the walk managers in their efforts to keep the activity safe for everyone.

Participants will receive a free tee shirts and Dasani Water and Powerade distributed by Road Town Wholesale on a first-come-first-serve basis. Walkers are advised to also bring their own water to ensure proper hydration. Organisers are requesting the return of the empty plastic bottles so that they may be properly disposed of in the recycling bins.

In the interests of public health and safety, potential participants are advised to stay home if feeling unwell, running a temperature or living in the same household as quarantined persons.

About Olympic Day
June 23 is marked in the international sporting calendar as international Olympic Day. Originally observed by just 9 countries on that day in 1948, the IOC launched the symbolic run in 1987 which encouraged all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport. From 45 participating NOCs in the first edition in 1987, the numbers have grown to more than 100 participating NOCs.

Today, Olympic Day is built on the three pillars “move”, “learn” and “discover” integrating sports, education and cultural aspects to broaden the community reach and appeal. and to motivate and encourage people of all ages and abilities to engage in healthy, physical activity.

In 2012, the BVIOC was one of the few NOCs to host a celebration of all sports on Olympic Day at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. The morning of activity started with a 2-mile run followed by a discussion panel featuring local sporting personalities and moderated by Mr. Rey O’Neal. The action continued with National Federations showcasing their sports and encouraging public participation and ended with a performance by the Lashing Dogs. This format of interactive engagement was adopted as the global template in 2017 at which time the BVIOC officially launched its annual Sports Festival to mark Olympic Day.

Newly established BVIOC Athletes’ Commission to host free workshop

The BVI Olympic Committee has established an Athletes’ Commission (BVIOCAC) which will represent the athletes and teams of the Virgin Islands who compete in major international games and competitions.

The BVIOCAC is part of the worldwide network of Athletes’ Commissions which communicates regularly with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission created to serve as a link between the athletes and the IOC and to support and protect clean sport.

The BVIOCAC’s mission is to represent all sports with a national federation affiliated with the BVIOC “to recognize the voice of BVI athletes and maximize support of athletes through Olympic Solidarity and other programs to increase participation and improve performance at the CAC Games, Commonwealth Games, PanAm Games, and Olympic Games.”

“We want to be a resource for all of the national federations and their athletes as they prepare to compete at regional, continental and international events,” said Ashley Kelly, Chairperson, BVIOCAC. “The Virgin Islands’ Athletes’ Commission will represent the interests of the national athletes and teams whose feedback on their experiences at major competitions will help shape the decisions of governing bodies be it the BVI Olympic Committee, National Federations, International Federations or the International Olympic Committee.”

The members of the BVIOCAC are required to be athletes who have competed at major international competitions. The current members appointed by the BVIOC and who will sit for a four-year term are Ashley Kelly (Athletics) Chairperson, Joe Chapman (Squash) Secretary, Shamora Penn (Softball) Public Relations Officer, Chantel Malone (Athletics) Athlete Initiatives, Kyron McMaster (Athletics) Athlete Initiatives and Eldred Henry (Athletics) Athlete Initiatives. The BVIOCAC will be represented at the BVIOC’s board of Executives.

The objectives of the Commission are to be accessible to all the national federations’ athletes competing at regional and international levels – whether as an individual or as a team – and to consider issues related to the athletes so they can provide advice to the BVIOC. The BVIOCAC will also actively engage athletes with initiatives and projects that protect and support clean athletes on and off the field of play.

The first BVIOCAC initiative is a workshop on Sports Psychology: “The Mental Approach to On-Field Success” which will take place at 7:00pm on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

The free, 60 – 90 minutes virtual zoom meeting will feature Dr. Margaret Ottley Ph.D., M.S., M.A., B.A.; CMPC, FELLOW-AASP, a Trinidadian Native, who is one of the most sought after sports performance psychologist. Dr. Ottley worked at 4 Olympics, 1 with USA Track and Field (’08), 2 with Trinidad (’04, ’12) where Team Trinidad won its most Olympic Medals to date, and Rio ’16 where she worked with individual athletes including Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad (TTO only medalist in ‘Rio). The discussion will be moderated by Kyron McMaster, the VI’s Commonwealth Gold Medalist, and IAAF Diamond League Champion in the 400mH.

Topics in the discussion include Visualization, Goal-setting, Building Confidence (Self-Talk Techniques), and Overcoming Mental Block with additional material provided for athletes to apply to training and competition. The workshop is designed to be interactive and to provide practical tools to manage the mental aspect of performance. It will help athletes learn useful techniques to prepare mentally for training and competition.

The workshop is open to all athletes, parents, and coaches who can register through the following link: https://bit.ly/MentalZoom or via email sent to athletescommission@bviolympics.org.

iFOREX to sponsor BVI Olympic Committee in National team’s journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) has signed an agreement with iFOREX – a leading global financial broker – to act as sponsor of the Virgin Islands (UK) Olympic team on its journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A spokesperson for Formula Investment House Ltd, operator of the http://www.iFOREX.com website, said: “As a company licensed in the British Virgin Islands, we have first-hand awareness of the spirit and potential of this exceptional team and we are proud and excited to support the athletes in their remarkable efforts to bring home the Territory’s first Olympic medal.”

The BVI Olympic Team will most likely consist of up to four athletes. Two athletes, namely Kyron McMaster in the Men’s 400m hurdles and Eldred Henry in the Men’s shot put have qualified for the Olympics already and a number of other athletes are seeking to qualify over the next four months. These include Chantel Malone, the 2019 PanAm gold medallist in the long jump and Ashley Kelly, who made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 400m sprint.

It is believed that the partnership marks the first occasion an investment firm has sponsored a National Olympic Committee and iFOREX joins athletic brand Puma as one of the BVIOC’s two official sponsors.

For over 23 years, iFOREX has remained one of the largest and most respected firms in the Fintech industry, emerging early on as an industry leader in technological innovation and with a dedication to trust and excellence.

“By lining up with Puma, known for its history of performance and athletic support, we’re proud to help the BVI’s athletes to represent their country with devotion and determination,” said an iFOREX’s spokesperson.

Throughout the sponsorship, iFOREX will show its support of the BVI Olympic Team with online content chronicling the team’s journey from their training camps to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as the team’s results, which will be available to both clients and staff all over the world at iFOREX News.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC commented on the partnership, saying: “The BVI Olympic Committee is delighted that a respectable and successful investment firm such as iFOREX has identified the potential of the BVI team for Tokyo 2020 and we believe that together we can make history and see a first Olympic medal won by an athlete competing for the Virgin Islands.”

5 participate in USTA Caribbean Junior Development Tournament

Deandrea Baijnauth playing in Boys 14 placed third in the USTA Caribbean Junior Development tournament in Peurto Rico, August 23 – 25, 2019.

The US Tennis Association (USTA) Caribbean Junior Development tournament for Boys & Girls 10, 12, 14 and 18 took place in Puerto Rico, August 23 – 25 and drew 136 participants including 5 from the BVI and 5 from St. Croix. The round-robin format of pro-set (4) games placed players in groups of four with the top two players advancing to quarter final & semi- finals.

Deandrea Baijnauth, playing in Boys 14 placed third after he won his match against Sofian Baibeche (4-3), lost to Jose Desiderio (2-4), defeated Javier Marrero (4-2) and Brian M Quinones Arroyo (4-2) to advance to the semi finals. He played against Juan Arill in a competitive match but eventually lost (2-4 , 4-3, 7-5). He defeated Guillermo Mendez (4-1) to secure his podium finish.

The Boys 10 matches were played on a 60′ court and it proved to be a learning experience for Declan Wheatley who had never competed on that sized court before. He lost (0-3) in matches played against Edwin Rivera Mendez, Omar Jayden Davila and (0-3) Marco Ramson.

Amia Wheatley competing in Girls 12 won two out of four of her matches but did not place. Amia’s wins were 4-1 against Yanielz Andino and 4-3 against Adriana Fegueoa Peze. She lost 0-4 to Lara Rodriquez and 3-4 Natalia Aponte.

Zoe Richards in Girls 14 also played four matches but did not place. Her first opponent retired with a 2-1 lead for Zoe. She won (4-3) against Elena Pietrantoni and lost to Mardi Roques (1-4) and Victoria Cajigas (2-4).

Mikyle McMillan played Boys 14 but did not place after he lost both his matches. He was defeated by Fabian Colon (0-4) and Angel Burgos (0-4).

“We are grateful to the BVI Olympic Committee for financially making it possible for the players to participate; supporting the development of our youths and sport,” said Mrs. Carol Mitchell, President of the BVITSA.

The tournament was open to beginner and intermediate players, seeking  to provide them with on-court experiences following the recommended progression: Orange Ball  (10U), Green Dot Ball (12U) and regular ball (14U and 18U). 

Puerto Rico is the only Caribbean Island  hosting Junior Development Tournaments using all three balls the same time and because of  the geographical location,  it’s ideal for the VI’s juniors who are recreational players.

VI Athletes to represent the territory at the 2019 Caribbean Developmental Championships (CDC)

A team of 11 persons from the Virgin Islands Archery Association will be departing the territory on June 27, 2019 to compete in the III Annual Caribbean Developmental Championships (CDC), which will take place from June 28 through June 30, 2019 in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

This is the largest delegation to compete in these championships to date, as the sport continues to recover from the events of 2017. The delegation includes national coaches Patrick Smith, Ritseeniyah Georges, and Winnette Lawrence and competitors, Jaydian Fahie (Recurve) and Kasadiyah Baird (Recurve) Pre-cub women, Creightlee Brewley (Recurve) and K’Maury Pickering (Compound) Cub Men, Kendise Brewley (Compound) Cadet Women, Jahmeel Jones (Compound) Men, Javlyn Frett (Recurve) Women, and K’Mouy Pickering (Compound) Junior Men.

The CDC, which had its début in Puerto Rico in February 2017, was created by World Archery to be used as a stepping stone to springboard athletes from beginner and intermediate level into the world ranking events. It inspires and prepares athletes to take part in the sport and get a feel for international competition. The championships will bring together athletes from countries including the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands (UK), Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago

Patrick Smith, National Head Coach and President on his expectations of the team in Santo Domingo, stated that he wants “all gold medals and records and for the kids to meet some friends that they will love and cherish forever.”

Miss Javlyn Frett, who will be competing for the first time regionally, hopes “to accomplish an 8.0 average at the competition” while the youngest junior athletes, Kasadiyah Baird and Jaydian Fahie both stated that they are “very nervous”

The board of Governors of the VIAA expressed special thanks to the BVI Olympic Committee for their financial contribution to the tournament, and to all parents and sponsors who dug deep into their purses to support the athletes and make participation of this event possible.

Lima 2019 Pan Am Games athletes announced at Olympic Day Sports Festival

Lima 2019 athletes representing the Virgin Islands include Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser). Photos: track & field athletes – BVI Olympic Committee, Thad Lettsome – Royal BVI Yacht Club

Four athletes were officially confirmed as members of the team who will represent the Virgin Islands in track and field and sailing at the Lima 2019 Pan American (Pan Am) Games this Summer. The announcement was made at the 2nd annual Olympic Day Sports Festival held on Saturday, June 22 at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground when Honourable Neville Smith, 1st Vice President of the BVI Olympic Committee named the four as Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser).

Both athletics and sailing were among 20 other disciplines at Lima 2019 confirmed earlier this month as being qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Congratulating the athletes, Hon. Smith said, “Qualifying for these Games has become much tougher than previous years and, given the elevated standards and smaller team representing the VI this year, we are justifiably proud and excited to be sending a group of strong competitors who have the proven talent to make history and win our first ever medal – or medals!- in the Pan Am Games. We are also pleased that we have a young sailor who will bring us back into the Games after a long respite.”

The 3 senior athletes who will be competing in track and field events met their specific qualifying marks with outstanding achievements:

Kyron McMaster, who will compete in the 400m Hurdles semi-final on August 6th, qualified by winning gold at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Eldred Henry, competing in the shot put finals on August 7th, qualified for the PanAms with his record setting performance during the indoor season. Chantel Malone, set to compete in the long jump finals on August 7th hit her qualifier when she claimed the then world #1 spot with a personal best leap of 6.9m at the at the 3rd Annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia on April 26, 2019. The mark currently ranks Malone #2 in the world.

Joining the 3 track and field athletes is Thad Lettsome who, at 17 years of age, makes history for the VI as the first sailor since the 1990s to represent the VI at the Pan Am Games. Awarded a universality place by the organisers, Lettsome will start his competition in the Men’s Laser class on August 3rd.

Former national sprinter, Mr. Lindel ‘Chef’ Hodge is the Chef de Mission for Lima 2019.

“This is the VI’s 10th Pan Am Games. We have competed in each of the Games since the 9th edition and, in fact, our first appearance at the 1983 Pan Am Games was the starting point for the establishment of the BVI Olympic Committee. The closest we have come to a medal was in 1987 when our softball team finished 4th after a narrow 4-3 loss against Cuba in the bronze medal game but we are hopeful that 2019 will be the year we make the podium,” said Honourable Smith, a member of the historical 1987 softball team.

The 19th edition of the Pan Am Games will be held in Lima, Peru from July 26th to August 11. Approximately 6,700 participants from 41 countries in the Caribbean and Americas are expected to compete in 39 sports and 61 disciplines, 22 of which are qualifiers for Tokyo 2020. News on the Games and the athletes will be provided by Dean Greenaway’s daily reports to media and via radio broadcast on CBN 90.9FM at 5.00pm through August 5th and then at 9.00am, 2.00pm and 9.00pm from August 6 – 11.

Community invited to 2nd annual Olympic Day Sports Festival

The BVI Olympic Committee, supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports will host its second annual Sports Festival at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds from 9:00am – 12:00pm on Saturday, June 22.

The Sports Festival, marking the globally celebrated international Olympic Day, aims to encourage the community to get physically active by promoting the Olympic message to “move, learn and discover”.

The morning will feature interactive stations set up by National Sporting Federations with opportunities for everybody of all ages and abilities to try out a sport. Adults and children alike will be able to test their skills and find out more about archery, athletics, basketball, football, rugby, sailing, softball/baseball, squash, swimming, taekwondo, tennis and volleyball with a view to finding a sport that ignites an interest and to get active in their daily life.

Recently trained Doping Control Officers (DCOs) will be on hand to explain more about anti-doping in sports. Information will be provided about the Long Term Athlete Development programme and the importance of incorporating physical activity as part of a regular routine to minimize the risks of non-communicable diseases. DYAS will also have information on its Summer programme for 13 – 18 year olds.

During the brief opening of the Sports Festival, the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, the Minister for Education, Culture and Sports will recognize the major achievements of national athletes and teams as provided by the National Federations.

On this day, the Honourable Neville Smith, 1st VP of the BVIOC will also announce the senior athletes who have so far qualified to compete in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games which will take place in Peru from July 26 – August 11.

Free Olympic Day tee shirts will be handed out by the BVIOC as well as complimentary water, chilled courtesy of MBs Ice.

Olympic Day was established in 1948 as an annual occasion where everyone everywhere can get together in their communities to celebrate the Olympic values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship and also celebrate the Olympic Day pillars: Move. Learn. Discover.