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.

Caribbean RADO Gets New Chairman, Directors

Caribbean RADO Executive Committee members 2019
Newly elected Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) Executive Committee members (l-r) Director, Mr. Ephraim Penn (British Virgin Islands), Vice-President, Dr. Adrian Lorde (Barbados), Chairman, Mr. Patrick Werleman (Aruba), Director, Dr. Karen Pilgrim (Guyana), Director, Mr. Joel Johnson (Grenada) pose at the close of the 14th Annual Board Meeting held in the BVI from June 1 – 2, 2019.

Patrick Werleman is the new Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO).

Werleman, the Board Member representative for Aruba, has been elected to serve for the next term following the 14th Annual Board Meeting in Tortola, British Virgin Islands on Sunday, June 2nd 2019.

Werleman who is also Director of Sports Development of the Aruban Olympic Committee and President of the Aruba Anti-Doping Commission says compliance with World Anti-Doping Code will be one of his major priorities for Caribbean RADO member countries.

“Even though there is a new chair and there are new Directors, the organization will continue to move forward and we need everybody to be on board. We need to communicate better, giving more physical and technical support to Board Members. A lot of members are still not compliant, so we really need to work towards addressing that. We need to press a little harder to have everyone compliant with the Code. I think that is the most important priority we have now right.”

Outgoing Chairman Dr Adrian Lorde, who did not seek re-election, thanked the body for the confidence placed in him since he took up the helm in 2005.

Dr. Lorde, who is the Board representative for member country Barbados, will still serve on the Executive Committee, having been elected as its new Vice President – a role in which he is pleased to contribute.

“As the World Conference is coming up in November in Poland with a new Code coming into being in 2021, there will be a need for expert leadership in the region to guide our countries further forward and to keep them compliant. The new Chair Patrick Werleman has made tremendous strides in the time he has been involved, and I think the Caribbean RADO is in very good hands.”

Werleman and Lorde will be joined by directors Dr. Karen Pilgrim (Guyana) who previously served in this role, along with newcomers Joel Johnson (Grenada) and Ephraim Penn (British Virgin Islands).

“It’s an honour to be elected as a director on the new Caribbean RADO Executive Board. I recognise that there is a lot to be done in the promotion of clean sports in the region and I look forward to pursuing this with the new team going forward,” said Penn, Director Caribbean RADO, BVI Board Member, Chairman BVI Anti-Doping Commission and President of the BVI Olympic Committee.

The two-day AGM was hosted by the BVI Olympic Committee and included a welcome reception hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports. It was the first time the BVI hosted the board meeting since joining Caribbean RADO in 2012. Representatives of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and Caribbean RADO board members from 17 countries were in attendance.

Curacao will host the 2020 Caribbean RADO, where the organization will celebrate its 15th anniversary.

VI Rugby Team to face TCI in RAN North Cup 2019

RAN Friendly – TCI v BVI. Photo: RAN

The Virgin Islands team will be playing against team Turks and Caicos in the second match of the Rugby North America (RAN) North Cup. The game will take place at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground at 10:00am on Saturday, May 4.

The RAN North Cup is a Tri-Nations competition in which the British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and Turks and Caicos Islands all play each other. The three island nations make up 50% of the 2019 RAN Cup which is structured according to the north and south with the RAN South Cup being a competition between Martinique, Curacao, and Barbados.

North Cup Fixtures:
April 13: Turks & Caicos Islands vs Dominican Republic (TCI 24- 20 DR)
May 04: British Virgin Islands vs. Turks & Caicos
TBA: Dominican Republic vs British Virgin Islands

South Cup Results: Martinique vs. Barbados – March 16, 2019
Result:  Martinique 43-14 Barbados
Martinique vs. Curacao  – March 23, 2019
Result:  Martinique 39-0 Curacao
Barbados vs. Curacao – April 6 2019
Result:  Barbados 55-7 Curacao

VI sailors make news – Thad Lettsome selected for Lima 2019 PanAm Games

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome. Source:All at Sea

2019 PanAm Games
Thad Lettsome will be representing the Virgin Islands (UK) in the Men’s Laser event at this year’s Pan American Games in Peru. The territory’s #1 Laser sailor has been awarded a Universality Place by the organizing committee and will be traveling to the prestigious event in July this year.

The BVI has not been represented in the sailing events at the PanAm Games since the 1990s.

RWU Hall of Fame
BVI Sailor, Alec Anderson, has been inducted into the Roger Williams University Hall of Fame. Anderson was a four-year member of the RWU Sailing team, ending his career as one of the most accomplished sailors in program history. He was a three-time ICSA All-American Coed Skipper and a three-time All-NEISA First Team Skipper. Congratulations Alec!

Charleston Race Week
Colin Rathbun, Christian Thompson, Ted Reshetiloff and Max Reshetiloff representing the BVI raced in the Flying Tiger 7.5 class with Andrew Kerr at the 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week. The Team finished 1st overall with four wins in the 9 race series and never finishing lower than third in any race. Congratulations Team BVI!

Panam Sports considers bids from host cities for inaugural Junior Panam Games planned for 2021.

Mexico City, February 26, 2019 – After a thorough review of the proposals, Panam Sports leaders feel confident that the inaugural edition of the Junior Pan American Games to be held in 2021 for athletes ages 18-23 can be quite successful.

Concluding a week of inspecting plans and proposals for the first edition of the Games, the Panam Sports Evaluation Commission are excited about the possibilities presented by the candidatures of Cali, Colombia and Santa Ana, El Salvador as potential host cities of the event along with Monterrey, Mexico.

“The summary of our visits is very positive. What we found in Cali is a very solid candidature that’s well structured with very complete infrastructure. And what we’ve found in El Salvador is a group that’s very enthusiastic with the support of the city and the support of the Olympic Committee, and a desire to transform Santa Ana through hosting the Junior Pan American Games. We are impressed with both candidatures and still look forward to reviewing the project from Monterrey in more detail, but I can say that that we have chosen competitive cities as the potential hosts of these first Junior Pan American Games in history,” said Ivar Sisniega, Panam Sports Secretary General and Chairman of the Evaluation Commission.

Panam Sports created these Games after identifying a substantial gap in the opportunities available for athletes in this age category to develop and compete at a world-class level once they are ineligible for Youth sporting events.

The Junior Pan Am Games aim to eliminate this gap and increase the likelihood of additional government funding by providing a high-performance multi sport event for the young athletes of all 41 countries in the Panam Sports family. The goal is for the Junior Pan Am Games to also provide direct qualification to the next Pan American Games, ensuring consistent opportunities to further develop as an athlete.

The 10 members of the Panam Sports Evaluation Commission visited Cali and Santa Ana consecutively from February 18 to 22, while an inspection visit to Monterrey is planned in March.

After thoroughly reviewing all three proposals for the Games, the Panam Sports Executive Committee will choose the Host City of the 2021 Junior Pan American Games at its meeting scheduled for March 27 to 28 in San Jose, Costa Rica.