Community engages in sports at inaugural BVI Beach Games

A cross section of the Virgin Islands’ community attended the inaugural BVI Beach Games which was hosted by the BVI Olympic Committee and four national federations at Brandywine Bay beach on June 27, 2021.

In keeping with the tag line, “Unity through Sports”, residents of all ages and abilities took advantage of the opportunity to try the free sporting activities presented by rugby, volleyball, football and sailing and joined in a pick-up game or registered a team to take part in mini tournaments.

“The feedback from all involved with organising this first BVI Beach Games is positive,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee. “While we had hoped that more people would have joined in, we understand that many had changed their plans to come to the beach when they woke up to rain showers in the early morning. Overall, we’re pleased with the event and feel it was a success with a good uptake of the sports that were on offer.”

“This is such a great day! We were a bit put off by yesterday’s rain but so glad that we decided to come out and bring the kids to have fun at the beach. We’re really enjoying the whole thing, including the food!” said one participant attending with her husband and two children.

The BVIOC’s primary mission in facilitating the games is to stimulate the community’s interest in engaging in sports and getting physically active but the ultimate goal is sports development and to foster interest and growth in the disciplines that are played as a competitive beach sports at regional and international level.

“Rugby has already sent national teams to compete in Florida and elsewhere. As the other national federations see an increase in interest from their members in playing competitively in the beach version of their sport, there’s potential to develop national teams that could then play against our neighbours from the USVI, St Maarten and Puerto Rico who would be invited to join in the winter 2022 edition,” said Penn. “The mid-term target is to host the first Regional Beach Games possibly in the winter of 2023 as a sports tourism product provided the COVID-19 travel protocols make it viable.”

The BVI Beach Games included music by DJ Cuffy, fundraising cash bars run by the federations for rugby, volleyball and football, food for sale by Brandywine Estate and ice cream by Icy Treats. Recycling of disposables was managed by Green & Clean VI Ltd. A collection table for the donation of non-perishable items for the Family Support Network was also set up as a charitable community out-reach element.

The June edition was made possible through collaboration between the BVIOC and volunteers of the 4 national federations and was sponsored and supported by ZBVI Radio, Nagico Insurance Ltd, Roadtown Wholesale Ltd distributors of Coca Cola products Dasani water and Powerade, VISAR, Public Works Department and Solid Waste Department.

The beach games took place the weekend after the traditional symbolic Olympic Day run, walk and cycle events held on Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke on Saturday, June 19.

More photos of the event can be viewed on the BVIOC page on FaceBook

Shot putter Eldred Henry steps out of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games due to elbow injury


Official Joint Statements Eldred Henry, BVI Athletics Association, BVI Olympic Committee

BVI shot putter Eldred Henry at the Doha 2019 World Athletics Championships. Photo credit: CM Farrington Photography

On Monday, June 28, 2021 national shot put champion and Olympian, Eldred Henry communicated with the BVI Athletics Association President, Mr. Steve Augustine to advise that, due to the recovery process from an injury in his right elbow, he would not be competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer.

“It is with deep sadness that I have had to make the tough call not to compete in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan this summer. The injury in the elbow of my throwing arm is one that has been an underlying issue for a few months but which was being treated and kept at bay through my pre-COVID-19 training regime which allowed me to compete at the beginning of this season. Unfortunately, the injury flared up during my warmup at the 2021 Track Meet on May 15 in South California and required further investigation including an MRI.

“The treatment and full recovery process requires more time than is left for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and after consultation with my coach Tony Dougherty and doctors working on the treatment, I conferred with the BVIAA and BVI Olympic Committee and it was agreed that I would not compete in Japan and risk putting my athletic career in jeopardy. Instead I will concentrate on making a full and proper recovery to regain my optimal performance level for the future Games coming up in 2022 and leading up to Paris 2024. I am grateful for all the support I receive from both the BVIAA and the BVIOC and feel frustrated and disappointed not to be able to represent my country at the Olympics this year. I will be in daily contact with the athletes attending Tokyo 2020 and look forward to supporting the team all the way,” said Henry.

In his consultation with President Augustine, Henry explained that while the treatment is working, the recovery is still ongoing and that the technical functionality is not fully restored. While willing to compete if that was the consensus of the BVIAA and the BVIOC, it was clear that if Henry was to proceed with participating at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the restrictions of the injury would impede his ability to throw at his best distances and he would risk further damage to his elbow and hand.

“Eldred Henry is clearly one of our leading athletes and I was very sorry to learn that the extent of his injuries will now take him off the roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Our primary sympathies are with Eldred whose training and focus were geared towards the ultimate competition at these rescheduled Olympics. We know that in the best of conditions he would have done us proud and are in complete agreement that he should not compete while recovering from an injury that will directly affect his performance and possibly his future athletic career. We understand that the intensive treatment programme Eldred is undergoing is designed to deliver a solid result and we wish him all the best on his road to recovery and training to get him back on track for the upcoming competitions including the World Championships in Oregon, USA in July 2022 Oregon,” said Augustine.

In a letter dated June 28, 2021, the BVIAA officially notified the BVIOC that Henry would no longer be in the team of track and field athletes going to Tokyo 2020 this summer.

“The BVIOC and the Chef de Mission, Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, as Team BVI’s Olympic family are very empathetic to Eldred’s situation and understand the frustration and disappointment that comes with making the final decision not to compete at an Olympic Games. Eldred has trained hard under challenging conditions. He told us that he was feeling at his peak in February 2020 and had been ready to impress in the summer of 2020. The pandemic had interrupted his training schedule and his competition level preparations and just as he was getting back on track, the latent injury put a stop to his programme.

“Eldred has impressed us with his resilience and dedication to his sport and his desire to represent his country with pride. He remains our top shot put athlete and we are proud of all that he has achieved thus far and know there is more to come under the continued training and guidance of his long-time coach, Anthony Dougherty. We will continue to support Eldred during his recovery period and his future focus on preparations for the upcoming major competitions including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the 2022 CACs, Santiago 2023 Panam Games and Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC.

Henry was the first of the VI’s athletes to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games when he threw the shot put a distance of 21.47m.(70′ 5 1/4 “) at the Kingsville, Texas meet in 2019 to also secure the outdoor national, OECS, GMAC and NCAA DII records with his personal best throw. He also holds the indoor shot put national, OECS and NCAA DII records with a throw of 20.61m (60′ 7.5”). He is a CAC bronze medalist. His highest world men’s shot put ranking is #20 and is ranked #6 in the region.

Tokyo 2020 would have been Henry’s second Olympics with his first appearance at the Rio 2016 Games.

Olympic Day June 23, 2021 – #StrongerTogether

In the British Virgin Islands, in-person Olympic Day runs were hosted on Saturday, June 19 on the islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. Photo: BVIOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today launches “Stronger Together”, a global Olympic campaign that celebrates athletes by showcasing their journey to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and how they kept moving even when the world around them stopped. The story celebrates their strength, resilience and determination to bring hope, unity and inspiration to people around the world.

Timed to launch ahead of Olympic Day (23 June), the story features world-renowned athletes, including past and present Olympians Usain Bolt, Naomi Osaka, Andre De Grasse, Yusra Mardini and Nyjah Houston. Tony Hawk is also present, representing the skateboarding community as they enter their first-ever Games.

It focuses on a people-centric message of Stronger Together, emphasising the IOC’s message of solidarity and the belief that the world moves forward only when it moves together, and the irresistible power of the Olympic Games to unite people, communities and societies across the globe.

The film can be watched here.

The #StrongerTogether campaign has been designed to unite people around the world while building excitement for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Online fan engagement

On 23 June, a number of activities will take place on the IOC’s digital platforms to celebrate Olympic Day. People around the world will be able to connect, chat and get inspired by some of the world’s best athletes, including through a dedicated Olympic Day yoga session with Christy Prior, live chats with Usain Bolt and Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi, plus workout sessions and a Q&A with tennis star Venus Williams, to name just a few of the activities. These will focus on both physical and mental strength, and will include workouts as well as advice on mindfulness and well-being.

Olympic Day around the world

Some 110 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world are also planning to encourage people to get active on Olympic Day. In-person activities around the world held where the situation permits, include Olympic Day runs, outdoor games for families, introductions to new sports, meetings with Olympians and workshops on the Olympic values. Digital initiatives, such as virtual Olympic challenges, online workouts, virtual live chats with Olympians, online quizzes and webinars on the Olympic values, will also be organised by NOCs. In the British Virgin Islands, in-person Olympic Day runs were hosted on Saturday, June 19 on the islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke and on Sunday, June 27, the BVI Olympic Committee will host the Territory’s first BVI Beach Games with sporting activities for all ages and abilities hosted by the National Federations for rugby, sailing, volleyball and football encouraging people to experience the Olympic Day message to Move, Learn and Discover”.

Olympic Virtual Series

The finals of the first-ever Olympic Virtual Series, the Olympic-licensed event for physical and non-physical virtual sports, will be broadcast live on olympics.com on 23 June.

Virtual sports fans can choose if they want to watch the Main Olympic Live Broadcast or specific disciplines. The sports featured are: baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motor sport.

“Lausanne Capitale Olympique” run

On 23 June, the “Lausanne Capitale Olympique” run, organised by the City of Lausanne (Switzerland), where the IOC is headquartered, will be held digitally for the first time.

The organisers have devised a route of around 7km along the shores of Lake Geneva to discover some iconic places linked to Olympism and sport in Lausanne. Along the route, various personalities will provide comments and encouragement, including the IOC President, who will launch the run. You can take part here.

IOC President Bach: “Let’s celebrate the precious Olympic spirit”

“In this extraordinary Olympic year, celebrating Olympic Day is even more special than usual,” said the IOC President, Thomas Bach. “On this Olympic Day, when the entire world has been facing the same struggles and fears because of the global coronavirus pandemic for far too long, the power of sport to bring hope and optimism takes on an even greater significance. Solidarity, hope and optimism – this is what the power of sport is all about. This is why on this Olympic Day, let us stand together to celebrate the precious Olympic spirit,” he continued.

Olympic Day celebrates the revival of the Olympic Games

The idea of celebrating an Olympic Day was adopted at the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz in January 1948. The chosen date celebrates the founding of the IOC at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 23 June 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games.

The first Olympic Day was celebrated that same year on 23 June 1948 and, 30 years later, in the 1978 edition of the Olympic Charter, the IOC recommended that all NOCs organise an Olympic Day to promote the Olympic Movement.

Over the last 20 years, Olympic Day has been associated with Olympic Day runs all over the world. First launched in 1987, the runs were about encouraging all NOCs to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport.

More information about Olympic Day can be found here.

BVIOC to host Olympic Day runs and inaugural BVI Beach Games

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC), in collaboration with member national federations will host the first community BVI Beach Games at Brandywine Bay Beach from 10:00am – 4:00pm on Sunday, June 27, 2021.

The BVI Beach Games is an initiative that was first introduced at the BVIOC AGM by the BVI Rugby Football Union as a potential community event following the successful beach rugby and CrossFit fundraiser they organised in November last year.

Working with the national federations for rugby, volleyball, football, sailing and triathlon as well as Castaways CrossFit, the BVIOC is facilitating a community-oriented event aimed at encouraging residents of all ages to try a sport and get active.

The day will feature mini tournaments, pick-up games and an opportunity for anyone to try the aforementioned sports.

“These inaugural games will feature sports that already have a beach version so we know that the land based events are suited to be played in sand,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We are excited to have a fun, healthy and physically active family-oriented event in a safe, outdoor space where the community can get together while maintaining their social distance in keeping with current protocols.”

The BVI Beach Games will include music entertainment, bouncy castles, food and ice cream for sale by Brandywine Estate Restaurant and Icy Treats as well as a bar. Recycling of disposables will be in effect and managed by Green & Clean VI Ltd. A collection table for the donation of non-perishable items for the Family Support Network will be set up as a charitable community out-reach element of the day.

The event will be the first of two annual beach games planned with the second beach games to be hosted in November 2021.

“The long term goal is to develop these disciplines that are already played as beach sports competitively at regional and international level with a view to inviting our neighbours in the USVI, St Maarten and Puerto Rico in the winter of 2022 and hosting the first Regional Beach Games possibly in the winter of 2023 provided COVID-19 travel protocols make it viable,” said Penn.

This event will take place the weekend after the traditional 1 or 2-mile Olympic Day run/walk on Saturday, June 19 in collaboration with the BVI Athletics Association and starting at 7:00am (registration at 6:30am) from the A.O. Shirley Grounds, Tortola and a 3-mile walk/run managed by the Road Runners’ Club and starting at 6:00am from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Virgin Gorda. Cyclists are also welcome to join an Olympic Day ride in VG which will depart from the college at 6:00am.

Attendees at both the Olympic Day events and the BVI Beach Games will be required to observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing a mask and frequent hand sanitising while at the event.

iFOREX partners with BVI Olympic Committee to support National Team’s journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

iFOREX – a leading global financial broker with offices in the BVI – announced its partnership with the British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) and will act as sponsors 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 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.”

So far, those who have qualified include Kyron McMaster in the Men’s 400m Hurdles, Eldred Henry in the Men’s Shot Put, and Chantel Malone in the Women’s Long Jump.

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 25 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 spokesperson.

Throughout the sponsorship, iFOREX will show its support for 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 very happy that a respectable and successful investment firm such as iFOREX has identified the potential of the BVI team for Tokyo 2020. We have a strong line up of athletes for these Games so far and the additional support is very much appreciated as the athletes prepare to bring their best performance to Japan continuing to make us very proud as a nation.”

Panam Sports to offer 4000 vaccines to athletes and officials traveling to Tokyo

Panam Sports has reached an important agreement with the University of Miami and the Mexican Consulate in Miami to receive 4,000 vaccines that will be used to help ensure the health of the athletes and officials who will participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games this July, as well as the entirety of the Pan American Family.

“We know that in many of our countries throughout the continent it is very difficult to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Therefore, we have made a significant effort to reach this outstanding agreement that will help all of the athletes who have not had the chance to become inoculated. Now these athletes have the opportunity to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States, and thus travel with better protection to compete at the Tokyo Olympics,” said Panam Sports President, Neven Ilic.

“I want to offer my greatest appreciation to the University of Miami, the Mexican Consulate in Miami, and our Executive Committee member, Jimena Saldaña. They all helped us achieve our goal of vaccinating the athletes and officials who will participate in Tokyo, as well as those who will be in Cali this November,” Ilic added.

Panam Sports has already sent an official document to all the National Olympic Committees to inform them of this great opportunity. The organization will cover the cost of the air tickets for those who travel to Miami to receive their vaccines.

The NOCs must send their request listing the athletes and officials they wish to be vaccinated as soon as possible so they can be inoculated at least 30 days before entering Japan.

Chantel Malone joins long jump 7-meter club, qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Chantel Malone, winner of the Long Jump Gold Lima 2019 Pan American Games, qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics with a national record and PB leap of 7.08m, PHOTO: Todd VanSickle

With 4 months to go until the long jump qualifying round on August 1, 2021 at the Summer Olympic Games in Japan, British Virgin Islands national, Chantel Malone joined the long jump 7-meter club when she surpassed the Tokyo 2020 qualifying mark of 6.82m with a leap of 7.08m (23’ 2 3/4”)+1.4 wind at The Florida International Pro Addition Track Meet at IMG Academy in Bradenton on Saturday, March 27, 2021.

Malone won her first event of the outdoor season in her fourth jump after landing a 6.83m distance in the second round and fouling her third attempt. 2nd place went to Darla Klishina (7.05m 23’ 1 3/4” and 3rd spot to Akela Jones (6.58 21’ 7 1/4”).

“We’ve been working really hard these last 2 month. Mostly focusing on technical execution and my speed,” said Malone. “I’m pretty excited about what future holds. This season will be a good one once I remain healthy. I love being a part of the 7m club. I’ve been working towards it for a very long time. Finally achieving that goal is a testament to my resilience and determination. This is only the beginning!”

Chantel Malone joins long jump 7-meter club, qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games
The mark, which currently is officially ranked the world’s second longest jump of the year, is a new national record beating Malone’s previous jump of 6.90m (22’ 7 3/4”) and is a personal best. She is the second Caribbean woman to jump beyond seven meters.

“This is a fantastic result on many levels and we congratulate Chantel on her record setting achievement in the long jump,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee, the body responsible for the nation’s participation in major Games including the Olympics. “These past twelve months have been an extreme challenge for our athletes who have had to continue to train and prepare for the re-scheduled Summer Olympic Games, working within the constraints of COVID-19 protocols and foregoing the regular competitions and qualifying events that would normally help them on the road to the Olympics.

“To break through the psychological barrier and stay focused on the goal to perform at world class levels is highly impressive and we commend Chantel for her grit and determination. We encourage our slate of athletes to keep their eye on the prize and continue with their excellent efforts.”

Malone joins Tokyo 2020 qualifiers Eldred Henry (shot put) and Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles) along with Elinah Phillip (50m & 100m Freestyle), a sophomore at Florida International University, who is making her mark at the recently resumed swim meets.

This will be the first Olympic Games for Malone and McMaster who each were respective gold medal winners at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Both achievements were historic for the Territory as the first medals to be won by VI nationals in those Games. Malone is the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games silver medalist and also holds the OECS long jump record.

IOC, NOCs and Government of Japan reaffirm commitment to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Tokyo, Japan Photo: Yoshikazu Sekiguchi

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach spoke with all 206 NOCs including the BVIOC on Friday, January 22 and confirmed all are fully committed to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With 6 months to go until the Games, President Bach reaffirmed the IOC’s commitment to the Games to be held on July 23, 2021. “Together with its Japanese partners and friends, the IOC is fully concentrated on and committed to the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this year.”

BVIOC President Ephraim Penn and Secretary General, Lloyd Black took part in the virtual meeting.

“The IOC and organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been in continuous discussions on how to host the Games safely – both for the competing athletes and delegations as well as for the host country,” said Mr. Penn. “There is full commitment to seeing the Games through which is a message that must be made clear to all athletes who are currently training and preparing to compete.”

The BVIOC through Chef de Mission for the Games, Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott have constant contact with the elite track and field athletes slated to compete at Tokyo 2020. This includes Eldred Henry (shot put) and Kyron McMaster (400m Hurdles) qualified for their events in 2019 and Chantel Malone (long jump) and Tokyo 2020 hopeful Ashley Kelly (400m).

“All of our athletes are doing well,” said Mrs. Harrigan-Scott. “While their training schedules had to be adapted to meet with the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, all four of the athletes are focused, working hard and are determined to be on their best form when the summer comes around. There’s no denying that the lack of competitions and a dead season can take its toll, but they each have a support network not just through their coaches and peers, but also through each other and a pro-active Executive at the BVIOC who ensure that their needs are being met so as to minimize any distraction from the task at hand.”

In addition to the elite athletes, Thad Lettsome (sailing) and Elinah Philip (swimming) are also hopeful of gaining a spot on the team through the Universality programme but this will not be confirmed until closer to the Games in July.

Mrs. Harrigan-Scott will be attending the Chef de Mission meeting on February 9 where updates on the preparations for the Games will be shared by the Tokyo 2020 organisers.

Rumours of cancellation “categorically untrue”
A statement issued by the IOC on January 22 also rebutted news reports which cast doubt on the support from the Tokyo Government quoting a statement made by the Japanese Government:

“Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus. This is categorically untrue.

“At an IOC Executive Board meeting in July last year, it was agreed that the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be held on July 23 this year, and the programme and venues for the Games were rescheduled accordingly. All parties involved are working together to prepare for a successful Games this summer.

“We will be implementing all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer.”

Caribbean RADO Marks 15th Anniversary

The Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) marks its 15th anniversary on Thursday, November 12th 2020. As a result of the ongoing global pandemic, the celebrations will be virtual. Caribbean RADO Chairman Patrick Werleman says the organizations is proud to reach the milestone.

“As the Caribbean RADO, we have an imperative role to play in ensuring that all Member Countries are able to comply with, and implement, the many anti-doping rules and regulations that apply to all of us,” says Werleman.

The Chairman has also thanked the ‘Caribbean RADO family’ who saw the importance of establishing the regional anti-doping body, and assisted with its success over the years.

“We salute them. Without their dedication and creativity, we would not be here today. Today, we can proudly say that the Caribbean RADO has 18 member countries and we are all committed to preserving the Olympic values including fair play and clean sport.”

Current Caribbean RADO Vice-Chairman Dr Adrian Lorde, who was one of the founding members, says the organizations has several achievements of which it can be proud.

“We have been honoured with awards. We’ve been recognised by WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] as one of the top two RADOs in the world. We’ve done testing for international organizations. Our doping control officers have worked at the Olympics, Pan Am Games and CAC Games. We have done extremely well with limited resources in that 15 years,” says Dr Lorde.

In congratulating Caribbean RADO, Tom May, Director, Program Development and NADO/RADO Relations at WADA has noted he is pleased with how the regional body has progressed since its inception.

“I was fortunate enough to be involved in the original discussions about the establishment of this RADO in 2005. To see the progress made over these past 15 years is truly remarkable; and this has only been made possible by all those involved, both past and present, in the work of the RADO. This includes the RADO staff, the Executive and the Board, the authorities in the Member Countries, and especially all of the people, including the many volunteers who contribute to the implementation of anti-doping programs throughout the Caribbean region,” says May.

Caribbean RADO is committed to its mission of clean sport in the region, and the protection of clean athletes. Although the global pandemic brought the sporting world to a halt, the work of the body continued, particularly under its mandate of anti-doping education; while also spearheading the doping control process during the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPLT20) in Trinidad & Tobago.

Activities to mark the 15th anniversary this week will be centred around the Caribbean RADO social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter. Plans are also in the works for more celebratory activities in 2021.

Free Basketball & Baseball Camp underway in Districts 7 & 8

(Standing Front L-R) Ephraim Penn, President, BVI Olympic Committee and Milton McLean founder of the Basketball & Baseball (B & B) youth Summer Camp which this year was sponsored by the BVIOC and was launched at Greenland, East End, Tortola on August 17, 2020

A two-week, free Basketball & Baseball (B & B) youth Summer Camp, sanctioned by the BVI Basketball Association and sponsored by the BVI Olympic Committee was launched at Greenland, East End, Tortola on Monday, August 17, 2020.

The summer camp is offering coaching in both basketball and baseball to all boys and girls aged 8 – 12 years residing in Districts 7 and 8. The initiative – now in its third year of community engagement – is managed by Mr. Milton McLean and Mr. Raymond “Chi Chi” Fonseca of the Sea Cow’s Bay Basketball Club (SCBBC). Mr. McLean founded the B & B group in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria bringing in Mr. Fonseca to help with the baseball programme.

“After the hurricanes of 2017 there was little or no activity in sports on Tortola. This prompted me to create the B & B group as an affiliate to the Sea Cow’s Bay Basketball Club,” said Mr. McLean. “The first B & B clinic took place in District 4 in July 2018 and we teamed up with YEP to host the programme in District 3 in 2019. This year, we have partnered with the BVI Olympic Committee to introduce the clinic in East End/Long Look, where I actually grew up. We can’t thank the BVIOC enough for their support as we could not have offered the camp otherwise.”

Basketball and baseball (with an option of softball for girls) are both offered in the Greenland field in District 7 while basketball camp is offered in District 8. Children residing in either district can be registered to attend any of the camps. The camps run from 9:00am – 3:00pm Mondays through Fridays.

“We are hoping to cater for 30-40 children, helping them to release some of that pent-up energy,” continued Mr. McLean. “The idea is to train the participants in the skills of both sports and organize them into teams of 12. We will work with the participating coaches in the districts for a couple of months after the camps so that they can continue to run a district B & B club throughout the year.”

The intent is to offer the B & B summer camp in Districts 1 and 2 in 2021 with the hopes that the grass roots programme will take off and eventually lead to Territory-wide basketball and baseball youth teams that can compete against each other.

The mutual goal of the B & B group and the BVIOC is to encourage younger children to become physically active with a view to tackling the growing problem of childhood obesity made worse by the impact of COVID-19 on sports. Both organisations also recognize the inextricable link between endorphins released through cardio-aerobic exercise, emotional well-being, improved self-esteem and social attitude.

“The BVIOC accepted the invitation to support the B & B initiative because it speaks directly to the Long Term Athlete Development and physical literacy programmes that we have been championing in the Virgin Islands since we launched the community-wide workshops in 2016,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC.

The funding for the summer camps was sourced through Olympic Solidarity, which this year gave National Olympic Committees the discretion to support programmes that help to develop sports and encourage physical activity in the community.

“Typically, the bulk of the money from Olympic Solidarity is ear marked for national federation sports development and athlete or team activity in preparation for or participation in events and competitions that are part of the ladder to competing in major Games such as the CAC, Panam Games, and Olympic Games,” explained Mr. Penn. “With all competitions suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOCs were invited to apply for funds to continue to build capacity and engage with the public to move and get physically active. As always, we are accountable to OS and are required to report on the activities which we fund.”

For more information on the B & B Summer Camps or to register a child, contact Mr. McLean on 345-0555 or Mr. Fonseca on 441-1435.