BVIOC distributes Panam Sports coach funding to national federations

BVIOC presents coach hiring funds from Panam Sports to its national federations
BVI National Federations receive coach hiring funds from Panam Sports distributed by the BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee distributed cheques totaling $100,000 from Panam Sports to 14 of its member federations on June 26, 2020. The funds are part of Panam Sports’ special project for the hiring of coaches in support of sports development in the Americas.

The 14 national federations which currently are active and which are recipients of the coaching funds include Archery, Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Football, Rugby, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Sailing, Softball/Baseball, Squash, Swimming and Volleyball.

“Coaching is a fundamental part of the success of any athlete or team and the development of sports,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The BVIOC applied to receive its allocation of $100,000 from Panam Sports which earmarked the money specifically for the hiring of coaches. The BVIOC and its national federations are very appreciative of the funding which is yet another demonstration of Panam Sports’ continued commitment to supporting the growth and development of sports across its 41 member nations which includes the Virgin Islands.”

The funding for coaches is one of the latest tangible resources Panam Sports has made available to the BVIOC and its member federations. Sports and athletes receive the direct benefits which the BVIOC apply for whether it’s through a donation of training equipment, funds for repairs to facilities – including the replacement of the Mondo track at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds or through development initiatives such as coach training sessions.

Panam Sports is also engaged with all athletes across the continent with its ongoing virtual support sessions featuring professional experts in all aspects of sports both physical and psychological. The virtual sessions were introduced as part of the organizations’ response to the impact of COVID-19 on athletes and their training and competition programmes in the lead up to the now rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

About Panam Sports

The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) was established on August 8th, 1948 and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the continental Association of the NOCs of the Americas. In 2017 the organization was rebranded as Panam Sports.

Its principal objects are the celebration and conduct of the Pan American Games and the promotion, development and protection of sport, as well as the Olympic Movement, in the Americas through its member NOCs. The current President, Neven Ilic, has held the post since 2017.

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.

New dates for Tokyo 2020 creates certainty, eases pressure

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the new dates for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on March 30 which now will be celebrated from July 23 to August 8, 2021 and the Paralympic Games will be celebrated from August 24 until September 5, 2021.

These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee along with National Olympic Committee representatives from around the world attended a video conference on March 27 and were solicited for any comments and concerns. The new dates – exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020) – were decided based on three main considerations:

  1. To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.
  2. To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport.
  3. The global international sports calendar.

The new dates for Tokyo 2020 will ease the pressure on organisers of qualification events and enable them to reschedule competitions once the COVID-19 impacts can be assessed and restrictions reduced without compromising athletes’ health. International Federations are also requested to only confirm upcoming qualification events in their respective calendars once they can guarantee fair access and fair and appropriate preparation for the competing athletes and teams. The IOC President, Thomas Bach hosted a conference call with the Global Network of Athletes’ Commission Representatives on Tuesday, March 31 to layout these decisions.

All athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will remain unchanged. This is a result of the fact that these Olympic Games Tokyo, in agreement with Japan, will remain the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.

“The BVI Olympic Committee continues to stand by our qualified athletes and hopefuls for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games which now will be held in the Summer of 2021,” said Penn. “Extensions from Olympic Solidarity for financing programmes such as Olympic Scholarships for Athletes for Tokyo 2020 means that we will be able to keep up with the monthly payments to our athletes as well as top it up with the sponsorship money from iForex. Panam Sports has also reached out to us and we are in discussions on how they can support the BVI and our athletes on the road to the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games.”

“I am in direct communication with all of our athletes who have Tokyo 2020 in their sights and can help them with answering or flagging any issues relating to the preparations for the Games,” said Chef de Mission Tahesia Harrigan-Scott. “So far, we are on a positive trajectory and working on readjusting our preparation timelines for the new dates of the Summer Olympic Games.”

Tokyo 2020 postponement sees spirit of resilience and cooperation dominate global response

The postponed 2020 Summer Olympic Games will remain in Tokyo – PHOTO: Yoshikazu Sekiguchi

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to COVID-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “accelerating”. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.

In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC said that while the postponement was an understandable outcome of the talks and the current pandemic, the focus of the BVIOC will turn to supporting the athletes and any impact the delay may have on their psyche and preparations.

“Moving the dates to an unknown time in the future is hard on the athletes but this is not the first time that our athletes have had to face adverse situations and we will be doing our utmost to support them and to ease the strain of preparing for the future,” said Mr. Penn. The BVIOC provides a monthly training scholarship and has also secured sponsorship from iForex to assist VI’s Tokyo 2020 athletes in their preparations for the Games.

“While initially I was disappointed with the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games, on reflection I’m thankful that they are putting our health first,” said Chantel Malone, the Lima 2019 Pan American Games VI long jump gold medalist. “With everything going on, the restrictions definitely put a limitation on training with regards to what we can and can’t do so, all in all, postponing these Summer Olympics is for the greater good and will give us more time to be even more prepared to produce awesome results. Every cloud has it’s silver lining!” Tokyo 2020 will be Malone’s first Olympic Games.

“It’s unfortunate that these 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been postponed because we have been training so hard in preparation but we understand the decision to put our health and safety first and we’ll be making the most of the extra time available to get ready for this important competition,” said Eldred Henry, the VI’s shot putter whose first Olympic appearance was at Rio 2016.

“It’s disappointing after all this time training and competing in what few meets we had in the lead up to the Games in July but we will overcome this hurdle and look to the future as we continue with our preparations. We just hope that our sponsors, the VI government and our supporters continue to stand by our side during this extended period,” said Kyron McMaster, the VI’s Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles gold medalist who will make his Olympic debut at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 in consultation with Mr. Penn remains in constant contact with the Virgin Islands’ athletes confirmed or hoping to attend the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and will continue to relay information received from the IOC and the organisers as they decide on the new dates and associated changes.

“I have an open line of communication with all our Tokyo 2020 confirmed and hopeful athletes and our real time conversation enables me to keep them up to date with correct information from the official channels. Right now, the news has been quite hard on them as they have been as focused as they can to compete in their best form in July. They are recalibrating but overall they are in a positive mindset and are determined to work with the outcome of the IOC’s decision to postpone and plan to make the most of the extended time to train hard. It is also really important that the support and encouragement behind them continues,” said Chef Harrigan-Scott.

The global community has rallied to the IOC’s news with three major Tokyo 2020 sponsors – Proctor & Gamble, Intel and Coca-Cola – all reaffirming their commitment to the Games. Organisers of major Games including the 2021 World Athletics Championships slated for August 6 – 15 in Eugene, Oregon and the Commonwealth Youth Games Trinbago 2021 scheduled for August 1 – 7 in Trinidad & Tobago have already communicated their willingness to shift their events to accommodate the new date for Tokyo 2020.

Panam Sports in a press release also stated that it will maintain all of its aid programs for athletes, coaches and National Olympic Committees. They also said that once the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are defined, Panam Sports will work together with the IOC, the International Federations, the NOCs and the athletes to be able to adjust the schedules for the competitions that follow, in particular the Junior Pan American Games of Cali 2021 that were scheduled between June 5-20.

Malone, Lettsome to attend inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala

With the aim of recognizing the effort, passion and dedication of the athletes of the Americas, for the first time in history, Panam Sports is bringing together athletes, media, sport and government leaders to an awards ceremony on December 13 honoring the best of the best in sport in 2019, with the highlight being the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Chantel Malone – who made history when she won the Virgin Islands’ first Panam Games medal with her gold winning leap of 6.68m in the long jump – and Thad Lettsome, the VI’s first sailor in the Games since the 1990s – will join Olympians, World Champions, historical sporting icons and those who shined brightest in the Peruvian capital at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC will also be in attendance.

“This is a momentous occasion for the Virgin Islands,” said Mr. Penn. “We are exceptionally proud of Chantel and Thad who were selected from thousands of athletes to be invited to attend this special, historic event.”

The evening is expected to rival those seen in Hollywood, complete with Red Carpet, bright lights, artistic performances, glamor and emotion.

Featuring the great athletes of the Americas, the Panam Sports family and VIP guests, the historic ceremony honouring the greatest moments and performances from the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games will be broadcast live for the world to see who will be crowned the Best Athletes of the Americas.

The Panam Sports Awards will officially begin at 7:00 pm EST and will conclude at 8:15pm EST.

Univisión is producing and transmitting the event that will be shown free-to-air on their television network on Saturday, December 14 at 11:00 pm EST, 10:00 pm CST and 8:00 pm PST. The special program will feature the best moments and highlights from the inaugural Panam Sports Awards called “Gala del Deporte de las Américas”.

Sports fans across the globe will also be able to watch the Panam Sports Awards ceremony live through multiple streaming platforms. ESPN PLAY will stream the event throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; the R7 channel owned by Record TV in Brazil will also live-stream; and of course, the new and improved Panam Sports Channel will begin the live-stream at 5:00 pm EST from the Red Carpet.

ABOUT PANAM SPORTS

The Pan American Sports Organization (Panam Sports) is the leader of sport and the Olympic Movement in the Americas. We propel the development of sport and support our 41 member National Olympic Committees to inspire more participation in international competitions as well as participation of the youth to prepare the generation to come in our region.

Panam Sports works closely with athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOC), Organizing Committees of all regional games, Pan American Sport Confederations, International Federations (IF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure the success and celebration of our main event, the Pan American Games.

Eldred Henry places 6th in Pan Am Games Shot Put

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

LIMA, Peru – Eldred Henry brought the curtains down on the BVI’s track and field participation in the 18th Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru on Wednesday night, with a sixth placed shot put finish, after Ashley Kelly had a non-advancing time in the 400m final.

“I’m not pleased at all. I’m very disappointed,” Henry said after his best effort of 19.82m – his first meet of the season under 20.00m. “I’ll say under the circumstances, I can’t complain. I’m just thankful I was able to complete the meet without reinjuring my finger and move on from there. On a good day, I know I should be more than able to be in the medal mix, but it didn’t happen today. I just couldn’t get into my rhythm at all. That was the biggest issue.”

Henry who opened with an unlooked for 18.51m effort, hyperextended the ring finger on his throwing hand before the Games and was out of commission for a few weeks of training.

“Just couldn’t get into my rhythm at all, that’s my biggest issue right now,” Henry pointed out. “I had to take a couple weeks off throwing because I messed up my hand and finally got it back healthy, but, just getting back into the swing of things – it didn’t come together tonight.”

From his opening throw, Henry said he wasn’t feeling it on his left side. He said when he got a good set up, he feels it off the back side – something he wasn’t feeling last night – although he tried to work it, it wasn’t coming at all.

“In practice, it was touch and go,” he noted. “I would hit it and then, a couple throws later, not hit it again. It was coming, but not as fast as I would have liked it to.”

Ashley Kelly’s 400m
Ashley Kelly had a non-advancing time in her 400m semifinal, finishing in 54.42 seconds.

“I really tried to get out, put myself in the race and really finish the last 150 the way I know I had to, make the final by coming in the top three, things didn’t pan out how I wanted it, but, I’m really grateful of the opportunity to be here,” she said. “I felt good during the race but my footspeed isn’t where I want it to be. I’m still l bit uncomfortable in the race but, it is what it is. I’m happy that I made it through and didn’t give up, that’s what important to me right now.”

Laser Sailing
Thad Lettsome had his best race of the Laser competition in Paracas on Wednesday, finishing 15th in his first race of the day. He was 19th in the second race and had an 18th place finish in his last race. He’s currently ranked 19th overall.

He wraps up the BVI’s participation in the 18th Pan American Games today with two races.

Radio reports on CBN 90.9 FM with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway are aired 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., through Sunday, with a 9 a.m. wrap up on Monday.

Chantel Malone eyeing improved Pan Am Games finish

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Long Jumper Chantel Malone sails through the air during the 2018 NACAC Championships in Toronto PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

LIMA Peru – With a fourth place showing in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Chantel Malone equaled the 1987 Softball team that narrowly lost to Cuba 4-3 in the bronze medal game, as the territory’s best placings in its history. She’s hoping to improve on that in Lima when she competes in the long jump final on August 6th.

Since Toronto, Chantel has gone on to become the territory’s first IAAF World Championships outdoor finalist, when she placed seventh in the long jump in London in 2017 followed by a 2018 Central American Caribbean (CAC) Games silver medal.

Her 2019 campaign got off to a slow start, leading to a point of frustration, before the breakthrough that put her on top the world at the time, when she cut the sand a 6.90m in the long jump at the 3rd annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia in April. The mark is currently No 5 on the 2019 IAAF list after being No 1 for several weeks.

“My first meet was not all that but I wasn’t too worried about it because my coach was saying I was still in the fall base training and I wasn’t doing speed and once I got my feet under me, I’ll be fine, so I trusted him,” Malone explained. “The next two meets were awesome. The one before my personal best was a season’s best, I felt like I was getting the rhythm back on the runway. When I jumped the 6.90m, I didn’t have to think about anything. It was flowing naturally. I got a little injury after that and that kinda set me back a bit. But, I’m pretty confident that I can go out there at the Pan Am Games and come home with a medal.”

Malone was in third place at Toronto 2015 until the final round where her mark was passed and she had to settle for fourth place. The plan around this time she said, is to “knock ‘em out early.”

“I have a tendency to hit my bigger jumps later down in my series and I’m trying to visualize hitting it on the first one so I don’t have to be worrying too much and no one can sneak up on me,” she pointed out. “That’s my main goal going in – just to execute, remember to have fun, stay relaxed and not to let the pressure of being a games or a major competition get to me.”

What would winning a medal mean to Malone?
“It would pretty much solidify all the hard work I’ve put in. I’ve been to these championships and I’ve always fallen short – whether it’s been an injury or someone passes me on the last jump – it’s always been something like almost there but not really grasping it,” she explained. “If I do what I’m supposed to do and execute the way I know I can execute, then there’s no doubt that I should come out with a medal.”

Additional Pan Am Games reports and interviews with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be carried on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m. through August 5th and then at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., from August 6 – 11. There’s a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

BVI makes splash in Pan Am Games opening ceremony

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Thad Lettsome (L) parade guide and Lindel “Chef” Hodge, prepping to parade into the stadium Photo: Alec Anderson

LIMA Peru—Although among the smallest of the 41 delegations, the British Virgin Islands made its splash during the 18th Pan Am Games opening ceremony in Lima, Peru last night, during an entertaining and colorful show.

Laser Sailor and flag bearer Thad Lettsome, Coach Alec Anderson and Chef de Mission Lindel “Chef” Hodge, were the territory’s reps marching in the ceremony that featured Peruvian history and culture.

As they marched into the national stadium, an image of the Baths was projected on the large rock backdrop which featured each country and later in the program the flags of all 41 nations, the BVI’s among them. “From time we walked out our apartment, everybody was watching us,” noted Hodge. “Everybody was in their suits and bland sweat suits and we had our pretty shirts with Be VI, it was an eye catcher. I wished we had more bodies, but we did what we had to do. Our shirts caught lots of eyes and everybody wanted to trade for our BVI pins after that.”

Lettsome, coming off participating in the ISAF World Youth Championships in Poland, July 14-20, said he was surprised there was so much space and the teams weren’t jammed up. “It was a fun, a good experience I won’t forget,” said Lettsome who’s making his games competition debut on August 3 and Paracas. “I’m pretty lucky I think to be doing this so young obviously, then holding the flag, so I’m trying not to take it for granted because a lot of people can’t do this.”

Alec Anderson captures Thad Lettsome as he prepares to enter the Peru National Stadium with the flag

Sailing Coach Alec Anderson said it was cool being able to represent the BVI in the opening ceremony. “I’ve always had a goal of going to the Olympics – though this is not quite the Olympics – it’s still a big opening ceremony with a lot of countries and a big crowd so it was pretty darn special to finally be able to walk through a tunnel, repping the BVI. So, I had a great time.”

While track and field officials will begin arriving in Lima tonight ahead of the athletes, Anderson and Lettsome will depart for Paracas on Monday morning to begin preparations for the Sailing competition that kicks off on Aug 8.

Additional Pan Am Games reports and interviews with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway, will be carried on CBN 90.9 FM at 5.00 p.m. through August 5th and then at 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., from August 6 – 11. There’s a 9 a.m. wrap up on Aug 12.

Panam Sport Development Commission meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica

Ashley Kelly – Virgin Islands (UK)

Ashley Kelly, Athlete Representative, Panam Sport Commission Board and BVI Senior Athlete (400m & 200m) reports on first meeting of the year

My birthday, March 25th, was a day filled with exciting experiences. I was fortunate to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica for the Sports Development Commission meeting, the first meeting of the year, and my second attendance since I was named an Athlete Representative for the Panam Sport Commission board. I arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica at 1:00pm in the afternoon, and by 4:30pm I was in my first meeting. There was no time to be wasted as we were only in Costa Rica for less than 48 hours.

Finalizing the Tokyo 2020 Development Camp was on the agenda this year. The Camp is designed to help athletes who qualify for the Tokyo Games travel to Japan up to ten days before the opening of the Village and use Olympic standard facilities.

The Camp will provide an opportunity for smaller countries with low funding to send their qualified athletes over to Tokyo early so they can become acclimated with the time zone change and ensure that the athlete has every opportunity to perform optimally during the competition. The intent of the Camp is to help level the playing field in competing against much larger countries with funding for elite facilities.

Since the Virgin Islands’ average attendance at the Games is about 4-5 athletes, the territory is eligible to take advantage of the initiative and attend a prearranged camp before Tokyo 2020.

Sport Development
As an Athlete Representative, I have the opportunity to sit in on all the Sport Development meetings and provide useful subjective insight into situations that many executives look at objectively. Organizations have to pay careful attention to their “bottom line,” and make strategic decisions, but it is vital to take into account an athlete’s point of view because these decisions directly impact us athletes and our ability to prepare, train and compete in major games.

The trip wasn’t all work and no play; it concluded with a beautiful dinner at Costa Rica Olympic Committee’s property. The Costa Rica OC’s property was a gorgeous estate once owned by a Costa Rican drug lord, seized by the government and given to the Costa Rica OC to use for offices, an event hall, weight lifting facility, and open grassland.

My own President of the BVIOC, Mr. Ephraim Penn, joined me at dinner. I recently learned that he is also a member of the Panam Sports Commission for New Events which is currently working on the inaugural meeting of the Panam Junior Games in Cali, Columbia in 2023.

I traveled out to Miami at 6 am the next morning and resumed training for the opening of my upcoming season, energized by the brief but enlightening trip.

Being a member of the Panam Sports Athlete Commission is an honor, and I am elated with the opportunity each time I get an assignment or correspondence from the Board. Through this experience I’ve made new relationships with sports executives, I’ve learned a great deal about the business of sport, behind the scenes of the events we athletes compete at, and the numerous strategic decisions made to further opportunities for athletes to compete in the Panam region.

Athletes will feel at home at Lima 2019

The VIDENA sports complex is one of the multiple sports venues which will be used during the Lima 2019 Pan American and Parapan American Games. It includes the velodrome, athletics stadium and warm-up track, an aquatics centre with three pools, a 24-lane bowling alley, an indoor sports arena, plus an upgraded administration building and the Lima 2019 Control Centre. Photo: Lima 2019

With just under four months to go until the Games begin, the construction of the Pan American and Parapan American Games Village, located in Villa El Salvador, Lima, has been completed ahead of schedule. The village is now ready to welcome athletes, Para athletes and technical officials who will travel to Peru in July 2019 to compete in the Pan Am Games.

The Fields of Play have already been established for the majority of the sports at Villa Maria del Triunfo and VIDENA sports complexes that will each host multiple sports during the Games.

Kyron McMaster automatically qualified to compete in Lima 2019 when he won gold in the 400m hurdles at the 2018 Central American Caribbean (CAC) Games in August 2018. Eldred Henry’s recent record-setting achievements during the 2019 indoor and outdoor season have also qualified him for the Games.

With qualifying meets and competitions now underway, the BVI Olympic Committee anticipates additional athletes from track and field, swimming and sailing to qualify over the coming months.

The Pan Am Games is the largest multi sport event in the Americas and while the Virgin Islands is one of two countries yet to win a medal at these games, we are very optimistic of our chances at Lima 2019,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee.

President of Lima 2019, Carlos Neuhaus said that “Lima 2019 will be a sporting and, at the same time, a cultural festival that will allow Peru to be seen by the eyes of the world. In our capacity as host, we will offer athletes sports infrastructure with quality standards and a cultural program of equal quality. The success of the Games will be the great experience that athletes and visitors will be able to have, and the legacy left for Peruvians.”

About the Pan American Games
The Pan American Games (Pan Am Games) is a major sporting event in the Americas featuring a variety of summer sports in which athletes from nations of the Americas compete every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games. The 2019 Pan Am and Parapan American Games will take place in Lima, Peru in July and August.

The opening ceremony of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games will be held at the National Stadium on July 26, 2019. This continental event will gather 6680 athletes from 41 countries and delegations from the Americas.

There will be 17 days of competitions and ceremonies, between July 26 and August 11, 2019, which will take place in 14 districts of Lima and Callao at various venues such as VIDENA, Villa María del Triunfo Sports Center, Callao Regional Village, Villa El Salvador Sports Center, Punta Rocas, among others.

The Lima 2019 Pan American Games will include 39 sports and 62 disciplines, where athletes will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. A total of 23 disciplines are qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Parapan American Games will gather 1890 Para athletes from 33 countries, participating in 17 sports and 18 disciplines. Competitions will take place between August 23 and September 1, 2019. Fourteen sports quotas for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be granted.

On March 27, 2019, the Panam sports Executive Committee agreed that Cali, the “capital of sport” in Colombia will host the first Junior Pan American Games for young athletes in 2021.

About Panam Sports
Panam Sports (formerly known as Pan American Sports Organization – PASO) is the governing body of the Pan American Games and its structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter. Panam Sports is the leader of sports and the Olympic Movement in the Americas and encourages the sports development and supports the work of the 41 National Olympic Committees members, in order to inspire more world-class performances and the next generation of athletes across our region.