BVIOC free sports clinic stepping stone to promote grass roots development in the community

The BVI Olympic Committee organized and ran a free sports clinic for the community at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds on Saturday, October 12 as part of celebratory activities to mark Chantel Malone’s historic gold medal win in long jump at the Lima 2019.

The clinic took place the day after a ceremony recognizing Chantel’s achievement of becoming the British Virgin Islands’ first Pan American Games medalist. The interactive session was presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott and Joey Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Miami and featured the BVI’s elite track and field athletes, Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Ashley Kelly (400m) and Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, NHI Medical Director.

“This clinic was a great launch pad for executing grass roots engagement and bringing to life the practical elements of the long term athlete development programme,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The four BVI professional track and field athletes worked with a captivated audience for the whole morning, interacting with the youngsters in the community, advising and inspiring them to work towards developing their athletic potential.”

The panel of professional athletes are all beneficiaries of the BVIOC Elite Athlete Programme which provides financial support to help them prepare throughout the year for major games. Each of the panelists shared their personal experiences, insights and practical tips on a wide range of topics during the indoor discussion forum and out on the track and field. Attendees heard what it takes to make it in a selected sports and learned more about the dual purpose of college attendance with recommendations to focus primarily on the academics followed by sports as an avenue to excel in a particular discipline.

The most important takeaway for many was the advice to set a personal goal and identify the support base to help achieve the goals. Out on the track and field, attendees loved the ‘form and technique’ sessions provided by the professional athletes – with each participant coming away with something new to apply to their execution.

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool’s engaging explanation about what anti-doping actually means and his conversation on testing and reveal of the testing kit used helped to deliver a better understanding among the young athletes on the reasons, rules and regulations as promoted by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“The BVIOC sees this clinic as just the start of another way of promoting sport for all and pushing the LTAD program in the community,” said Mr. Penn. “The BVIOC has 16 National Federation members, several of whom have athletes and teams who are on the professional circuit and who can help to build our pool of athletes through similar engagement. We have held two named Sports Festivals on Olympic Day with interactive sports stations set up by the National Federations but we now want to evolve these stations into actual clinics within the Sports Festival as a means of educating and enthusing the public of all ages. We also hope that it becomes an opportunity for the coaches to spot potential talent from within the community and open up a pathway for the development of such talent.”

The Olympic Day Sports Festival is slated to take place on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

View the BVIOC free sports clinic photo album on Facebook

BVIOC to host free sports clinic presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott of Tru Fit Athletics and featuring Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster, Eldred Henry, & Ashley Kelly

Free interactive BVIOC Sports Clinic presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott of Tru Fit Athletics featuring Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster, Eldred Henry and Ashley Kelly will take place at A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground on Saturday, October 12. Image credits: Todd VanSickle, CM Farrington, Tru Fit Athletics

The BVI Olympic Committee has organized a free sports clinic which will take place on Saturday, October 12th from 9.00am – 1.00pm at the Multipurpose Complex and A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds.

The clinic has been organised as part of special activities which will be held in recognition of Chantel Malone’s historic achievement at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games when she won a gold medal in the long jump with a mark of 6.68m to secure the Territory’s first ever medal in a Pan Am Games.

The clinic is open to the public and will be conducted by Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Florida and will feature Chantel Malone and her co elite athletes, Kyron McMaster (400m hurldes), Eldred Henry (shot put, discus) and Ashley Kelly (400m).

“We have a cadre of remarkable athletes who currently are ranked among the world’s top athletes and who are putting the BVI on the map with their performances at major international meets,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We are excited to have Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott the Territory’s recently retired, first senior professional female athlete and Chef de Mission, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games join us with coach Joey Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Miami in organizing a free clinic for the community.

“This is a unique event which will bring our elite athletes back home for one weekend to celebrate the latest historic achievement by Chantel Malone at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games by sharing their experiences with the community, giving us an insight into their lives as professional athletes, provide tips and pointers for aspiring athletes and serve as an inspiration to us all.”

The clinic, which supports the BVIOC’s Long Term Athlete Development programme, will include an educational section and a practical section. The educational section in the Multi sports Complex will be an open session discussion between the professional athletes and attendees focusing on the trials and tribulation of sports and provide insights on strategies and experiences that athletes have to work through in order to become successful and accomplish their goals.  

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool will conduct anti-doping breakout sessions which will aim to equip athletes and their parents as well as coaches and volunteers with practical and useful information on how to be aware of substances banned by the World Anti Doping Association (WADA) and identify ‘safe’ over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

The practical section will be held at the A.O Shirley Recreation Ground.  Attendees will be divided into age groups and cover sprints, jumps, throws, and hurdles.  Each section will be led by one of the professional athletes. 

The clinic will take place the day after a motorcade and recognition ceremony for Chantel hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The motorcade which starts at 3.00pm on Friday, October 11th, will travel from the Queen Elizabeth II Park and route through Waterfront Drive, Botanic Station and turn west at the traffic lights to end at the Central Administration Complex where the ceremony is scheduled to start at 4.30pm.

Click here for information on the Chantel Malone commemorative t-shirt.

Hive of activity at 2nd annual Olympic Day Sports Festival

International Olympic Day was marked on Saturday, June 22nd with the 2nd annual Sports Festival at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds. The morning of interactive events to promote the Olympic Day pillars to move, learn and discover was hosted by the BVI Olympic Committee in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture.

National Federations set up stations around the grounds where they staged demo sessions and invited attendees of the Sports Festival to join in. There was full and enthusiastic uptake in the sports as presented by archery, athletics, basketball, cycling, football, rugby, softball/baseball, taekwondo, tennis and volleyball with children and adults alike trying their hand at something new.

Sailing and squash had information stands featuring the equipment of their sport with each of the coaches respectively encouraging hands-on engagement with the sailing optimist on display and with the rackets and balls. Information on anti-doping and the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation was also available from Doping Control Officers.

“The response from the National Federations this year was exceptional and we could not have hosted such a successful event without their full participation,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The International Olympic Committee had encouraged NOCs to ramp up activities this year to extend beyond the traditional Olympic Day walk/run and to promote the concept of getting active as a way of life regardless of age and ability. I am pleased that the BVIOC was ahead of the curve with this idea as we have been promoting interactive engagement since Olympic Day 2012 when we hosted the event at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. The festival also provides the perfect platform for supporting our Long Term Athlete Development Programme.”

Following welcome remarks by Mr. Roy Barry, 2nd Vice President of the BVIOC and the reading of the Olympic Day Message from the President of the IOC, Mr. Thomas Bach, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, Minister for Education and Culture recognized the major achievements for athletes and teams as provided by some of the National Federations. Certificates of acknowledgement were given for distribution to the named athletes in athletics, football, rugby, sailing, softball/baseball and volleyball.

The Honourable Minister encouraged all athletes to stay the course and to continue to achieve results that they can be proud of.

Olympic Day was also selected as the appropriate occasion to officially announce the four athletes who have qualified to compete at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games from July 26th through August 11th. Naming senior track and field athletes and one sailor, Honourable Neville Smith, 1st Vice President, BVIOC congratulated Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles) and Eldred Henry (shot put) on their outstanding achievements in qualifying meets as well as 17-year old, Thad Lettsome who was awarded a universality place in the men’s laser event. The two sports’ disciplines are qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.

On the heels of the announcement, Honourable Wheatley stated that the Ministry of Education and Culture has awarded checks amounting to $24,000 for senior athlete, Kyron McMaster for his gold medal wins at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and the 2018 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC), Championships. Chantel Malone was also named as a recipient of a check for $9,000 for her silver medal win at the 2018 CAC Games.

“The Government has committed to paying our senior athletes for podium finishes at major international competitions,” said Honourable Wheatley. “This award is a ‘thank you’ as well as an incentive to stay committed to putting in the hard work and focus on winning a medal.” He went on to joke that the current roster of athletes was on track to bankrupting the government’s coffers.

At the invitation of Ms. Sabinah Clement, Athlete Representative, BVIOC, 3 athletes stepped forward to share their experiences. A volleyball player since the age of 12, Ms. Sharonda Pickering spoke of her route to becoming one of the best middle players in the sport in the NCAA conference, helping her school to conference and national championships.

Mr. Kenard Dawson who was home for the Summer, explained how he started his baseball career as a young boy playing softball with coach and VISBA President, Terrence Chinnery before going on to become catcher for the team at Georgia Premier Academy High School and earning a 4 Year Scholarship at Grambling State University, Statesboro, Georgia.

Ms. Beyonce Defreitas who just completed her freshman year at University of Central Florida, is a 100m and 200m sprinter and she closed out the opening remarks with a talk through of qualifying for the Commonwealth Youth Games, the Carifta Games and the IAAF World Under 20 Championships and competing at NCAA Division 1 events. Ms. Defreitas encouraged all the young aspiring athletes to follow their dreams and to be strong in their self-belief and confidence in their abilities.

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

The 2019 Olympic Day Sports Festival was sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Dasani water, Powerade and Coca Cola products distributed by Road Town Wholesale Trading Ltd, and MB’s Ice

Click to view the Olympic Day Sports Festival album on FaceBook

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.

VI in on strategies to optimize World Anti-Doping Code practice at WADA Symposium

Director General of the WADA, David Howman speaks during the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Photo: AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott.

Director General of the WADA, David Howman speaks during the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Photo: AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott

Ephraim Penn, representing the VI National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) attended the 11th edition of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) annual Symposium for Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) from March 24-26 in Lausanne, Switzerland. More than 470 anti-doping experts from regions across the world met for the largest annual gathering of anti-doping practitioners.

Representatives from International Sport Federations (IFs), NADOs, Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs), Major Games Organizers, WADA’s Athlete Committee and, for the first time, from WADA accredited laboratories and the media, discussed concrete ways and means of ‘Optimizing the Practice of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code’ – the theme of this year’s Symposium.

This year’s edition of the Symposium provided participants with a number of new features. This included a full day of practical workshops and training sessions related to education, testing, intelligence and investigations, the Athlete Biological Passport, results management, therapeutic use exemptions, ADAMS, and other key areas of the fight for clean sport.

“This symposium is extremely helpful in terms of our on-the-ground activity in the Virgin Islands,” said Penn, is a RADO board member and also sits as president of the BVIOC. “We’ve been pursuing the anti-doping education of our athletes and support community since we were officially signed on as a NADO in 2012.

“Our Doping Control Officers have conducted in- and out-of competition testing of athletes representing the VI in athletics, squash, swimming, skiing, and power lifting as required by their respective international governing bodies. Now it’s time to focus on education beyond advising and testing athletes.”

A number of discussion panels on the first day addressed topics such as the influence of the athletes, their entourage and the media on the fight against doping in sport. These sessions provided participants with the opportunity to interact with the members of WADA’s Athlete Committee, as well as a number of high-profile whistleblowers and specialized reporters.

“What was discussed over the couple of days ties in well with our plans in the VI to expand our reach deeper into the community with value-based education,” said Penn.” We have put it in an application for a local project grant from UNESCO which will help with our efforts.”

“We have entered into a new era of anti-doping,” said WADA Director General David Howman, who delivered an introductory presentation on ADOs’ responsibility following the opening address of WADA Vice President, Rev. Dr. Makhenkesi A. Stofile. “With the new Code in place, the world anti-doping community has a renewed responsibility to preserve the integrity of sport. That was the purpose of this Symposium: to get into the details of ADOs’ responsibilities and provide them with additional tools to deliver our collective promise of protecting the rights of all those who reject doping. WADA looks forward to continuing to work with all of its stakeholders in the pursuit of this mission.”

Caribbean RADO board strengthened with legal training

RADO board members. Photo: Provided

RADO board members. Photo: Provided

Representing the Virgin Islands, Ephraim Penn, RADO board member and President of the BVI Olympic Committee, attended a Results Management Workshop for the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) in Georgetown, Guyana on September 7.

The workshop, which was conducted by Mr. Onye Ikwuakor, Director of Legal Affairs at the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), was undertaken to solidify the results management process across the 15 Caribbean RADO member territories. The process will ensure that the provisions of the revised World Anti-Doping Code are enforced as of January 1st, 2015 and applied fairly to all athletes and their entourage.

The Caribbean RADO also held its annual board meeting on September 6 highlighting its anti-doping education and testing programme and received reports on compliance from member countries.

Mr Penn was hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sport of Guyana with support from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Addressing the opening ceremony was the Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Culture, Youth & Sport who thanked the organizers for showcasing Guyana’s commitment to anti-doping. Chaired by Dr. Adrian Lorde of Barbados, 14 member countries were represented at the board meeting.

The Caribbean RADO continues to ensure that all athletes who compete nationally, regionally and internationally are clean and free of prohibited substances and methods. A significant boost has been provided through a WADA Testing Grant for out-of-competition purposes which is available to all member countries. To date for 2014, nearly 100 urine tests have been collected from athletes from a range of sport disciplines, all with negative results.

Regional Anti-Doping efforts get an educational boost

Wayne Robinson, physical education teacher, Ebenezer Thomas Primary School, attended the education training in Barbados sponsored by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA

Wayne Robinson, physical education teacher, Ebenezer Thomas Primary School, attended the education training in Barbados sponsored by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA

The Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) concluded a successful two-day meeting in Barbados with its 15 member countries where Board Members and Educators met to advance anti-doping education across the Caribbean region.

Sponsored by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the education training was designed to provide member countries with specific educational tools and approaches that can be adopted and adapted to suit local realities.

Ephraim Penn, RADO board member of the British Virgin Islands, and Wayne Robinson, a physical education teacher at the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School, attended the meeting. Robinson, who was recommended for the education training by the Department of Education, will serve as the local lead in the anti-doping outreach efforts targeting students.

Rob Koehler, Director of Programme Development & Education at WADA, stressed that “it’s not all about testing….education must be the hallmark of our global efforts so that athletes understand the fundamental difference between cheating and playing fairly in all sports”.

Leading the education training was Lea Cleret, WADA’s Manager of Education, who was satisfied that participants left the training more empowered and equipped to implement anti-doping programmes in their countries.

WADA Officials also had discussions with the Hon. Stephen Lashley, Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, and Mr. Steve Stoute, President of the Barbados Olympic Association.

The Board of the Caribbean RADO also met to review this year’s operations, and to plan for 2014 ahead of the revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code that will take effect on January 1st, 2015.

Supported by the local anti-doping and medical commission and Mr Penn, Robinson will spearhead the roll out of the 2014 campaign strategy once it has been approved by RADO.

The week’s events will make a significant dent in accelerating current regional anti-doping programmes and ensure that all countries expand efforts to reach the sport fraternity, especially athletes, as comprehensively as possible.

The Caribbean RADO’s member countries include Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Turks & Caicos Islands and Trinidad & Tobago.

For further information, please contact Ephraim Penn, Board Member for the British Virgin Islands at (284) 4969004.