5th annual Sports Festival and walks celebrate Olympic Day as BVIOC marks the 40th anniversary of Olympic Games participation

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC), in collaboration with its member National Federations and the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports (DYAS) and in partnership with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, will host the 5th annual free Sports Festival celebrating Olympic Day. The event will take place on Saturday, June 22, 2024, across Tortola and include activities on Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada. This family-friendly festival is open to the public of all ages and abilities.

This year’s celebration is particularly special as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Virgin Islands’ (UK) first appearance at the Olympic Games. In 1984, the territory was represented by speed skater Erroll “Canute” Fraser at the Sarajevo Winter Olympic Games and a team of four track and field athletes and five sailors at the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. The athletics team members included Lindel “Chef” Hodge, Guy Hill, Dean Greenaway, and Jerry Molyneaux, while the sailing team featured Robin Tattersall, Elvet Meyers, Keith Thomas, Keith Barker and the late Peter Barker. These past Olympians will be honored at the event.

Sports Festival Highlights

This year’s Sports Festival will be hosted from 9:00am – 12:00pm at the HLSCC campus grounds in Paraquita Bay, returning to the original site of the festival’s launch in 2012. A partnership with the college was agreed for co-hosting Olympic Day events, underscoring the relationship between the BVIOC and the HLSCC through the swimming pool project.

Interactive stations at the college grounds include archery, athletics, basketball, cycling, netball, softball and squash. The BVI Anit-Doping Commission and health and nutrition advisors will also be on site.

The Department of Culture will be showcasing an interactive maritime historical display with the Maritime Museum open for visits. The Heritage Dancers will continue to build on their participation with lessons in some of the VI’s traditional dance steps.

Additional activities will take place simultaneously at Brandywine Bay Beach with aquatic and marine sports including sailing and swimming stations, alongside beach sports hosted by the volleyball, rugby and football federations.

DYAS will be hosting corporate competitions with points to be accrued for the winner’s title.

Walk/runs will take place from 6:30am on Virgin Gorda starting at the VG Recreation Ground and on Anegada starting at the Claudia Creque Educational Centre. On Jost Van Dyke, the walk/run will start at 5:30am from the Albert Chinnery Admin Building, Great Harbour.

“Sports Festival is designed to showcase various sports and encourage the public to move, learn and discover as they try out different activities they can incorporate into their lifestyle for better fitness and health,” said BVIOC President Ephraim Penn. “There is a lot on offer, and it most definitely is a great opportunity for everyone in the family to get involved together. I encourage all to join us for a day of fun, fitness, and celebration of the Olympic spirit!”

Olympic Year Celebrations

2024 is an Olympic year, and the BVI will be represented at the Paris 2024 Games by two outstanding athletes: Kyron McMaster OBE OLY, a 400m hurdles 2x Commonwealth Games champion and World Athletics Championship silver medalist, and ILCA7 (laser) sailor Thad Lettsome. Chef de Mission Tahesia Harrigan-Scott will attend the Olympic Day celebrations with updates on the preparation for the Games with VI designer, Kristin Fraser unveiling the Opening Ceremony wear for the BVI team at Paris 2024.

Event attendees will have the chance to receive Olympic Day tee shirts (subject to availability) and enjoy Coca-Cola products including Dasani water and Powerade.

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, Friendship and Peace while celebrating the Olympic Day pillars: Move. Learn. Discover.

More information on Olympic Day and the event can be found here.

BVIOC secures international competition standard swimming pool for BVI from Panam Sports


Mr. Ralston Henry 2nd VP BVIOC , Mr. Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC, Prof. Emeritus Arthur G Richardson PHD, Chairman Board of Governors at HLSCC, Dr. Richard Georges HLSCC President and Mr. Mark Chapman, Treasurer BVIOC. PHOTO: BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee has secured a commitment from Panam Sports and World Aquatics (the international swimming federation formerly known as FINA) to support the supply of a 25m international competition standard swimming pool from Myrtha Pools to be installed and managed by the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The development of the project has been formalised following six months of discussions between Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC, Mr. Ivar Sisniega, Secretary General for Panam Sports and Dr. Richard Georges, President of the HLSCC. Preparatory work on the proposal included a meeting with the President of the BVI Swimming Federation, schematics from Myrtha Pools received through Panam Sports and a rough order of magnitude.

“Dr. Georges initially approached the BVIOC in July with an offer of partnership for the installation of a swimming pool following a response I had given to a question on the status of swimming in the territory at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games press conference,” said President Penn. “This was a timely outreach that came on the heels of a Panam Sports National Olympic Committee Consultation meeting that Secretary General Lloyd Black, Treasurer Mark Chapman and I attended in Miami in May 2022.”

During the meeting, Panam Sports had expressed a desire to see the development of public and competition standard swimming pools in the Caribbean.

“Panam Sports and World Aquatics identified installation of swimming pools as an urgent need for the region,” said Mr. Neven Ilic, President of Panama Sports. “The BVI has already made its mark in swimming with the likes of Olympian Elinah Phillip and this, along with our history of support for the development of the BVI’s athletes, coaches, sports and sporting facilities like the Mondo track at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground, helped us to identify the NOC as the beneficiary of our offer to provide a training and competition pool provided they could find a location and a partner that would be responsible for civil works and the maintenance and management of the facility, which should be accessible to all.”

The initiative was presented to the BVIOC by Mr. Sisniega who explained that a pool is essential for the development of competitive swimmers while stressing the importance of learning to swim as a survival skill.

“A short course 25 meter pool is the ideal sized pool for a small country, since it would allow the swimmers to compete in official distances, while at the same time supporting a learn to swim program that would help develop local talent and, more importantly, give the opportunity to many of the local children and youth the opportunity to learn to swim properly and to engage in this sport on a regular basis,” said Mr. Sisniega.

Panam Sports supports the development of sport and its 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.” The donation of the swimming pool – valued at around $400,000 – is expected to be a pilot scheme for other Caribbean NOCs.

The project is aligned with the College’s master plan as the swimming pool supports its marine and maritime curriculum as well as its vision for the student experience.

“The HLSCC currently offers a range of accredited maritime certifications that prepare students to work in the marine and marine tourism industries,” said Dr. Georges. “Our current STCW certifications require a water safety module for which a swimming pool is integral to the practical training and testing of the participants. Until we have our own pool, we are reliant on the use of private facilities.

“Having our own facility will provide stability to those programmes while enabling us to evolve our campus into a comprehensive educational institution that supports the development of student life while strengthening its regional and international appeal to third party educators,” he added.

In addition to serving training needs, the swimming pool will be used for teaching basic survival skills through progressive swimming lessons offered at all levels. The BVI Swimming Federation, which has been on an enforced hiatus since Hurricane Irma destroyed the swimming pool at Prospect Reef which had served as its training facility, is expected to resume its coaching and competitive training programs with a view to hosting regional and international meets.

“We know that the BVI Swimming Federation has been waiting for a very long time to see such a project come to fruition so finally having a swimming pool that will be accessible to all, and which will allow the sport of swimming to take off in the BVI is an exciting development for the territory,” said President Penn. “We are surrounded by sea and survival in the water has to be a fundamental skill that is learned from an early age. From there, the grass roots take hold and the sport will develop naturally. We have already produced an Olympic swimmer and we know that there are young swimmers here with the budding skills who are training with KATS and BVI Swim School and who already are competing at regional meets.”

The Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), which has been invited to oversee and manage the preparations and construction of the facility, is in receipt of a Statement of Requirement.

“Swimming and water safety are essential life skills and should be taught at a young age. The Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports has been considering the prospect of delivering this necessary component of the national curriculum. Thus, we are pleased that HLSCC has collaborated with the private sector to deliver a facility that would open up access to many aquatic disciplines, thereby giving all students and the wider community the opportunity to be taught water safety and to engage in aquatics. I commend Dr. Georges, Mr. Ephraim Penn and the parties involved in the project and thank Panam Sports and World Aquatics for their commitment to the BVI through the BVIOC,” said Hon. Sharie de Castro, Minister for Education, Youth Affairs and Sports.

“The next step in the process is to put the proposal together for the funding for the civil works and ancillary elements of the aquatics center such as the administrative offices, changing facilities, gym and therapy area, stands, storage rooms etc,” said Dr. Georges who has identified potential financiers for the project.

Athlete performances at Tokyo 2020 Olympics brings BVI in sight of podium – BVIOC seeks investment into elite athletes

The British Virgin Islands was represented by 3 athletes in 2 sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which concluded on August 8 with a closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. The small team comprising Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Chantel Malone (long jump) and Elinah Phillip (50m freestyle) was the strongest set to represent the territory at any Olympic Games.

Eldred Henry (shot put) was the first athlete to have qualified for Tokyo 2020 but he was forced to pull out due to an injury in his throwing arm.

In a Game of firsts for the territory, McMaster and Malone became the BVI’s first 2 athletes to advance to the finals to compete amongst the world’s best athletes in their events. They each were the first athletes to compete in the hurdles and long jump respectively. McMaster was the first athlete to win his heats and the first to make the top 4 finalists to cross the line with his time of 47.08 – current 4th fastest time and the world’s 8th fastest time ever – in what has been classed as the event’s fastest Olympic race. McMaster and Phillip also set National Records with Phillip’s time of 25.74 marking her as the top Caribbean performer in the 50m Free.

Harrigan-Scott, a three-times Olympian and the first female to represent the BVI at the Olympics in 2008, led the organisation and management of the team at the Games.

Speaking at a wrap up virtual press conference on August 4 after the final competition for the BVI, Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee congratulated and thanked the athletes, their coaches and National Federations and also acknowledged the efforts of the Chef de Mission and Lloyd Black, Secretary General for the BVIOC, who was the COVID Liaison Officer for the delegation.

Penn went on to explain that the impressive results of the team at the Games was many years in the making that required planning and funding to support the athletes in their training and preparations for the Games. He highlighted that the performances put the athletes as serious podium contenders in upcoming Games and that the opportunity was open to the private sector to support the pathway to get athletes to the finals and ultimately to the podium of the Olympics.

“The athletes have been preparing for these Games for 5 years and are recipients of an Olympic Scholarship which offers financial and technical support so they can train and compete at qualifying meets for the Olympics. In addition, the BVIOC set up an Elite Athlete scholarship which puts money into the hands of the athletes to ease their financial stress so that they can concentrate on preparing for competition. Their successes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will make it easier for us to try and solicit more funding from the private sector and bolster the structure we have in place to support them so they can develop to the best of their ability.”

The Chef de Mission, who is responsible for the organisation and logistical management of the delegation as well as the technical aspects of the athletes’ competitions and daily schedules and activities while at the Games, reviewed the athletes’ performances and acknowledged the commitment of their coaches and support of the BVIOC and encouraged a forward movement to help the athletes reach their potential.

“While our athletes may come from a small nation where the resources are more limited than larger countries, they come to compete with the same heart, talent and dedication so if we can figure out a way to level the playing field and really invest in them, you will be surprised at where they can take us because they are at that level and they are exceptionally good.”

Harrigan-Scott wrapped up the experience with a reflection on the organisation of the Games. “It actually was an amazing Games and the organisers, volunteers and Government of Japan did an incredible job under the constraints and concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am glad the Games were not cancelled as the athletes were ready to compete and we have seen some exceptional performances here.”

Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, MHA. Deputy Premier Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, who was in Japan to witness the finals, congratulated the athletes on their achievements and thanked them and the delegation for their roles in the success of the BVI’s appearance at Tokyo 2020 and to pledge more support for the athletes.

“We now understand what it takes to compete at this level and I will be focused on what we can do to assist more. We know that we have to invest more in sports and be more consistent in our support for our athletes and I will be working on this in consultation with the BVIOC,” said Dr. the Honourable Minister Wheatley.

In addition to the 3 athletes, the Chef de Mission, Ephraim Penn and Lloyd Black the BVI delegation included Team Coach Winston Potter, Coach Lennox Graham (McMaster), Coach Dwight Phillips (Malone), Coach Brien Moffitt (Elinah) and Sofia Fay, BVIOC PRO/Reporter.

The athletes, including Henry who is on the road to recovery, will continue with their training and preparations for upcoming competitions after a short rest and recovery break. A return date to the BVI is not yet confirmed based on their training and competition schedules. Malone and McMaster have sights on competing at the Diamond League events in Europe in August and September respectively.

Chantel Malone advances to long jump finals at Tokyo 2020

Chantel Malone after qualifying for the long jump finals on August 1 at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Chantel Malone made history for the British Virgin Islands once more when she qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games long jump finals with a distance of 6.82m achieved on her 3rd attempt at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Sunday, August 1.

“I’m excited and happy to be going into the finals with a 6.82- especially as I had to take some time off ahead of the Games to work on recovering from an injury that I sustained at a meet at the beginning of July,” said Malone. “Jumping an 82 was the reassurance I needed and is a testament to my growth as an athlete just because the old me would have folded after the first two bad jumps, but today, I reminded myself that it only takes one and to execute it.”

Malone became the first athlete of the territory to advance to an Olympic final.

“I may be the first athlete to make it to the finals but honestly, that’s always been the goal and to actually be on that podium. The goal is to execute and hopefully we will be good but it’s a tough field out there with a lot of automatic qualifiers, so I just have to bring my A-Game and stay focused.”

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee was watching the event from the Olympic Family tribune along with Secretary General Lloyd Black.

“We were so excited when Chantel not only qualified for the finals, but that she managed to hit a distance beyond the automatic qualifying mark of 6.75,” said Penn. “The BVIOC and family of National Federations congratulate Chantel and her coach, Dwight Phillips on this achievement and we are looking forward to Tuesday’s event and to cheering her on in support of the goal for a podium finish.”

Tokyo 2020 is Malone’s first Olympics which she qualified for when she leapt a distance of 7.08 at the Florida International “Pro Addition” International Track Meet, Miramar in March 2021. The mark was a new National Record and a Season and Personal Best for the athlete who is ranked number 8 by World Athletics.

Malone’s history-making flair was demonstrated when she won the BVI’s first PanAm Games medal when she took the gold at Lima 2019 with a leap of 6.68m.

The finals take place on Tuesday, August 3 at 10:50am (9:50pm, Monday, August 2 BVI time).

Kyron McMaster, will compete in the 400m hurdles semi-finals later today after he won his qualifying heat with a time of 48.79 on Friday, July 30. Elinah Phillip, the 50m freestyle swimmer, wrapped up her 2nd Olympic appearance on July 30 after she set a new National Record and PB with a non-advancing time of 25.74 in her heat of the qualifying round. The result ranks her top female Caribbean athlete in the event.

Phillip sets new 50m Freestyle National Record & McMaster advances to 400m Hurdle semi finals at Tokyo 2020

Elinah Phillip, of British Virgin Islands, swims in a women’s 50-meter freestyle heat at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Elinah Phillip set a new National Record and PB when she placed 2nd in her 50m Freestyle Heat with a non-advancing time of 25.74 at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the evening of July 30, 2021.

The time is an automatic qualifier for the upcoming FINA Worlds and ranks Elinah as the Caribbean’s top female 50m freestyle athlete. It also improves her standing in the inaugural PanAm Junior Games slated to be held at the end of this year.

Earlier in the day, Kyron McMaster made national history when he advanced to the semi-finals in the 400m hurdles at his Olympic debut to become the first male athlete to compete in an Olympic semi and the only athlete to win an individual event heat. He joins Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, to become the 2nd athlete to compete in a semi-final event at an Olympic Games. Kyron will race in Heat 3 Lane 7 on August 1.

Competing in her second Olympics, Elinah – who was also the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony – was very excited and proud of the result which positions her 34th out of 81 competitors.

“It’s a big day for me – I finished my pre dentistry summer program at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and came and set a new National Record and PB at the Olympics,” said the 21-year old swimmer. “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed because this achievement means so much to me personally after a very turbulent 2020. I am very grateful for all the support that I have received from my family, the BVI Olympic Committee, FIU, my swim coach Brien Moffitt and my teammates and everyone back home. I can’t express how much it means to me.”

Watching from the Olympic Family tribune were President of the BVIOC Ephraim Penn, Secretary General Lloyd Black and Chef de Mission Tahesia Harrigan-Scott.

“Elinah’s performance this evening has impressed us all and made us incredibly proud,” said Penn. “On behalf of the BVIOC and our member federations, I congratulate Elinah on her achievement and thank her for giving 110% and doing us proud. I also would like to recognize her coach, Brien Moffitt who has demonstrated a sound appreciation for Elinah’s potential and who, in just a few months, has helped her to achieve great results and outperform herself every time.”

A swim coach at FIU, Coach Moffitt was responsible for recruiting the 21-year old to the University as part of its longterm commitment to developing a strong swimming team.

“I am so very proud of Elinah’s accomplishment today and, to be able to be at her best at the biggest sporting stage that there is, is something that shows her resilience and mental fortitude,” said Coach Moffitt. ”When you look at the path and journey she has taken to get to this point it’s very remarkable. We’re grateful and happy with what the results today but we will be coming back to work after a short and plan to aim higher and dream bigger.”

Elinah is the BVI’s leading national swimmer, holding records in the 50, 100, and 200m freestyle and the 50m butterfly. She made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016. She is the first swimmer and the youngest athlete to represent the BVI at an Olympic Games.

Ranked number 8 in her event by World Athletics, Chantel Malone will make her Olympic debut when she competes in the Tokyo 2020 long jump Qualification round on August 1.

BVIOC Presents Team for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Team IVB for Tokyo 2020

The Virgin Islands (UK) Team for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games is today confirmed by the BVI Olympic Committee and Chef de Mission, Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott to include two track and field athletes and one swimmer. Kyron McMaster will compete in the men’s 400m hurdles and Chantel Malone will compete in the women’s long jump. Swimmer Elinah Phillip will compete in the women’s 50m freestyle. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take place in Japan July 23 – August 8, 2021.

McMaster and Phillip will be the flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony on July 23. The athletes will be in clothing and masks respectively designed by Virgin Islanders Ms. Rhenique Cooper and Ms. Kristin Fraser.

This will be the first Olympic Games for McMaster and Malone while Phillip made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil where she was the VI’s youngest athlete and the first to represent the Territory in aquatics at any Olympics.

While Olympian Eldred Henry had an automatic qualification to compete in the shot put at Tokyo 2020, ongoing recovery from an injury in his throwing arm resulted in the decision to step down from the team.

“I am proud to present our athletes for Tokyo 2020,” said Chef Harrigan-Scott, a three times Olympian in the 100m sprint. “Even though COVID-19 has drastically changed the dynamics of the Olympic Games, it did not waiver the determination or drive of our brilliant athletes. They have prepared vigorously to represent the Virgin Islands in their respective events coming up in the next few weeks and, after communicating with each of the athletes and watching their preparatory competitions leading up to Tokyo 2020, I am confident that they will make these Virgin Islands proud.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Tokyo 2020 Games to be rescheduled by one year to take place in the summer of 2021, the IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organisers and the Government of Japan have issued stringent protocols set out in regularly updated Playbooks to ensure the health and safety of all athletes, personnel, delegates, media and the people of Japan. The strict measures for the VI delegation are overseen by appointed COVID Liaison Officers (CLOs) BVIOC Secretary General Mr. Lloyd Black and Chef Harrigan-Scott.

The Chef de Mission highlighted how the response to the pandemic has differentiated Tokyo 2020 from previous Olympic Games. Precautions include restrictive movement of the delegation, strict COVID-19 counter measures which include daily temperature and COVID-19 testing, the inability to attend other sporting events, limited-to-no guest allowance in the Olympic Village, the lack of spectators from foreign countries, no site seeing by the delegation and every movement in Tokyo and Japan needing to be pre-approved by the Japanese Government.

“The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games probably are one of the most anticipated Games in sports,” said Mr. Penn. “The continuing changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have been quite a challenge and on behalf of the BVIOC, I highly commend all our athletes and Chef de Mission for their focus, determination and tireless efforts which have resulted in thorough preparation and impressive performances with new national records set in all three disciplines by Chantel, Kyron and Elinah in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Games. We are sad that Eldred will not be joining the team in person but intend to include him in our reports from Tokyo 2020. We are extremely proud of all our athletes have achieved thus far and will be in Japan to give our support and to watch them perform at the 32nd Olympiad.”

The delegation to Tokyo will include BVIOC President Mr. Ephraim Penn, Secretary General Mr. Lloyd Black, athlete coaches Mr. Lennox Graham (McMaster), Mr. Dwight Phillipe (Malone), Mr. Brien Moffitt (Phillip) and Mr. Winston Potter (team coach). Dr. The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley MHA, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture is also slated to attend the Games pending travel restrictions.

“I want to congratulate these hardworking individuals for this momentous achievement. It is even more exciting knowing that we have athletes, through their hard work, who are poised to compete for medal and I plan to be there to cheer them along waving our Virgin Islands flag. I wish all our athletes well; we are extremely proud of you!” said the Dr. The Honourable Minister Wheatley.

Daily updates will be posted on the BVIOC social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and reports will be disseminated to media from the BVIOC PRO, Sofia Fay, Broadsword Communications, who will be in Tokyo to cover the VI’s athletes.

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.

Sports Festival celebrating Olympic Day

Date: Saturday, June 22, 2024

  • The BVI Olympic Committee in collaboration with its member National Federations and in partnership with the H Lavity Stoutt College will present its 5th annual free Sports Festival celebrating Olympic Day on Tortola with walks/runs on Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada on Saturday, June 22, 2024.The Olympic Day activities are open to the public of all ages and abilities.
  • The occasion will also commemorate the 40th anniversary of the VI’s first appearance at the Olympics when the territory was represented by speed skater, Erroll “Canute” Fraser, at the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympic Games and by a national team of 4 track & field athletes and 5 sailors at the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympic Games. The athletics team members were Lindel “Chef” Hodge, Guy Hill, Dean Greenaway, Jerry Molyneaux and the sailors were Robin Tattersall, Elvet Meyers, Keith Barker, Peter Barker+ and Keith Thomas. The past Olympians will be recognized on the day.

2024 Sports Festival plans – HLSCC campus grounds and Brandywine Bay beach 9:00am – 12:00pm

  • Interactive stations at the college campus grounds include archery, athletics, basketball, cycling, netball, softball and squash. The BVI Anti-Doping Commission and health and nutrition advisors will also be on site.
  • The Department of Culture will be showcasing an interactive maritime historical display with the Maritime Museum open for visits. The Heritage Dancers will continue to build on their participation with lessons in some of the VI’s traditional dance steps.
  • Additional activities will take place simultaniously at Brandywine Bay Beach with aquatic and marine sports including sailing, swimming, and triathlon stations, alongside beach sports hosted by the volleyball, rugby, and football federations.

Walk/Runs on sister islands

  • Walk/runs will take place from 6:30am on Virgin Gorda starting at the VG Recreation Ground and on Anegada starting at the Claudia Creque Educational Centre. On Jost Van Dyke, the walk/run will start at 5:30am from the Albert Chinnery Admin Building, Great Harbour.

The free event encourages the public to move, learn and discover – regardless of age and ability – and find an activity to adopt in their lifestyle for fitness and health.

Olympic Year Celebrations

  • 2024 is an Olympic year where we have two athletes confirmed to compete at Paris 2024 – Kyron McMaster OBE OLY, 400m hurdles 2x Commonwealth Games champion and World Athletics Championship silver medalist and ILCA7 (laser) sailor Thad Lettsome. Chef de Mission Tahesia Harrigan-Scott will be in attendance with updates on the preparations for the Games with VI designer, Kristin Fraser unveiling the Opening Ceremony wear for the BVI team at Paris 2024.

Participants will receive a free tee shirts and Dasani Water and Powerade distributed by Road Town Wholesale on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Thank you for your support!

Check the Event page on Facebook

For more information contact (284) 541 7845 or email sofia@broadswordpr.com

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.

Opening ceremony and first event at Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

BVI swimmer, Elinah Phillip (50m free & 50m fly) and Malik John (400m) at Buenos Aires 2018. Photo credit: BVIOC

Swimmer, Elinah Phillip was the face of the Virgin Islands when she served as flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony on October 6 at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also was the first of the two VI athletes to compete in the third edition of the Games when she swam in the 50m butterfly (fly) heats on Tuesday, October 9.

Swimming in heat 5, Phillip touched the wall in a non-advancing time of 28.65 placing her 28/36. Her PB and national record of 27.31 in the 50m fly was achieved just 10 days previously at the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Phillip, who was slated to compete in the 100m freestyle (free) on Monday was advised by her coach, Benoit Grattepanche to omit the race from her schedule and concentrate instead on the 50m fly and 50m free. The decision was made following a technical meeting ahead of the event.

Her next race is heat 5 of 7 of the 50m free which will start at 10:30am (9:30am BVI time) on Thursday, October 11. Phillip’s qualifying time for this event is 26.14.

VI track athlete, Malik John will also be competing on Thursday, October 11 when he runs in the 400m heats at 5.15pm (4.15pm BVI time).

The events can be viewed live on the IOC Olympic Channel.

The athletes continue to be fully immersed in the culture and experience of the Youth Olympic Games as they follow Young Change Maker, Keanu George’s recommendations of activities to enjoy and international athletes to meet. George has been trained to facilitate the VI’s athletes’ participation in “learn & share” activities and encourages them to embrace the YOG spirit of Compete, Learn and Share.

“There is a packed agenda of daily events and activities for the athletes to be a part of,” said Cleave Farrington, Chef de Mission, Buenos Aires 2018. “Working with Keanu, I try to ensure that Elinah and Malik make the most of their time at the Youth Olympic Games, which is much more oriented to facilitating the principles of Olympism for their age group than the Olympic Games which is geared towards older and more experienced athletes. I am pleased to report that the athletes are definitely engaged and appreciating all that is on offer.”

Photos and updates are posted regularly on the BVI Olympic Committee’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.