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.

Queen’s Baton Relay leads BVI athletes to Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games

BVI athletes, tennis coach and Chef for the Bahamas 2017 Copmmonwealth Youth Games with the BVI Commonwealth Games Association, Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, and Mrs. Angeleta Bernard, Chef for the previous youth games in Delhi, Isle of Man, and Samoa. Photo: BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) in its capacity as the Commonwealth Games Association (BVICGA) introduced the itinerary and route of the upcoming Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay which heralds that start of the quadrennially held Commonwealth Games and announced the 8 young athletes that will be attending the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.

The BVI delegation to the Bahamas 2017 CYG (July 18 – 23) was introduced by Ms. Sabinah Clement, Chef de Mission for the Games at a media briefing at the BVIOC office on Monday, June 19.

The BVI team comprises Arianna Hayde (Long Jump and Javelin), Rackeel Jack (400m), Joshua Hill (400m), Mikkel Bassue (100m and 200m), Beyonce Defreitas (200m), Djimon Gumbs and Diamante Gumbs (both competing in Shot Put and Discus), and Adrian Baijnauth (Tennis). The team will be accompanied by Track Coach, Willis Todman, Field Coach, Omar Jones and Tennis Coach, Malcolm Dabre.

The athletes will take part in the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay when it tours through the communities of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda in a series of public activities and relays planned for Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay is a unifying event that invites members of the Commonwealth and the Overseas Territories to showcase their country, culture, hospitality, communities, and sports. It is a unique event and an occasion for all who reside in the BVI to come together in the spirit of friendship and unity and we strongly urge everyone to make an effort to join in where they can,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association.

The full programme starts with the official welcome reception on Monday, July 3 from 9.00am to 10.00am at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park when the baton is officially handed over to the Premier and the Virgin Islands.

The public relay will then start with the first baton bearer on a route through Road Town to take in the Tortola Pier Park, Waterfront Drive, Queen Elizabeth Park, Old Government House, the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly, Sir Olva Georges Plaza, Main Street, Botanic Station and ending at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground.

The baton will then be driven to the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School in Sea Cow’s Bay where the students will be back at school with a short presentation to welcome the QBR.

The relay will then continue to Manuel Reef and the baton will be sailed to Nanny Cay aboard a Tortola Sloop and a flotilla of dinghies. At 3.00pm the relay will pass through Cane Garden Bay from De Wedding heading east to Quito’s.

A relay supported by residents will pass through Great Harbour at 4.00pm before the baton is transported back to Tortola.

On Wednesday, July 4, the Deputy Premier will speak at a public welcome ceremony at the Walters Recreation Park, Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda from 9.00am – 10.00am. The baton then will be handed over for a relay through the Valley up to the Baths. All residents of Virgin Gorda and Anegada are encouraged to participate.

The baton will arrive back to Tortola at 4.30pm where it will be received by cyclists at Trellis Bay and ridden across the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and handed over for a relay on foot through Long Look, the Sticket and East End and end at the Greenlands Playing Field.

A cultural presentation by traditional musicians, dancers and performers to include performances by the Australian resident community will form part of the official closing ceremony starting at 6:00pm at the Central Administration Complex. The evening will end with music and local food and refreshments on sale.

The key stakeholders involved in the planning and hosting of events include the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Premier, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports including the Departments of Culture, and Youth Affairs and Sports, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the BVI Tourist Board and GIS.

Event sponsors include the Government of the Virgin Islands, the BVI Bank Association – Banco Popular, CIBC FirstCaribbean, FirstBank, National Bank of the Virgin Islands and VP Bank – Premier Dental, Harneys, Meridian Construction, BVI Painters, Road Town Wholesale, Eureka Medical and Bougainvillea Clinic.

National Federations, schools, and Community and Social Groups will be supporting the event in the form of volunteers and participation in the relays as they pass through various districts.

The baton, which contains the message from the Queen to the athletes competing in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia in April 2018, and international crew will arrive from Anguilla on Saturday, July 1 at 7.00pm and will depart for Jamaica on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

The last time the Queen’s Baton Relay toured the BVI was ahead of the Glasgow 2014 games.

More information can be found on www.bviolympics.org. Anyone who wishes to volunteer or who would like more information on the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay event in the VI can contact the BVI Olympic Committee on 496 6007.

The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay in the BVI

Join in and share the dream of the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay when it tours through your community in Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Click here to read the itinerary and route of the Baton in the BVI.

For more information or to become a sponsor, please contact Sofia Fay by email at sofia@broadswordpr.com or by ‘phone on (284) 541 7845 or Cleave Farrington by email at cmfarrington@bviolympics.org or by ‘phone on (284) 494 6920.

Images of the Dheli 2010 and Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relays in the BVI

 

Olympic Day celebrated with National Federations and a focus on Rio 2016

Olympic Day 2016 DSC00314

Runners on BVI Olympic Day 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Adults and children kicked off Olympic Day in the VI with an early morning run in Virgin Gorda on Saturday, June 25. In Tortola, a mix of all ages came out in the afternoon to celebrate the occasion at the Tortola Sports Club by watching demonstrations in rugby, archery, taekwondo, squash and having a go at each of the sports in advance of the symbolic 2-mile run through Road Town.

Representatives for the national federations for Rugby, Archery, Taekwondo and Squash also shared information on the sports and encouraged attendees to sign up and get moving with a new activity.

Rio 2016 sailing hopeful, Chris Brockbank joined the Royal BVI Yacht Club to speak about the efforts he and his teammate, Alec Anderson had undertaken in their quest to qualify for this Summer Olympic Games. Whilst they did not meet the Rio 2016 qualification, Chris reiterated their commitment to pursuing qualification for Tokyo 2020. Club manager Tamsin Rand also spoke about the youth sailing programme.

The VI Swimming Federation represented by the president and members of the youth swimming team were also in attendance.

Ephraim Penn, president of the BVIOC gave a brief history of the BVI Olympic Committee and presented one of the founding members, Reynold ‘Rey’ O’Neal, OBE with a commemorative photo book of the tribute evening hosted for him by the BVIOC earlier in the year.

In keeping with the goal of Olympic Day to get the young involved and engaged in sports, Penn also spoke about the Long Term Athletes Development programme hosted by the BVIOC. The series of LTAD workshops will equip coaches with the resources to identify and develop promising youth athletes with a view to training them for major games such as the Olympics.

Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, Stephanie Russ-Penn followed with an update on the preparations for Rio 2016 confirming that the VI’s qualified track runners, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (100m) and Ashley Kelly (200m) will be joined by young swimmer, Elinah Phillip (50m Freestyle) who will compete as part of the universality invitation.

Russ-Penn then went on to reveal the outerwear for the Team BVi athletes participating in major games highlighting the integration of the Vigilante in the design.

Rounding off with information on attending the summer Games, Mark Chapman, Treasurer, BVIOC said, “Rio 2016 promises to be an exciting occasion and it’s not too late to get event tickets and support Team BVI in Brazil. The BVIOC has tickets for residents and anyone else who has a connection to the territory. Recent research also shows airfare via Panama is available starting at $1006 so anyone interested in getting tickets can complete an online request on bviolympics.org or contact the BVIOC office on 494 6920. The summer Games take place August 5 – 21.”

The afternoon set up at the sports club included tips and massages by La Ambiance Spa and an information booth run by the VI branch of the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO).

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and Red Cross volunteers were on hand to ensure the safety of the runners and walkers. Roadtown Wholesale distributed Dasani water and Powerade to participants along the route and at the sports club.

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.

In his Olympic Day message to people around the world, IOC President, Thomas Bach said, “Olympic Day is for everyone, regardless of age or athletic ability. The important thing is to get the couch potatoes off the couch. Although Olympic Day commemorates an historic event, its goals are aimed at the future and particularly at young people. Olympic Day is an opportunity to remind people that sport is not just for watching. We want to inspire all people to get active and to have fun. Thank you for doing your part by getting off the couch. Please encourage others to do the same — not just on Olympic Day, but as part of a healthier and happier life. Enjoy the day, and please keep the spirit of Olympic Day alive throughout the year.”