Ephraim Penn elected as Caribbean Representative for Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Committee

Representatives of the Caribbean Commonwealth Games Associations with the Hon. Espérance Nyirasafari, Minister of Sports and Culture, Government of the Republic of Rwanda, Dame Louise Martin, DBE, President, Commonwealth Games Federation, the Rt. Honourable Patricia Scotland, QC, Commonwealth Secretary General, and Fortuna Belrose, Caribbean Regional CGF Vice President.

Dame Louise Martin DBE (Scotland) was re-elected as the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President for a second four-year term by acclamation by delegates from the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth attending the CGF General Assembly at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, September 3 – 6. She became the first female to hold this office in the history of the Commonwealth Sports Movement when she was elected in 2015.

Ephraim Penn, President of the Virgin Islands (UK) Commonwealth Games Association (BVICGA) was elected to the position of CGF Sports Committee Caribbean Representative.

The quadrennial elections saw three CGF Vice-Presidents elected: Kereyn Smith (New Zealand) Chris Jenkins (Wales) and Bruce Robertson (Canada).

Three new Regional Vice-Presidents were also elected to the Executive Board: Americas with Judy Simons J.P (Bermuda), Asia with Chris Chan (Singapore) and Europe with Harry Murphy (Gibraltar).

The three other Regional Vice-Presidents were all re-elected: Africa with Miriam Moyo (Zambia), Caribbean with Fortuna Belrose (Saint Lucia) and Oceania with Hugh Graham (Cook Islands).

In addition to Penn’s election for the Caribbean, results for every position on the Sports Committee included Sani Ndanusa (Nigeria) for Africa, Linda Cuthbert (Canada) for the Americas, Lt. Gen. Syed Arif Hasan (Pakistan) for Asia, Helen Phillips (Wales) for Europe and Craig Phillips (Australia) for Oceania.

Ephraim Penn, Caribbean Representative, Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Committee with the Hon. Espérance Nyirasafari, Minister of Sports and Culture, Government of the Republic of Rwanda

“Being elected to represent the Caribbean is indeed a great honour and I acknowledge and respect the trust and confidence that is being placed in me to act in the best interests of the region,” said Penn. “I have been in seat as the BVICGA president for the past 11 years and have served in various roles on other sports related bodies and advisory committees locally and regionally since 2004. I have forged good and open relationships with my Caribbean counterparts as well as those representing countries across the world. I look forward to working with CGF Sports Committee on behalf of the Caribbean CGAs and am excited to be part of a team that will continue to move the Commonwealth Sports agenda forward.”

The Sports Committee typically meets biannually. Its key functions are to provide technical expertise and support to the Executive Board in relation to the development and management of all aspects of the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games sports programmes. The Committee also engages with International Sports Federations, future host cities and bidding cities.

Penn, who has an Executive Masters of Sports Management (MEMOS)from the University of Lyon, France along with a Masters in Economic Planning and Bachelors in public Affairs from Florida Atlantic University, Florida, was a member of the VI’s 1st Track & Field team at the 1975 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Athletic Championship, Ponce, Puerto Rico and the 1976 Carifta Games, Nassau, Bahamas. He was a member of the national Softball team that competed in the 1987 Pan Am Games in Indianapolis, USA and which placed 4th – the highest team sport accomplishment at the Games for the VI – and a member of the national Softball team at the 1993 CAC Games, Ponce, Puerto Rico.

During his current tenure as president of the national Olympic Committee / Commonwealth Games Association since 2008, Penn established the Elite Athlete Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and was instrumental in composing the National Sports Policy of the VI. He established the VI’s Anti-Doping Commission and is a current board member of the Regional Anti-Doping Organization of the Caribbean (RADO). He also serves as the chairman of the Long Term Athlete Development Steering Committee and is a member of the Panam Sports New Sports Commission. Following Hurricane Irma, Penn secured funding and support from Panam Sports for the rebuild of sports facilities in the VI.

Penn sat as president of the BVI Amateur Athletic Association (now known as the BVI Athletics Association) from 2006 – 2008 and led the executive which was responsible for the installation of the first MONDO Class 2 rubberized track in the VI.

In addition to the elections, the General Assembly saw the approval of a refreshed Transformation 2022 strategy and the continued evolution of the CGF’s Governance and Regulations.

Deliberations took place to further evolve the Commonwealth Games Sports Programme while the new CGF Brand and Logo was formally showcased for the very first time.

The General Assembly marked the ten-year anniversary of Rwanda joining the list of Commonwealth nations in 2009.

It was staged a year before the country hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020 with Commonwealth Secretary General the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC in attendance where she delivered a formal address to the Assembly.

Rwanda itself is the newest member of the Commonwealth, and the second country (as well as Mozambique) in the Commonwealth without historic UK ties.

McMaster represents athletes of small countries winning first medals at Commonwealth Games

Kyron McMaster represented athletes of small nations winning their first Games’ medal in the official Commonwealth Games’ Federation wrap up press conference. (L-r) Andy Street, Mayor, West Midlands; Kyron McMaster, Gold Medalist 400m Hurdler, BVI; Mark Peters, CEO, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation; Peter Beattie AC, Chairman, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation; David Grevemberg CBE, CEO, Commonwealth Games Federation; Louise Martin CBE, President, Commonwealth Games Federation.

Kyron McMaster, the 400m hurdles champion and inaugural British Virgin Islands (VI) gold medalist sat on the head table with top executives of the Commonwealth Games Federation, GOLDOC, and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the final day press conference of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The line up included Andy Street, Mayor, West Midlands; Kyron McMaster, Gold Medalist 400m Hurdles; Mark Peters, CEO, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation; Peter Beattie AC, Chairman, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation; David Grevemberg CBE, CEO, Commonwealth Games Federation; and Louise Martin CBE, President, Commonwealth Games Federation.

The first half of the two-part conference focused on the wrap up of the Games and reflections of the event.

Speaking on two memorable events in what is being dubbed ‘Game of Firsts’, Ms. Martin said, “Forty-three countries have won medals. Five of these are first ever medals and they’re all small countries which, to me, is exceptional.”

Identifying the win of the first medal for the VI as one of the memorable moments of the Games, Kyron was asked to share his experience on winning and on the public’s reaction to it.

“Winning the first medal for the British Virgin Islands was big,” said Kyron. “Before the race, everyone was messaging me crazily saying, ‘no pressure, but we want the medal’.”

“Winning it after what we have been through (Hurricane Irma), I was happy that I could deliver on that and especially the gold medal. Everyone was just so happy and so I was happy to bring some joy back to the BVI.”

A lot of the stories behind the athletes at the Games have been about triumph through adversity and Kyron explained what winning the medal has meant to him given the impact of Hurricane Irma.

“It gives athletes hope when they see me go out there and do it. Not only for the athletes back home but also those from other small countries who haven’t medaled yet, who can say ‘if this small-town boy can do it, we can do it’,” said Kyron. “For the athletes back home, I know that they are looking at it as motivation regardless of the standards of their training. They can use it and can progress.”

Kyron looks forward to competing at Doha 2018, Qatar on May 4 in one of the series of fourteen of the ninth edition of the annual IAAF Diamond League. It will be one of the biggest Diamond Leagues he has attended.

Team BVI wraps up Gold Coast 2018 with historic Gold medal and fanfare

Team BVI at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Queensland, Australia. Photo: BVICGA

Team BVI was led by flag bearer and four-times Commonwealth Games athlete, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott in the Gold Coast 2018 Closing Ceremony on April 15 marking the end of the 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games.

“This has been an amazing and emotional Games,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association. “We saw Gold Coast 2018 as an opportunity to inspire the Virgin Islands through sports after the devastating hurricanes Irma and Maria and hoped that the athletes’ achievements would motivate the territory to tackle new beginnings. Our athletes rose to the occasion with their tremendous effort and individual and team achievements. We believed that this was the strongest team we had yet taken to the Commonwealth Games and their performances have proved it to be the case. We are exceptionally proud of each, and every one of them and thank them for showcasing our nation on the world stage with grit and grace.”

At the end of 10 days of competition in Queensland, Australia, 10 of the VI’s athletes had participated in 9 track and field events and 2 squash events. All track and field athletes completing their events made it through to semi-finals and five went on to compete in the finals. In squash, the VI won the Plate of the men’s singles.

British Virgin Islands Kyron Mcmaster won the men’s 400m hurdles final in a time of 48.25 seconds during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 12, 2018. Photo credit: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The crowning moment came on April 12 when Kyron McMaster took to his starting blocks in front of a packed stadium in the 400m Hurdles and made history with his 1st place finish in a time of 48.25 seconds and winning the territory’s first medal ever in the Commonwealth Games.

Competing in his first Commonwealth Games, Kyron triumphed for his hurricane ravaged country and in memory of his beloved coach, the late Xavier ‘Dag’ Samuels. “My first phase of the race wasn’t what I wanted but I remembered what coach would have told me ‘just in case something like that happens, just stay calm and relax’” said Kyron. “When I saw I was in a position to take control of the race, I did and ran home with the gold. I am very proud that I was able to bring it home for the Virgin Islands.” 2nd and 3rd places went to Jeffrey Gibson of the Bahamas (49.10) and Jaheel Hyde of Jamaica (49.16) respectively.

That same evening, Chantel Malone landed a 5th place in the Long Jump final with a leap of 6.48. This was Chantel’s second appearance in a Commonwealth Games, the first being at Glasgow 2014 where she landed a 4th place with a jump of 6.41. Podium finishers of the long jump were Christabel Nettey of Canada (6.84), Brooke Stratton of Australia (6.77) and Shara Proctor of England (6.75).

Next up were Commonwealth Games debutants, twin sisters Tynelle and Trevia Gumbs competing against a field of 13 in the Discus final. Tynelle hurled the disc 47.04 to place 9th. Top spots went to Dani Stevens of Australia (68.26), Seema Punia of India (60.41) and Navjeet Dhillon of India (57.43). Tynelle’s performance was in her second event of the Games – the first being the Hammer Throw in which she placed 7th overall and attained a Seasonal and Personal Best as well as beating her previous National Record with a distance of 60.97.

Trevia retired early in the Discus final to avoid irritating an injury and to save herself for the Shot Put final.  On April 13, and the last day of competition for the VI, Tynelle improved on her Shot Put qualifier round result of 14.08 with a third attempt throw of 14.12. Top three putters were Danniel Thomas-Dodd of Jamaica (19.36), Dame Valerie Adams of New Zealand (18.70) and Brittany Crew of Canada (18.32).

Eldred Henry joined Trevia in rounding off the VI’s performance at the Games with his seasonal best throw of 50.96 when he competed in the Discus final. The mark was an improvement of his 50.43 achieved in his qualifying round. Medalists in the event were Fedrick Dacres of Jamaica who set a new Games Record with a throw of 68.20, Traves Smikle of Jamaica (63.98) and Apostolos Parellis of Cypress (63.61). On April 9, Eldred had competed in the shot put final. GC2018 was Eldred’s second Commonwealth Games.

Earlier in the Games, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott ran her last race of a Commonwealth Games on April 8 when she crossed the finish line of the 100m semi-finals with a time of 11.63 to place 7th in her field and 13th out of 24 runners in the semi-finals.

On April 10, Ashley Kelly closed out her GC2018 performance with a 53.00 finish in the 400m semi-finals. The time placed her 5th in her race and 14th out of an overall line up of 23 semi-finalists. This was Ashley’s second Commonwealth Games, the first being Glasgow 2014 where she competed in the 200m and 400m semi-finals.

Khari Herbert Jr was disappointed when he pushed out of the blocks in his 400m qualifying round on April 8 and had to retire due to a hamstring injury. This was Khari’s first Commonwealth Games.

Squash Round Up

In squash, Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino ended their GC2018 competitions on April 12 when they played in a hard-fought doubles match against Pakistan’s duo, Tayyab Aslam and Farhan Zaman.

The first game was an exciting round with the BVI taking 8 points. The crowd watched a strong performance from both players with Neville playing some of his best squash for an edge-of-the-seat game. The second game to decide the match was ultimately won by Aslam and Zaman 11-4.

This was the second doubles match that Joe and Neville played at the Games, the first being on April 10 when they were defeated by England’s James Willstrop (CWG 2018 Singles Gold Medal winner) and James Declan (World ranked #25).

GC2018 was Neville’s Commonwealth Games debut and in which he played in the Men’s Squash singles and doubles, and Joe’s fourth appearance at the quadrennial event. The pinnacle for Joe was his win of the Men’s Singles Plate on April 9 when he beat Cameron Stafford of the Cayman Islands 3-1 (11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11 – 7).

The VI delegation to GC2018 included Mark Chapman, Chef de Mission; Athletics coaches Winston Potter, Joey Scott, Dwight Phillips and Omar Jones; and Squash coach Adam Murrills; Physio Mark Latimer; Attaché Julie-Anne Pearson; CGA Assistant Katrina Pfeffer; BVICGA Secretary General Lloyd Black; and Deputy Premier, Dr. The Honourable Kedrick Pickering.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott completes her Commonwealth Games Career with fourth appearance

British Virgin Islands Tahesia Harrigan-Scott ran her final race in the athletic’s women’s 100m semi-finals during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 8, 2018. Photo SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Three Virgin Islands athletes took to the track and field on the first day of Athletics at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on Monday, April 8.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott advanced to the semi-finals of the 100m when she placed third in her heat with a time of 11.64. A couple of hours later, Tahesia ran her final race in a Commonwealth Games.

It was a bright clear day and the stadium was packed with ardent Games supporters generating an energetic atmosphere. Tahesia, racing in lane 8 took to her blocks and shot out strong and held her position near the lead until the last quarter of the race when she dropped into 7th place finishing her race in a time of 11.63. Her time placed her 13th overall in a total of 24 runners in the semi-finals.

“The heat was my first 100 meters of the season so it felt like the first race,” said Tahesia. “I felt good in the second race. My start felt fine, my reaction was good, it’s just the last 30 meters of the race when I really faded and it cost me a better time than I should have ran. While I would have liked to have done better I gave it all that I had at that moment.”

Enjoying the experience of Gold Coast 2018, Tahesia will now be turning her attention to her team mates and cheer them on in their competitions. This is the fourth Commonwealth Games for Tahesia. She was the first female Virgin Islander to compete at the Commonwealth Games when she made her debut in Manchester in 2002 and advanced to the quarter-finals in the 100 meters in what was then her first senior international meet. Tahesia went on to finish in 5th place in the finals in both Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010.

“We are exceptionally proud of Tahesia,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association. “She has been an excellent ambassador for our athletes, our team and the Virgin Islands at all Commonwealth Games. Her positive attitude and cheerful disposition along with her ethical approach to competition is what we at the BVICGA hope all our athletes will aspire to. We thank Tahesia for being a leader in the VI corps of athletes, and for her commitment to her sport and to the team.”

Eldred Henry was next up in the stadium on day one, competing in Group B of the Shot Put. He hurled his furthest throw of the flight in his first attempt to land at 18.19 meters. His distance placed him 5th in his group with the top thrower in his group achieving 20.47m. While Eldred felt he could have done better, his throw was good enough to get him through to the Shot Put finals on April 9.

Khari Herbert Jr started off from the blocks in the 400m heats but pulled out of the race after a few meters when he felt pains in his hamstring in his right leg. While disappointed not to have been able to compete in these Games, he is looking forward to racing in the upcoming events of the season.

Joe Chapman beat Manda Chilambwe (Zambia) in Plate Semi Final 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4. Photo: Max Harris

In Squash, Joe Chapman played in the semi-finals of the Men’s Singles Plate to win against Manda Chilambwe of Zambia. In an exciting match that took 38 minutes, Joe came through comfortably in four games 11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4. He will face Cameron Stafford of Cayman in the Plate finals at 1.15pm on April 9 (11.15pm, Sunday, April 8 VI time).

Upcoming events:

Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino will play England’s Declan James and James Willstrop in the Men’s Squash Doubles at 11.45am on Tuesday, April 10 (9.45pm Monday, April 9 VI time).

Track and field competitions for the VI’s athletes will continue on Monday, April 9 with Ashley Kelly running in the 400m heats at 10.30am (8.30pm, Sunday, April 8, VI time) and Eldred will compete in the Shot Put finals at 8.25pm (6.25am Monday, April 9 VI time).

Kyron McMaster will debut in the Commonwealth Games with the 400m Hurdles heats at 11.15 am on Tuesday, April 10 (9.15pm, Monday, April 9, VI time), followed by Tynelle Gumbs in the Hammer Throw at 8.40pm (6.40am, Tuesday, April 10, VI time).

Chantel Malone will compete in the Long Jump at 7.00pm on Wednesday, April 11 (5.00am, VI time).

Eldred will then throw the Discus at 10.00am on Thursday, April 12 (8.00pm, Wednesday, April 11, VI time) and Trevia Gumbs will hurl the Shot Put at 12.15pm (10.15 pm, Wednesday, April 11, VI time). Trevia and twin sister, Tynelle will then compete in the Discus throw at 8.40pm that night (6.40am, Thursday, April 12, VI time).

The Games will be broadcast via Flow Sports Live and Flow’s mobile customers will also have live access via WiFi or Mobile Data to the Games via the Flow Sports 1 App. Live coverage on the Flow Sports Networks will start each evening at 7pm Eastern Caribbean Time and extend well into the late-night hours. Caribbean fans can also follow live Commonwealth Games events each morning, which is evening in Australia.

Supporters who want to follow the events and competition live must subtract 14 hours from the times scheduled on the official Gold Coast 2018 web site (www.gc2018.com).

Squash players launch first day of competition for Team BVI at Gold Coast 2018

By BVI Commonwealth Games Association

Squash players, Neville Sorrentino and Joe Chapman with Coach Adam Murrills on the first day of competition at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Photo: BVICGA

The GC2018 competition schedule for the VI started on day one of the Commonwealth Games with Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino playing matches in the men’s Squash singles at the Oxenford Studios on April 5.

Joe Chapman (PSA world ranked #292) played with strength in his match against Farhan Zaman of Pakistan (PSA world ranked #87) to take it to four games but ultimately losing 11-6,11-13,11-4,11-6. “I feel good with how this match went,” said Joe. “Farhan is a great player who had a career ranking of 47 and who’s a really great shot maker.  I was going toe-to-toe with him until the end and playing some of the best squash in my life especially considering everything that happened after the storm and the lack of squash facilities at home.

Neville Sorrentino competing in his first Commonwealth Games, was defeated by Tayyab Aslam of Pakistan 11-3, 11-4, 11-4. “It was a tough match and I was a bit nervous but I enjoyed it,” said Neville. “The result is what it should be but the game was played in good spirits and I’m just happy to be part of these Games and to have this experience of a lifetime.”

Joe and Neville will continue with matches in the Plate round which will be played on Friday, April 6. The two will then compete in the men’s doubles on Tuesday, April 10 when they come up against Declan James and James Willstrop representing England. The VI duo will meet the Pakistani players, Aslam and Zaman again in a doubles match on Thursday, April 11.

Joe and Neville trained almost daily in the 3 months prior to the Commonwealth Games and were coached by Adam Murrills.

Track and field competitions for the VI’s athletes will begin on Sunday, April 8 and continue through April 12.

The Games will be broadcast via Flow Sports Live and Flow’s mobile customers will also have live access via WiFi or Mobile Data to the Games via the Flow Sports 1 App. Live coverage on the Flow Sports Networks will start each evening at 7pm Eastern Caribbean Time and extend well into the late-night hours. Caribbean fans can also follow live Commonwealth Games events each morning, which is evening in Australia.

Supporters who want to follow the events and competition live must subtract 14 hours from the times scheduled on the official Gold Coast 2018 web site (www.gc2018.com).

Updates and photos will be posted regularly on the BVI Olympic Committee’s  social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

 

VI athletes showcase territory at Gold Coast 2018 at Opening

By BVI Commonwealth Games Association

Team BVI in outfits styled by Kristin Fraser of Trefle Design BVI at the Gold Coast 2018 Opening Ceremony on April 4

The Virgin Islands team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) entered the Carrara Stadium at the Opening Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, April 4. The team comprising the 10 athletes, coaches, physio and Chef de Mission, was led by 400m hurdler, Kyron McMaster who was selected as the flag bearer.

“The Opening ceremony was a great occasion for us all,” said Mark Chapman, Chef de Mission. “All the athletes were on good form and are excited for the start of the Games. It was rewarding to know that we had a fan base in the audience which included our CGA guests, Deputy Premier, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering and Mrs. Pickering.”

The celebration featured a creative mix of ancient and modern Australia, connected by an array of classic Australian images that told a universal story of inclusiveness and diversity. The official start of the 21st Commonwealth Games was announced when the Queen’s Baton – which toured through the Virgin Islands July 2 – 4, 2017 – was run into the stadium and the Queen’s message to the athletes was removed from the Baton and read out by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

The team’s outfits were styled by the VI’s Kristin Fraser of Trèfle Design. “I was excited to create the opening ceremonial wear for the team,” said Kristin. “Colours evoke moods and I wanted to create something that would make the wearer feel happy on both the inside and out amongst all the other countries around them.”

Kristin used one of her first prints ever made called the “Artwork Print” and hand-painted by a local artist/designer and selected for originality, color and fabric. The print was coupled with a sleeveless top design for the women and included an over-sized bow meant to work and look like a scarf.

“The various shades of blue represent our waters and custom converse “chucks” were made by a local shoe guru to tie the entire look together. It was all about incorporating local talent, design and color so I’m blessed to be a part of this journey with the BVI delegation” she said.

The men wore white shirts, black pants and a white scarf imprinted with the elements that make up the VI flag – the Union Jack and the territorial coat of arms which depicts Saint Ursula framed by eleven oil lamps representing the 11,000 virgins after whom the Virgin Islands were named. Beneath St. Ursula is a scroll that reads, in Latin, “Vigilate” (Be Watchful).

 

Official Welcome for VI athletes ahead of Opening Ceremony. McMaster flagbearer

The BVI delegation attend the welcome reception and flag raising ceremony at the Gold Coast 2018 Village. Photo: Mark Latimer/BVICGA

The Virgin Islands athletes and delegates attended the official welcome and flag raising ceremony at the Gold Coast 2018 Athletes’ Village on Tuesday, April 2.

The event precedes the official start of the 21st Commonwealth Games when the Queen’s Baton – which toured through the Virgin Islands July 2 – 4, 2017 – is run into the Carrara Stadium and the Queen’s message to the athletes is removed from the Baton and read to the athletes. This Opening ceremony will take place at 7.00pm on April 4 (5:00am, Wednesday, April 4, VI time) where Kyron McMaster will lead the VI contingent of 10 athletes and 5 coaches as the flag bearer. The VI team will be sporting an outfit styled by VI designer, Kristin Fraser of Trèfle BVI.

The 10 athletes will represent the territory in two sports starting with Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino in the men’s Squash singles on Thursday, April 5.

Track and field competitions for the VI’s athletes will begin with Tahesia Harrigan-Scott in the women’s 100m heats starting at 2:00pm on Sunday, April 8 (midnight, Saturday, April 7, VI time) followed by Khari Herbert in the men’s 400m at 3.25pm (1.25am, Sunday, April 8, VI time), and Eldred Henry in the men’s Shot Put at 4.35pm (2.35am, Sunday, April 8, VI time).

Ashley Kelly will run in the 400m heats at 10.30am on Monday, April 9 (8.30pm, Sunday, April 8, VI time).

Kyron McMaster will debut in the Commonwealth Games with the 400m Hurdles heats at 11.15 am on Tuesday, April 10 (9.15pm, Monday, April 9, VI time), followed by Tynelle Gumbs in the Hammer Throw at 8.40 pm (6.40 am, Tuesday, April 10, VI time).

Chantel Malone will compete in the Long Jump at 7.00pm on Wednesday, April 11 (5.00am, VI time).

Eldred will then throw the Discus at 10.00am on Thursday, April 12 (8.00pm, Wednesday, April 11, VI time) and Trevia Gumbs will hurl the Shot Put at 12.15pm (10.15 pm, Wednesday, April 11, VI time). Trevia and twin sister, Tynelle will then compete in the Discus throw at 8.40pm that night (6.40am, Thursday, April 12, VI time).

The Games will be broadcast via Flow Sports Live and Flow’s mobile customers will also have live access via WiFi or Mobile Data to the Games via the Flow Sports 1 App. Live coverage on the Flow Sports Networks will start each evening at 7pm Eastern Caribbean Time and extend well into the late-night hours. Caribbean fans can also follow live Commonwealth Games events each morning, which is evening in Australia.

Supporters who want to follow the events and competition live must subtract 14 hours from the times scheduled on the official Gold Coast 2018 web site (www.gc2018.com).

To date the VI has participated in 7 Commonwealth Games, the first being in athletics in Auckland, New Zealand in 1990. The Gold Coast 2018 Games will be the territory’s 8th appearance and is the first major international event since the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

With more than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories from 6 continents coming together to participate in the Friendly Games, organizers of the GC2018 say that this will be the largest sporting event that Australia will see this decade and will be the biggest sporting spectacular the Gold Coast has ever seen.

The Commonwealth Games Federation vision is to build peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities globally by inspiring Commonwealth Athletes to drive the impact and ambition of all Commonwealth Citizens through Sport. The vision, mission and values of the Commonwealth Sports Movement hinge on three core values: Humanity, Equality, and Destiny.

#TeamBVI settle in ahead of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

The first arrivals of #teambvi at the Gold Coast 2018 Games have dinner at the Village on March 27. Photo: BVICGA

The complete British Virgin Islands contingent attending the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is now in Australia ready for the Opening Ceremony on April 4 when over 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 nations and territories will converge on the Gold Coast for an 11 day sporting and cultural event.

Planning to deal with the challenges of competing in a country which is 14 hours ahead of local Eastern Standard Time, athletes started to arrive into the Gold Coast from March 27 to work on adjusting their body clock and acclimate to the weather, which varies between warm and sunny days and cooler, wet ones.

Chef de Mission, Mark Chapman, got to the Athletes’ Village on March 26 to ensure that all was in place for a smooth transition for the team. The BVICGA assistants Kathrine and Lynne, who were assigned by the organizers of the Games, worked alongside the CGA attaché, former VI resident, Julie Pearson to get the accommodation comfortable and the uniforms sorted.

The first batch of the ten competing athletes and the coaches to be welcomed by the Chef de Mission were Ashley Kelly (200m), Chantel Malone (Long Jump), Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (1oom), Khari Herbert (400m), and Kyron McMaster (400m Hurdles) along with coaches, Joey Scott, Winston Potter, and Teymahl Huggins.

Some of the athletes went to the track that day while others had treatment with the team resident physio, Mark Latimer to shake out the journey.

“Everyone is in good spirits despite their long flights and the camaraderie and humour amongst them is infectious and invigorating,” said the Chef de Mission.  “We had a pleasant dinner all together in the main dining hall and everyone was able to connect with old friends from other nations, which apart from the sport itself, is one of the ways in which the Commonwealth Games is unique in bringing cultures and friendships across boundaries together.”

The athletes have rated the practice facilities first class and the athletes took full advantage of the polyclinic before it got too busy over the weekend.

Throwing coach, Omar Jones arrived on Thursday, March 29. That same day some of the athletes went to the training venue whilst others had a gym day at the village.

BVICGA President, Ephraim Penn and Secretary General, Lloyd Black, arrived into Gold Coast on March 30 in time for the CGF General Assembly on March 31.

On April 1, Das Surapaneni, a guest of the BVICGA, arrived. Now retired, Das who was a PE teacher for many years at the BVI High School (now the Elmore Stoutt High School) made great contributions to sport in the territory.

Athletes also took things up a notch again at the gym and the track on Easter Sunday.

“Everyone is very relaxed and enjoying quiet and calm in this mid-period between recovery from travel and their final event preparation,” reported the Chef de Mission.

The final complement of athletes and coaches arrived early in the morning on Monday, April 2 when Squash players Joe Chapman, and Neville Sorrentino – both playing in the singles and doubles – and their coach, Adam Murrills and the remaining 3 field athletes, Eldred Henry (Discus and Shot Put), Trevia Gumbs (Discus, Shot Put), and Tynelle Gumbs (Discus, Hammer Throw)received a a warm welcome into the village.

The 21st Commonwealth Games will be broadcast via Flow Sports Live and Flow’s mobile customers will also have live access via WiFi or Mobile Data to the Games via the Flow Sports 1 App. Live coverage on the Flow Sports Networks will start each evening at 7pm Eastern Caribbean Time and extend well into the late-night hours. Caribbean fans can also follow live Commonwealth Games events each morning, which is evening in Australia.

Supporters who want to follow the events and competition live must subtract 14 hours from the times scheduled on the official Gold Coast 2018 web site (www.gc2018.com).

VI athletes get set for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

By BVICGA

VI athletes selected to compete at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia from April 4 – 15, 2018 are (clockwise from top left): Chantel Malone (Long Jump), Kyron McMaster (400M Hurdles), Khari Herbert (400m), Joseph Chapman (Singles and Doubles Squash), Neville Sorrentino (Singles and Doubles Squash), Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (100m), Ashley Kelly (400m), Tynelle Gumbs (Discus and Hammer Throw), Trevia Gumbs (Discus and Shot Put), Eldred Henry (Discus and Shot Put). Photo: BVIOC

The Virgin Islands will be represented by ten athletes in two sports at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games which will be held on the East coast of Australia from April 4 – 15, 2018.

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) in its capacity as the Commonwealth Games Association (CGA), is the local entity responsible for managing and undertaking the administration requirements for participation. The CGA also serves as the body to whom National Federations present their qualified athletes to undergo the selection process.

The following athletes have been selected based on their performance in the national and international arena:

Track and Field athletes include Ashley Kelly (400m), Chantel Malone (Long Jump), Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (100m), Tynelle Gumbs (Discus and Hammer Throw), Trevia Gumbs (Discus and Shot Put), Eldred Henry (Discus and Shot Put), Khari Herbert (400m), and Kyron McMaster (400m Hurdles).

Squash players include Joe Chapman (Squash Singles and Doubles), and Neville Sorrentino (Squash Singles and Doubles).

Commending the athletes on their selection, CGA President, Ephraim Penn said, “The Commonwealth Games is one of the five main international sporting events that VI athletes aspire to compete in and it’s not easy to be selected. We have a restriction on the number of athletes that can take part in the Games based on our past participation, and the selected sports men and women should be justifiably proud that their hard work and commitment has paid off. We are excited to be heading off with what is perhaps one of the largest and strongest teams to represent the territory at these Games.”

Noting further that the August floods, and Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused severe damage to sporting facilities in the VI resulting in the set back of the progress of sports in the territory, Mr. Penn said “We recognize the effort, determination and perseverance required by the athletes to stay on track despite the challenges that they faced from the impact of the storms on their homes, their families and not least, the tragic loss of Athletics head coach, Dag Samuels. The CGA highly commends and congratulates all those selected and looks forward to the positive impact a successful Games will have on the morale of all our athletes and the territory.”

Events are spread out over a number of venues and the Gold Coast’s Carrara Stadium will be the venue for Athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies, while Squash will be held at Oxenford.

“I visited the Gold Coast 2018 venues at the end of 2017 and was impressed with the facilities that await our athletes,” said Mr. Mark Chapman, Chef De Mission for GC2018. “Australia is a long-haul trip and many of our athletes will begin their journey in a few weeks so that they can settle in, acclimate and get on with their training regime ahead of their events. I am in regular contact with the athletes and coaches both directly and through the National Federations to ensure that everyone is informed and well prepared for these exciting Games.”

Officials attending the Games include Mark Chapman, Chef de Mission; Julie Pearson, Attaché; Athletics coaches Loren Seagrave, Joey Scott, Winston Potter, and Omar Jones; and Squash coach Adam Murrills. Mark Latimer will be the Team Physio.

The BVI CGA will be represented by President, Ephraim Penn and Secretary General, Lloyd Black.

It is expected that Dr. The Honourable Kedrick Pickering will also be in attendance as a representative of the Virgin Islands.

Conducted every four years since inception in 1930, the GC2018 will be the 21st edition of the sporting event known as the Friendly Games. To date the VI has participated in 7 Commonwealth Games, the first being in athletics in Auckland, New Zealand in 1990. The Gold Coast 2018 Games will be the territory’s 8th appearance and is the first major international event since the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The GC2018 opening ceremony will kick off when the Queen’s Baton Relay – the pre-cursor to the Commonwealth Games which toured through the Virgin Islands July 2 – 4, 2017 – is run into the Carrara Stadium and the Queen’s message to the athletes is removed from the Baton and read to the athletes.

With more than 6,600 athletes and team officials expected from 70 Commonwealth nations and territories from 6 continents to come together to participate in the Friendly Games, organizers of the GC2018 say that this will be the largest sporting event that Australia will see this decade and will be the biggest sporting spectacular the Gold Coast has ever seen.

The Commonwealth Games Federation vision is to build peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities globally by inspiring Commonwealth Athletes to drive the impact and ambition of all Commonwealth Citizens through Sport. The vision, mission and values of the Commonwealth Sports Movement hinge on three core values: Humanity, Equality, and Destiny.

The Queen’s Baton Relay Itinerary and Route in the Virgin Islands

The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton and international crew will arrive from Anguilla into the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport, Virgin Islands on Saturday, July 1 at 7.00pm.

The international crew will have a rest day on Sunday, July 2.

Full engagement and the official start of the Queen’s Baton Relay kicks off at 9.00am on Monday, July 3 with the Opening Ceremony at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park.

The Queen’s Baton has a GPS tracking system so that the world can follow its route. A QBR photographer is documenting the baton’s journey throughout the Commonwealth nations and Overseas Territories to share with the world. It is an opportunity for the VI to showcase its culture, hospitality and beauty. All are invited to come together to Share the Dream by joining in the Queen’s Baton Relay.

The Queen’s Baton will pass through communities on Tortola and Jost Van Dyke on Monday, July 3 and through Virgin Gorda on the morning of Tuesday, July 4, before it returns to Trellis Bay and East End/Long Look, Tortola that afternoon at 4.30pm.

The pace is a gentle jog or walk to enable all members of the community to participate regardless of their age or ability.

The two days of activity will culminate with a closing ceremony and cultural presentation at 6.00pm at the Central Admin Complex on Tuesday, July 4. Local food and drinks will be on sale. All welcome!

Click to see the full itinerary and route.

Join in and share the event page on FaceBook. Please use #QBR2018 to share your QBR stories on social media!