Community joins BVIOC in celebrating Olympic Day with Sports Festival

Participants of the 2018 Olympic Day Sports Festival. Photo: CM Farrington/BVIOC

Olympic Day in the Virgin Islands hosted by the Olympic Committee kicked off on June 23 with an early morning run and walk. This was followed by a Sports Festival to mark the globally celebrated day which locally, took place at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds featuring several National Sporting Federations and their athletes.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC also used the occasion to hand over new equipment donated by PanAm Sports to benefit the track and field athlete members of the BVI Athletic Association. Kit included shot puts, discus, hammer, and electronic starting blocks.

Around 70 runners and walkers registered for the 6.30am 10km/5km run and 1 mile run/walk on Saturday with top finishers receiving special edition BVIOC shirts and bags as prizes. More people arrived at the recreation grounds and the multi sports complex mid-morning to watch demonstrations and try their hand in athletics, archery, basketball, football, rugby, tennis, and volleyball.

Mr. Penn summarized the activities and achievements of the national federations over the last 12 months and invited attending national federation representatives to provide additional information on their progress.

“The public may be forgiven for thinking that sports had been put on the back burner since the August floods and Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Mr. Penn. “However, this is not the case as illustrated by the National Federations’ reports of individual and team success. We are encouraged and excited that not only did the coaches and athletes show their resilience and determination to continue with their sports following the natural disasters, but they went on to win medals, titles and trophies and improve on their previous scores and times! Congratulations to all involved.”

Coaches from Athletics, Archery, Football, Rugby, and Tennis spoke on the recovery of their sports following the August floods and September hurricanes and encouraged attendees at the Sports Festival to join in their demo sessions taking place on the field. A 12-month review of the National Federation activities is set out below.

The morning set up included a 10,000 Step Challenge and an information booth on anti-doping. There were children’s bouncy castles courtesy of Digicel and Red Cross volunteers were on hand to ensure the safety of all participants. Roadtown Wholesale provided Dasani water, Powerade, Coca Cola and Sprite throughout the day.

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, “For the past 70 years, Olympic Day commemorates the founding modern Olympic Movement. Olympic Day reminds us that anyone, anywhere, can enjoy and benefit from sport. In our fast-changing society, Olympic Day is an excellent way to encourage all people to lead healthy and active lives and to promote the role of sport in society. Our thanks and gratitude go to the National Olympic Committees who are bringing sport and its values closer to the people through the many sporting, educational and cultural activities that are organized throughout the year. Thank you for encouraging people of all backgrounds and ability to get up and get moving, to discover sport and to embrace Olympic Values. ”

Photo: BVI Rugby Football Union

Junior tennis players. Photo; BVI Tennis Association













Review of National Federation Activity June 2017 – June 2018

BVI Athletics Association
2017 OECS Track & Field Championships – Team BVI won the Meet title.

2017 Commonwealth Youth Games – Djimon Gumbs placed third in the discus with a distance of 56.24 meters. Beyonce Defreitas placed second in the 200m with a time of 23.88 seconds.

2017 Diamond League Championships – Kyron McMaster won the event with a time of 48.07 seconds.

2017 World Championships – Chantel Malone placed 7th with a jump of 6.57 meters becoming the first BVI athlete making it to a final of a Major Championship Outdoor Meet

2018 Carifta Games – Rikkoi Brathwaite placed third in the 100m with a time of 10.46 seconds (BVI’s first medal in the male sprints in 41 years)

2018 Commonwealth Games – Chantel Malone placed 5th with a jump of 6.48 meters
Kyron McMaster won the event with a time of 48.25 seconds

Virgin Islands Archery Association
2017 – National Archery introduced in the schools’ program and 21 Students received scholarships of the $20K that was awarded in 2017. Participating schools included Cedar International School, Elmore Stoutt High School, Bregado Flax, Willard Wheatley, and Francis Lettsome Primary School.

The National Archery Team competed in Puerto Rico at the JEB Cup Developmental Championships and brought home 16 medals competing against 17 other countries (
5 gold, 6 silver, 3 bronze).

2018 – After the departure of a few members of the team due to hurricane Irma, only 3 members of the National Archery Team traveled to the Dominican Republic in April to compete in their first world ranking event. The team missed the mark by 1 spot for the CAC Games.

BVI Football Association
2017 – At the Concacaf U 15 tournament, the national team won 8-2 v. Montserrat, 2-0 v. Anguilla, and 8-2 v. Turks & Caicos and finished 4th out of 16 in Division C.
January 2018 – Played in the Premier U 12 Tournament in Puerto Rico and finished 3rd having won 1, drawn 1, and lost 1.
2018 U 14 Flanders Cup in St. Martin – Finished 2nd having defeated the favourites Martinique and St. Martin teams to advance in the finals.

At the 2018 World Cup, Deshawn Richardson, 13 and 12 year old Ryan Ramlall attended the Gasprom F4F 2018 program in Moscow, Russia as a footballer and journalist respectively. The boys participated in 3-day camps which focused respectively in journalism and soccer. The culmination were interviews by Ryan getting published and Deshawn’s team, the Humpback Whales, making it to the semi-finals of the F4F championship. Both Ryan and Deshawn represented the BVI well.

BVIFA also have successfully conducted the Senior Men’s National League and the Primary and Secondary School Leagues.

BVI Rugby Football Union
Rugby is now back in the schools and training is in full swing for all men and women.
In April 2018, BVI won the Kowloon 10s RugbyFest in Hong Kong.
In May 2018, the national team represented in an international match against Turks and Caicos Islands in the TCI.

Royal BVI Yacht Club
BVI youth sailing is ongoing at Nanny Cay Marina.
Thad Lettsome, representing the BVI at the 47th Youth Sailing World Championships in Sanya, China in December 2017 finished in 33rd position in the Laser Radial Class.
The RBVIYC hosted the annual Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy in February, the annual BVI Spring Regatta in April and the 2018 BVI Dinghy Championships in May.

BVI Squash Rackets Association
A new coach will start the squash program in July. Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino competed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Joe won the Plate.
The VI team competed in the annual OECS Squash Championships in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in May.

BVI Swimming Association
Elinah Phillip won 3 silver medals in the 50m Fly, 50m Freestyle, and 200m Freestyle at the Carifta Swimming Championships held in Jamaica in April.

BVI Tennis Association
Tennis programme is ongoing at the East End Tennis Courts.
Deandrea Baijnauth competed in the C. O. Williams COTECC U14s International Junior Tennis Tournament in Barbados in April.
Three juniors competed in the 6th annual Caribbean 12 & Under Junior Invitational Tennis Tournament in Antigua in May.
The association successfully hosted open tennis days for Mothers’ Day and World Tennis Day.

Virgin Islands Volleyball Association
The association organised the 2 on 2 male and female Beach volleyball tournament which concluded earlier in June.

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 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.”

Olympic day activities celebrate the countdown to Rio 2016

OlypicDay2016 (7)The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) will be celebrating its annual Olympic Day event with multi-sport activities hosted at the Tortola Sports Club on Saturday, June 25th, 2016 from 2:30 pm – 6pm.

Based on the Olympic Day pillars of ‘Discover’, ‘Learn’, ‘Move’, activities kick off at 2:30pm with an opportunity for the public to discover a new sport and  learn about Archery, Rugby, Taekwondo, Squash, and Sailing from the representative national federations and by taking part in the interactive demonstrations.

Other highlights include the announcement of confirmed athletes to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Rio 2016 athletes’ slideshow, the unveiling of major Games uniforms, Rio ticketing information, tips and massages from Professionals for La Ambience Spa, the reading of the Olympic Day Message, and concluding with movement with the symbolic Olympic Day 2 mile run/walk through Road Town at 4:45pm.

The Virgin Gorda community will celebrate by assembling at the College grounds, Enid Pickering Building at the HLSCC Virgin Gorda Centre at 6:30am for the Olympic Day Run/Walk. Interested persons may contact Gloria L. Geoge at and by mobile ‘phone on (284) 547 7404.

Free Olympic Day T-Shirts and Dasani water and Powerade, compliments of Road Town Wholesale (1975) Ltd., will be distributed to all participants.

Activities are open to adults and children of all ages and ability levels. Come out, take part and together let’s support the Olympic Movement!

For more information, please contact Cleave Farrigton, Executive Director, BVIOC by email at or by telephone on (284) 494 6920.

VI’s Nanjing 2014 athletes announced at Olympic Day celebrations

Olympic Day celebrations at Tortola Sports Club

Olympic Day celebrations at Tortola Sports Club. Photo: BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) announced the 7 athletes who will be representing the Virgin Islands at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in swimming, sailing, and athletics. The announcement and a special presentation of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games Participant’s Pin were part of Olympic Day celebrations hosted at the Tortola Sports Club on Saturday, June 21.

In his remarks Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC, said, “2014 is a busy year for the BVIOC. In addition to the Sochi 2014 Winter Games that took place in February, there are no less than 4 global games and competitions coming up in which the Virgin Islands expects to participate. These include the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games which take place July 23 – August 3 in Scotland, the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games which take place August 16 – 28 in China, and the Vera Cruz 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games which take place November 14 – 30 in Mexico. We then have the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games which will take place that summer in Brazil.”

“It is an exciting period for the BVIOC Executive board as we continue to see up and coming young athletes make the mark and join the roll call of competitors who have represented the Virgin Islands at major games,” added Penn.

The Nanjing 2014 competitors from athletics include sprinter, Nelda Huggins; 100m hurdler, Deya Erickson; Long Jumper, Kala Penn; 400m intermediate hurdler, Kyron McMaster; and triple jumper, Akeem Bradshaw who all qualified for the second Youth Olympic Games during the 2014 Carifta Games held in April in Martinique.

Sam Morrell will be representing the Virgin Islands in sailing following his success in the 2014 Byte CII North American Championships to become the first VI sailor to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games.

In another first for the VI, Amarah Phillips will be competing in swimming.

Chef de Mission for Nanjing 2014, Mrs. Stephanie Russ-Penn, who announced the athletes said: “These kids will get the opportunity not just to go and compete, but they will have an opportunity to develop themselves because these games are nothing like any other games. It’s completely designed to give them both a cultural, educational, as well as competitive experience.”

Mr. Lloyd Black, Secretary General for the BVIOC, reiterated Stephanie’s remarks by recognising the hard work, diligence and perseverance of the athletes required to make the qualifying marks.

The programme of events continued with the presentation of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games Participant’s Pin to Peter Adam Crook, the VI’s half- pipe skier. Mr. Paul Hewlett, Deputy Director of the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, representing the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports presented the pin to Adam.

Mr. Rey O’Neal, Past President of the BVIOC provided an overview of the Olympic history of the VI which had made its Olympic debut with speed skater, Errol Canute Fraser in the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Games. Adam is the territory’s second Winter Olympian.

Drawing events to a close, Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC read out the Olympic Day message from Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee. He then invited the gathering of over 90 participants of all ages to join in the symbolic Olympic Day run through Road Town before returning to the sports club to collect their Certificate of Participation.

The afternoon set up at the sports club included information desks run by the National Federations for Swimming, Sailing, and Athletics, and the VI branch of the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO).

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and Lifeline BVI, a privately owned, ambulance and EMT service, ensured the safety of the runners and walkers. Roadtown Wholesale distributed Dasani water and Powerade to participants along the route and at the sports club. Ice and coolers were provided by MBs Ice.

Cleave Farrington, Executive Director of the BVIOC and lead, event organizer, acknowledged several individuals from the community who had volunteered their time to assist with the set up, registration, and marshaling of the event.

Earlier in the day, an Olympic Day run was held in the Valley, Virgin Gorda while the BVI Tri Federation held a children’s triathlon event at Smuggler’s Cove, Tortola.

Olympic Day Message – IOC President, Thomas Bach

Today, people all over the world are celebrating Olympic Day. I am pleased to have this chance to greet you. Because today, together,we are sharing a success story. Like you, millions of other people in their own countries are taking part, regardless of age, sex or sporting ability.

On this day, we remember the creation of our modern Olympic Movement. We are demonstrating the Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect. For this reason, today is not just about having fun through sport and physical activity. Olympic Day is more than that.

We invite everyone, everywhere, “to move, to learn and to discover”—through sport and beyond sport. It is especially good to see more and more young people taking part. Make full use of all the sporting and cultural opportunities in your community and neighbourhood. Invite other people to join in.

Because that is what is so special about Olympic Day: It doesn’t really matter how you celebrate it, so long as more and more people get to move, learn and discover. That way, we can all help to make our future a better place to live. That is the Olympic ideal.

I wish you all a happy Olympic Day 2014!