BVI among first in Caribbean to complete Physical Literacy and LTAD Series

BVI school principals with members of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Committee. Photo: BVIOC

Workshop #5, the final in the series on Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and Physical Literacy (PL), was held at the Training Division Conference Room May 18 – 19, 2017.

This marked the culmination of the BVIOC/ CANOC initiative which was launched in the Virgin Islands as one of the test beds for the introduction of similar programmes across the Caribbean. The other countries were the Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, and Suriname.

The objective was to develop Long Term Athlete Development sport models and introduce the concept of Physical Literacy: “Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.”- The International Physical Literacy Association, May 2014.

Day 1
The facilitators Mr. Drew Mitchel and Mr. Thomas Jones of Canada Sport for Life met with the Chief Education Officer, Mrs. Connie George, Education Officers, principals from public and private schools, Dr. Monica Sagala, Deputy Director of Medical Services of the BVI Health Services Authority and other health representatives. The attendees were enthusiastic and pledged to get their schools more involved in physical activities.

“The workshop was wonderful and was a great opportunity to meet with other principals and educational personnel. The concerns were similar. I will continue to encourage a healthy lifestyle and the integration of physical activities in the daily lives of my students. I will use our school assembly to reinforce the concept of Physical Literacy,” said Dr. Antoinette Rock, Principal of St Georges Secondary.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the session on Physical Literacy. I believe it is a needed component in our curriculum in the VI. I plan to implement school-wide programs and encourage movement and healthy lifestyle practices,” said Mr. Orlandette Crabbe, Principal of Joyce Samuel Primary School. “My PE teacher has been charged with developing a plan for the new school year with regards to Physical Literacy.”

Day 2
Physical Education teachers of public and private schools, health liaison teachers, gym instructors and early childhood educators attended the workshop. Topics covered included integrating Physical Literacy into warm up routines, increasing performances of all participants and Physical Literacy Play Tool assessment for sport practices, Physical Education and group exercises.

“The Physical Literacy Workshop I must say was a grateful opportunity for me to be a part of. It has enhanced my knowledge and future thoughts on the importance of a physically balanced lifestyle and has already put me into action to find various strategies and goals from both workshops to execute in my curriculum at Akua Roots 24 Family Care effectively with results that will last a lifetime and promote optimum health and quality of life,” said Shevonne Findlay, Akua Roots 24 Hours Family Care.

As an outcome of these workshops, Physical Literacy is now an integral part of the curriculum in the government Primary Schools and is expected to become a buzz word in the High School.

The teachers of the Early Childhood Centers have expressed eagerness to include the concept in their daily routines. The BVI Health Service Authority is in the process of rolling out the “Green Prescription” through which doctors will prescribe a battery of physical activities, initially in addition to medication in an attempt to lessen the occurrences of non-communicable diseases.

National Federations present LTAD sport models
The LTAD sport models for Athletics, Archery, Basketball, Rugby and Sailing were handed over by the project leads to the President of the BVI Olympic Committee, Mr. Ephraim Penn at a ceremony held at the Old Government House Museum.

Minister for Education, Culture and Sports, Hon. Myron V. Walwyn, presidents of the national sport federations, and the executive of the BVIOC and guests were in attendance.

The project leads for the sports were awarded CS4L International Certificates and others were awarded certificates of recognition.

“We are excited about future projects in the BVI and want to thank you all for your boundless energy and interest in working with us to help improve the health and physical activity possibilities for people in this country. It is truly a special place,” said Tomas Jones of Canada Sport for Life.

Mr. Ephraim Penn and the National Coordinator of the LTAD and Physical Literacy, Mrs. Angeleta Bernard are pleased with the results of the 18 months of dedicated work by the project leads and the cooperation of the national federations.

Mrs. Bernard is grateful to the BVIOC for the opportunity to have served as coordinator.

Coaches attend 2nd Long Term Athlete Development workshop

LTAD bannerThe second BVI Olympic Committee Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Workshop was held at the Olympic Committee office May 27 – 28, 2016.

Representatives from the Football, Rugby, Tennis, Sailing, Basketball, Athletics and Archery federations attended the 2-day sessions which were facilitated by Mr. Istvan Balyi from Canada Sport for Life Society (CS4L), one of the initiative’s three co-sponsors.

The first session covered the key factors pertinent to athlete development and the 5 basic ‘S’s of training and performance – Stamina (Endurance), Strength, Speed, Skill, and Suppleness (Flexibility).

Coaches were also taken through the process and measurements required to manage athletic development. They were instructed on how to optimise training and output based on the distinct capacities of male and female athletes according to their individual physical, mental and cognitive, and emotional development. By applying the appropriate ‘periodisation’ model, coaches can identify periods of optimal trainability throughout the life of an athlete to help them reach their full genetic potential.

The second session focused on discussing the project outlines in the areas of Sport, Health and Education that were submitted for further development following on from the first workshop.

All the sporting organizations that were in attendance will now begin to work on the LTAD for their sport beginning with an assessment of “where we are now” to be followed by “where we want to be”.

The premise of the LTAD program is that it will pave the way for a healthier and more productive life and prepare the territory’s athletes for podium finishes at regional and international competitions.

“I was impressed with the workshop. I now see how Physical Literacy, the number 1 key factor of LTAD, is very important to the health of the nation, the development of sport and the concept of ‘Active for Life’,” commented Mr. Rhennie Phipps, a national Junior Basketball coach.

Other co-sponsors of the workshop include the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) with full endorsement from the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The next workshop is set for September of this year and will cover Physical Literacy as a key factor for sport development.