#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


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.