New date for BVIOC community walks to mark Olympic Day

The BVI Olympic Committee has rescheduled the community walks to mark Olympic Day to now take place on Saturday, July 4, 2020 with no changes to the original locations and registration time of 5:30am.

“The air quality forecast for Saturday, June 27 was cause for concern and after consultation with the Chief Medical Officer and the walk organisers, we decided that it was in the best interest of all participants to reschedule the Olympic Day Community Walks to take place at the same time next Saturday, July 4,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We realise that this may cause some disruption to plans but we would like to see more persons able to join in the walks in their neighbourhood and to move and stay active and encourage folks to mark the new date in their calendars.”

The BVIOC in collaboration with its National Federations and community groups will be hosting early morning community walks throughout the Virgin Islands to promote the Olympic Day message to #StayActive.

Registration for the walks in Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada will start at 5:30am in all locations apart from in Sea Cow’s Bay which will start at 6:00am and Brewer’s Bay which will start at 5:15am. Registration locations are as follows:
Basketball court, West End; Myett’s car park, Cane Garden Bay; Nichol’s Beach Bar, Brewer’s Bay; Manuel Reef car park, Sea Cow’s Bay; Tortola Sports Club, Road Town; YEP in Long Look and Trellis Bay car park in East End. Walks also will take place in Jost Van Dyke, registration in front of the Government Administration buildings, Great Harbour and at the HLSCC in The Valley, Virgin Gorda and the Claudia Creque Education Center in Anegada.

Walk managers include volunteers from the VI Archery Association, BVI Athletics Association, BVI Rugby, Taekwondo, BVI Squash Federation, VI Softball/Baseball Association, YEP, TSC, Brewer’s Bay Action Committee, Jost Van Dyke Resilience Team led by Mr. Mark Morris, Mr. Milton McLean and Sister Island Coordinator, Ms Sasha Flax.

Staggered start times will be managed to keep walking groups to a maximum of 20 persons with 6ft distance between participating households. Walkers are requested to cooperate with the walk managers in their efforts to keep the activity safe for everyone.

Participants will receive a free tee shirts and Dasani Water and Powerade distributed by Road Town Wholesale on a first-come-first-serve basis. Walkers are advised to also bring their own water to ensure proper hydration. Organisers are requesting the return of the empty plastic bottles so that they may be properly disposed of in the recycling bins.

In the interests of public health and safety, potential participants are advised to stay home if feeling unwell, running a temperature or living in the same household as quarantined persons.

About Olympic Day
June 23 is marked in the international sporting calendar as international Olympic Day. Originally observed by just 9 countries on that day in 1948, the IOC launched the symbolic run in 1987 which encouraged all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport. From 45 participating NOCs in the first edition in 1987, the numbers have grown to more than 100 participating NOCs.

Today, Olympic Day is built on the three pillars “move”, “learn” and “discover” integrating sports, education and cultural aspects to broaden the community reach and appeal. and to motivate and encourage people of all ages and abilities to engage in healthy, physical activity.

In 2012, the BVIOC was one of the few NOCs to host a celebration of all sports on Olympic Day at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. The morning of activity started with a 2-mile run followed by a discussion panel featuring local sporting personalities and moderated by Mr. Rey O’Neal. The action continued with National Federations showcasing their sports and encouraging public participation and ended with a performance by the Lashing Dogs. This format of interactive engagement was adopted as the global template in 2017 at which time the BVIOC officially launched its annual Sports Festival to mark Olympic Day.

BVIOC organises community walks to mark Olympic Day

Simone Foster, an annual participant, celebrates the end of an Olympic Day walk in the Virgin Islands

The BVI Olympic Committee in collaboration with its National Federations and community groups will be hosting early morning community walks throughout the Virgin Islands on Saturday, June 27, 2020 to promote the Olympic Day message to #StayActive.

The community walks will take place in lieu of the annual interactive Sports Festival which officially have taken place since 2017 to mark Olympic Day.

“This year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the BVIOC to rethink its programme of an interactive discussion session and mini sports clinics planned for the 2020 Sports Festival and to organize an activity that would be compliant with the current local health protocols and social distancing measures” said Ephraim Penn, President, BVIOC. “With our low rate of infection and no current active cases, the proposal to host regulated walks in communities throughout the Districts met with approval from the Chief Medical Officer. The walks will start as early in the morning as curfew restrictions allow to try and beat the heat and will follow easy routes so as to be manageable by all ages and abilities.”

Registration for the walks will start at 5:30am in all locations apart from in Sea Cow’s Bay which will start at 6:00am and Brewer’s Bay which will start at 5:15am. Registration locations are as follows:
Basketball court, West End; Myett’s car park, Cane Garden Bay; Nichol’s Beach Bar, Brewer’s Bay; Manuel Reef car park, Sea Cow’s Bay, Tortola Sports Club, Road Town; YEP in Long Look and Trellis Bay car park in East End. Walks also will take place in Jost Van Dyke, registration in front of the Government Administration buildings, Great Harbour and at the HLSCC in The Valley, Virgin Gorda.

Walk managers include volunteers from the VI Archery Association, BVI Athletics Association, BVI Rugby, Taekwondo, BVI Squash Federation, VI Softball/Baseball Association, YEP, TSC, Brewer’s Bay Action Committee, Jost Van Dyke Resilience Team led by Mr. Mark Morris, Mr. Milton McLean and Sister Island Coordinator, Ms Sasha Flax.

Staggered start times will be managed to keep walking groups to a maximum of 20 persons with 6ft distance between participating households. Walkers are requested to cooperate with the walk managers in their efforts to keep the activity safe for everyone.

Participants will receive a free tee shirts and Dasani Water and Powerade distributed by Road Town Wholesale on a first-come-first-serve basis. Walkers are advised to also bring their own water to ensure proper hydration. Organisers are requesting the return of the empty plastic bottles so that they may be properly disposed of in the recycling bins.

In the interests of public health and safety, potential participants are advised to stay home if feeling unwell, running a temperature or living in the same household as quarantined persons.

About Olympic Day
June 23 is marked in the international sporting calendar as international Olympic Day. Originally observed by just 9 countries on that day in 1948, the IOC launched the symbolic run in 1987 which encouraged all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport. From 45 participating NOCs in the first edition in 1987, the numbers have grown to more than 100 participating NOCs.

Today, Olympic Day is built on the three pillars “move”, “learn” and “discover” integrating sports, education and cultural aspects to broaden the community reach and appeal. and to motivate and encourage people of all ages and abilities to engage in healthy, physical activity.

In 2012, the BVIOC was one of the few NOCs to host a celebration of all sports on Olympic Day at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. The morning of activity started with a 2-mile run followed by a discussion panel featuring local sporting personalities and moderated by Mr. Rey O’Neal. The action continued with National Federations showcasing their sports and encouraging public participation and ended with a performance by the Lashing Dogs. This format of interactive engagement was adopted as the global template in 2017 at which time the BVIOC officially launched its annual Sports Festival to mark Olympic Day.

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.

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 leolafoye@gmail.com 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 cmfarrington@bviolympics.org 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!