BVIOC distributes Panam Sports coach funding to national federations

BVIOC presents coach hiring funds from Panam Sports to its national federations
BVI National Federations receive coach hiring funds from Panam Sports distributed by the BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee distributed cheques totaling $100,000 from Panam Sports to 14 of its member federations on June 26, 2020. The funds are part of Panam Sports’ special project for the hiring of coaches in support of sports development in the Americas.

The 14 national federations which currently are active and which are recipients of the coaching funds include Archery, Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Football, Rugby, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Sailing, Softball/Baseball, Squash, Swimming and Volleyball.

“Coaching is a fundamental part of the success of any athlete or team and the development of sports,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The BVIOC applied to receive its allocation of $100,000 from Panam Sports which earmarked the money specifically for the hiring of coaches. The BVIOC and its national federations are very appreciative of the funding which is yet another demonstration of Panam Sports’ continued commitment to supporting the growth and development of sports across its 41 member nations which includes the Virgin Islands.”

The funding for coaches is one of the latest tangible resources Panam Sports has made available to the BVIOC and its member federations. Sports and athletes receive the direct benefits which the BVIOC apply for whether it’s through a donation of training equipment, funds for repairs to facilities – including the replacement of the Mondo track at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds or through development initiatives such as coach training sessions.

Panam Sports is also engaged with all athletes across the continent with its ongoing virtual support sessions featuring professional experts in all aspects of sports both physical and psychological. The virtual sessions were introduced as part of the organizations’ response to the impact of COVID-19 on athletes and their training and competition programmes in the lead up to the now rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

About Panam Sports

The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) was established on August 8th, 1948 and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the continental Association of the NOCs of the Americas. In 2017 the organization was rebranded as Panam Sports.

Its principal objects are the celebration and conduct of the Pan American Games and the promotion, development and protection of sport, as well as the Olympic Movement, in the Americas through its member NOCs. The current President, Neven Ilic, has held the post since 2017.

Malone, Lettsome to attend inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala

With the aim of recognizing the effort, passion and dedication of the athletes of the Americas, for the first time in history, Panam Sports is bringing together athletes, media, sport and government leaders to an awards ceremony on December 13 honoring the best of the best in sport in 2019, with the highlight being the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Chantel Malone – who made history when she won the Virgin Islands’ first Panam Games medal with her gold winning leap of 6.68m in the long jump – and Thad Lettsome, the VI’s first sailor in the Games since the 1990s – will join Olympians, World Champions, historical sporting icons and those who shined brightest in the Peruvian capital at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC will also be in attendance.

“This is a momentous occasion for the Virgin Islands,” said Mr. Penn. “We are exceptionally proud of Chantel and Thad who were selected from thousands of athletes to be invited to attend this special, historic event.”

The evening is expected to rival those seen in Hollywood, complete with Red Carpet, bright lights, artistic performances, glamor and emotion.

Featuring the great athletes of the Americas, the Panam Sports family and VIP guests, the historic ceremony honouring the greatest moments and performances from the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games will be broadcast live for the world to see who will be crowned the Best Athletes of the Americas.

The Panam Sports Awards will officially begin at 7:00 pm EST and will conclude at 8:15pm EST.

Univisión is producing and transmitting the event that will be shown free-to-air on their television network on Saturday, December 14 at 11:00 pm EST, 10:00 pm CST and 8:00 pm PST. The special program will feature the best moments and highlights from the inaugural Panam Sports Awards called “Gala del Deporte de las Américas”.

Sports fans across the globe will also be able to watch the Panam Sports Awards ceremony live through multiple streaming platforms. ESPN PLAY will stream the event throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; the R7 channel owned by Record TV in Brazil will also live-stream; and of course, the new and improved Panam Sports Channel will begin the live-stream at 5:00 pm EST from the Red Carpet.

ABOUT PANAM SPORTS

The Pan American Sports Organization (Panam Sports) is the leader of sport and the Olympic Movement in the Americas. We propel the development of sport and support our 41 member National Olympic Committees to inspire more participation in international competitions as well as participation of the youth to prepare the generation to come in our region.

Panam Sports works closely with athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOC), Organizing Committees of all regional games, Pan American Sport Confederations, International Federations (IF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure the success and celebration of our main event, the Pan American Games.

Panam Sport Development Commission meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica

Ashley Kelly – Virgin Islands (UK)

Ashley Kelly, Athlete Representative, Panam Sport Commission Board and BVI Senior Athlete (400m & 200m) reports on first meeting of the year

My birthday, March 25th, was a day filled with exciting experiences. I was fortunate to travel to San Jose, Costa Rica for the Sports Development Commission meeting, the first meeting of the year, and my second attendance since I was named an Athlete Representative for the Panam Sport Commission board. I arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica at 1:00pm in the afternoon, and by 4:30pm I was in my first meeting. There was no time to be wasted as we were only in Costa Rica for less than 48 hours.

Finalizing the Tokyo 2020 Development Camp was on the agenda this year. The Camp is designed to help athletes who qualify for the Tokyo Games travel to Japan up to ten days before the opening of the Village and use Olympic standard facilities.

The Camp will provide an opportunity for smaller countries with low funding to send their qualified athletes over to Tokyo early so they can become acclimated with the time zone change and ensure that the athlete has every opportunity to perform optimally during the competition. The intent of the Camp is to help level the playing field in competing against much larger countries with funding for elite facilities.

Since the Virgin Islands’ average attendance at the Games is about 4-5 athletes, the territory is eligible to take advantage of the initiative and attend a prearranged camp before Tokyo 2020.

Sport Development
As an Athlete Representative, I have the opportunity to sit in on all the Sport Development meetings and provide useful subjective insight into situations that many executives look at objectively. Organizations have to pay careful attention to their “bottom line,” and make strategic decisions, but it is vital to take into account an athlete’s point of view because these decisions directly impact us athletes and our ability to prepare, train and compete in major games.

The trip wasn’t all work and no play; it concluded with a beautiful dinner at Costa Rica Olympic Committee’s property. The Costa Rica OC’s property was a gorgeous estate once owned by a Costa Rican drug lord, seized by the government and given to the Costa Rica OC to use for offices, an event hall, weight lifting facility, and open grassland.

My own President of the BVIOC, Mr. Ephraim Penn, joined me at dinner. I recently learned that he is also a member of the Panam Sports Commission for New Events which is currently working on the inaugural meeting of the Panam Junior Games in Cali, Columbia in 2023.

I traveled out to Miami at 6 am the next morning and resumed training for the opening of my upcoming season, energized by the brief but enlightening trip.

Being a member of the Panam Sports Athlete Commission is an honor, and I am elated with the opportunity each time I get an assignment or correspondence from the Board. Through this experience I’ve made new relationships with sports executives, I’ve learned a great deal about the business of sport, behind the scenes of the events we athletes compete at, and the numerous strategic decisions made to further opportunities for athletes to compete in the Panam region.

Panam Sports considers bids from host cities for inaugural Junior Panam Games planned for 2021.

Mexico City, February 26, 2019 – After a thorough review of the proposals, Panam Sports leaders feel confident that the inaugural edition of the Junior Pan American Games to be held in 2021 for athletes ages 18-23 can be quite successful.

Concluding a week of inspecting plans and proposals for the first edition of the Games, the Panam Sports Evaluation Commission are excited about the possibilities presented by the candidatures of Cali, Colombia and Santa Ana, El Salvador as potential host cities of the event along with Monterrey, Mexico.

“The summary of our visits is very positive. What we found in Cali is a very solid candidature that’s well structured with very complete infrastructure. And what we’ve found in El Salvador is a group that’s very enthusiastic with the support of the city and the support of the Olympic Committee, and a desire to transform Santa Ana through hosting the Junior Pan American Games. We are impressed with both candidatures and still look forward to reviewing the project from Monterrey in more detail, but I can say that that we have chosen competitive cities as the potential hosts of these first Junior Pan American Games in history,” said Ivar Sisniega, Panam Sports Secretary General and Chairman of the Evaluation Commission.

Panam Sports created these Games after identifying a substantial gap in the opportunities available for athletes in this age category to develop and compete at a world-class level once they are ineligible for Youth sporting events.

The Junior Pan Am Games aim to eliminate this gap and increase the likelihood of additional government funding by providing a high-performance multi sport event for the young athletes of all 41 countries in the Panam Sports family. The goal is for the Junior Pan Am Games to also provide direct qualification to the next Pan American Games, ensuring consistent opportunities to further develop as an athlete.

The 10 members of the Panam Sports Evaluation Commission visited Cali and Santa Ana consecutively from February 18 to 22, while an inspection visit to Monterrey is planned in March.

After thoroughly reviewing all three proposals for the Games, the Panam Sports Executive Committee will choose the Host City of the 2021 Junior Pan American Games at its meeting scheduled for March 27 to 28 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Repairs to Mondo track at A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds underway

The resurfacing material for the track, supplied by Mondo USA, was purchased by the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) with funds secured from PanAm Sports. The Recovery and Development Agency, in consultation with the BVIOC, the BVI Athletic Association, the Ministry of Education and Culture (with responsibility for Sports), and the Recreational Trust, is overseeing the rebuild of the facilities including the track.

Rehabilitation works on the track at the A.O. Shirley Recreational Grounds has commenced and is expected to continue for approximately four weeks.

The Grounds’ facilities suffered damage as a result of the passage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The resurfacing material for the track, supplied by Mondo USA, was purchased by the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) with funds secured from PanAm Sports. The Recovery and Development Agency, in consultation with the BVIOC, the BVI Athletic Association, the Ministry of Education and Culture (with responsibility for Sports), and the Recreational Trust, is overseeing the rebuild of the A.O. Shirley Grounds including the bidding process and engagement of contractors for the installation and repairs to the facilities.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Education and Culture, Dr. Marcia Potter has expressed satisfaction with the commencement of reconstruction of the track at the grounds and is cautioning the public about its use during this time.

Dr. Potter said, “I am indeed happy to see the commencement of this project. Our athletes will once again be able to practice and develop their skills in a space that is conducive to do so. During this time of reconstruction, however, the A. O. Shirley Grounds will not be open for use by anyone. This precautionary measure is to ensure the safety of the public and the ease in carrying out the works that will result in an improved track.”

The Grounds will be cordoned off so as not to be used as a thoroughfare in order for the track to be protected so the repair works can be effective. Trainers, athletes and other persons as asked to refrain from using the recreation grounds while the works are being carried out.

Once completed the refurbished track will once again be suitable for training and recreation, and be of the standard to host regional and international competition.

The A.O. Shirley Recreational Grounds facilitates training to a wide cross section of athletes including track and field, shotput, long jump, soccer and rugby, and for recreational activities. It is part of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s portfolio under the Recreation Trust.

BVIOC President attends 23rd ANOC General Assembly in Tokyo, Japan

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee is one of the 1,400 delegates attending the XXIII ANOC General Assembly in Tokyo, Japan from November 28 – 29, 2018.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee is one of the 1,400 delegates currently attending the XXIII ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) General Assembly in Tokyo, Japan which takes place November 28 – 29, 2018.

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic will assume the Vice Presidency of the global organization by replacing Julio Maglione of Uruguay.

The three new members of the ANOC Executive Council from the Americas who were elected at the Panam Sports General Assembly in Lima, Peru in September – Camilo Perez, Tricia Smith and Keith Joseph – will also be attending their first ANOC Assembly in their new leadership positions.

Tokyo, the host city of the general assembly, is the location of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and IOC President Thomas Bach was welcomed by Yoshiro Mori, President of the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020, at the Tokyo 2020 headquarters earlier today.
Speaking to more than 200 members of the Tokyo 2020 team, President Bach told them how impressed he was by the progress he had seen in the preparations: “I cannot remember any Olympic city being so advanced as Tokyo is, two years before the Games.”

Ephraim Penn, (inside right) paid a visit to the British Embassy in Tokyo, Japan during his trip for the 23rd ANOC General Assembly, November 28 – 29, 2018.

Mr. Penn, who arrived in the “Land of the Rising Sun” on Sunday, November 25, also took time to pay a visit to the British Embassy in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, President of Panam Sports, Neven Ilic, and Secretary General, Ivar Sisniega were invited to the city of Tachikawa to visit its spectacular sports facilities that are located just 35 kilometers from the Japanese capital of Tokyo. While there, Ilic and Sisniega signed an important cooperation agreement between Tachihi Holdings Co. and Panam Sports for the realization of a Training Camp prior to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

The main objective of this camp is to allow more than 300 athletes from the Americas who have qualified to the Olympics to train and prepare in Japan before the Opening Ceremony of the most important multisport event in the world.

The top athletes of the Americas will be able to acclimate to the conditions of the Olympic host city as they train and prepare for several days in advance of their Olympic competitions. The athletes will also learn and share experiences with athletes of Japan as well as the citizens of Tachikawa.

 

New running track surface for A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground en route

Facilitated by BVIOC with funds secured from PanAm Sports

A.O. Shirley Recreations Grounds – post Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Photo: CM Farrington/BVIOC

A new surface for the running track at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground in Road Town, Tortola is expected to arrive into the Virgin Islands around November 19. The resurfacing material, supplied by Mondo USA, was purchased by the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) with funds secured from PanAm Sports to repair the track which was damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017.

Mondo USA was one of two agencies specialising in track surfaces engaged by PanAm Sports to assess the damage to the track at the A.O. Shirley Grounds. The other agency was Beynon Sports and Mondo USA was awarded the contract after PanAm Sports reviewed the two agencies’ reports following their visits to the VI in January and after consulting with the BVIOC.

“PanAm Sports has been exceptionally responsive to the request from the BVIOC for assistance with the rebuild of sports in the Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Ephraim Penn, President, BVIOC.

Following the destruction of sports facilities in the VI caused by the 2017 storms, Mr. Penn had communicated with various resources at Olympic level to request assistance with the rebuild of facilities and sports in the territory. PanAm Sports subsequently set up a special fund to assist those territories affected by the hurricanes.

“I am particularly impressed and grateful for the support and encouragement that we have received and continue to receive from Mr. Neven Ilic, President of PanAm Sports and his staff,” said Mr. Penn. “The appreciation from athletes and sporting bodies who are benefitting from their help is palpable and as the National Olympic Committee, we are excited to see the tangible and positive steps towards the reinstatement of sports in the Virgin Islands.”

The BVIOC has also secured partial funding from PanAm Sports to assist with the repairs to the recreation ground facilities and perimeter walls which were destroyed during the hurricanes. The grounds and facilities are used by schools and sporting associations including Athletics, Rugby and Football.

The Recovery and Development Agency in consultation with the BVIOC, the BVI Athletic Association, the Ministry for Education, Culture and Sports and the Recreational Trust will oversee the rebuild of the A.O. Shirley Grounds including the bidding process and engagement of contractors for the installation and repairs to the facilities.