BVIOC free sports clinic stepping stone to promote grass roots development in the community

The BVI Olympic Committee organized and ran a free sports clinic for the community at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds on Saturday, October 12 as part of celebratory activities to mark Chantel Malone’s historic gold medal win in long jump at the Lima 2019.

The clinic took place the day after a ceremony recognizing Chantel’s achievement of becoming the British Virgin Islands’ first Pan American Games medalist. The interactive session was presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott and Joey Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Miami and featured the BVI’s elite track and field athletes, Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Ashley Kelly (400m) and Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, NHI Medical Director.

“This clinic was a great launch pad for executing grass roots engagement and bringing to life the practical elements of the long term athlete development programme,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The four BVI professional track and field athletes worked with a captivated audience for the whole morning, interacting with the youngsters in the community, advising and inspiring them to work towards developing their athletic potential.”

The panel of professional athletes are all beneficiaries of the BVIOC Elite Athlete Programme which provides financial support to help them prepare throughout the year for major games. Each of the panelists shared their personal experiences, insights and practical tips on a wide range of topics during the indoor discussion forum and out on the track and field. Attendees heard what it takes to make it in a selected sports and learned more about the dual purpose of college attendance with recommendations to focus primarily on the academics followed by sports as an avenue to excel in a particular discipline.

The most important takeaway for many was the advice to set a personal goal and identify the support base to help achieve the goals. Out on the track and field, attendees loved the ‘form and technique’ sessions provided by the professional athletes – with each participant coming away with something new to apply to their execution.

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool’s engaging explanation about what anti-doping actually means and his conversation on testing and reveal of the testing kit used helped to deliver a better understanding among the young athletes on the reasons, rules and regulations as promoted by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“The BVIOC sees this clinic as just the start of another way of promoting sport for all and pushing the LTAD program in the community,” said Mr. Penn. “The BVIOC has 16 National Federation members, several of whom have athletes and teams who are on the professional circuit and who can help to build our pool of athletes through similar engagement. We have held two named Sports Festivals on Olympic Day with interactive sports stations set up by the National Federations but we now want to evolve these stations into actual clinics within the Sports Festival as a means of educating and enthusing the public of all ages. We also hope that it becomes an opportunity for the coaches to spot potential talent from within the community and open up a pathway for the development of such talent.”

The Olympic Day Sports Festival is slated to take place on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

View the BVIOC free sports clinic photo album on Facebook

VI in on strategies to optimize World Anti-Doping Code practice at WADA Symposium

Director General of the WADA, David Howman speaks during the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Photo: AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott.

Director General of the WADA, David Howman speaks during the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Photo: AP Photo/Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott

Ephraim Penn, representing the VI National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) attended the 11th edition of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) annual Symposium for Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) from March 24-26 in Lausanne, Switzerland. More than 470 anti-doping experts from regions across the world met for the largest annual gathering of anti-doping practitioners.

Representatives from International Sport Federations (IFs), NADOs, Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs), Major Games Organizers, WADA’s Athlete Committee and, for the first time, from WADA accredited laboratories and the media, discussed concrete ways and means of ‘Optimizing the Practice of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code’ – the theme of this year’s Symposium.

This year’s edition of the Symposium provided participants with a number of new features. This included a full day of practical workshops and training sessions related to education, testing, intelligence and investigations, the Athlete Biological Passport, results management, therapeutic use exemptions, ADAMS, and other key areas of the fight for clean sport.

“This symposium is extremely helpful in terms of our on-the-ground activity in the Virgin Islands,” said Penn, is a RADO board member and also sits as president of the BVIOC. “We’ve been pursuing the anti-doping education of our athletes and support community since we were officially signed on as a NADO in 2012.

“Our Doping Control Officers have conducted in- and out-of competition testing of athletes representing the VI in athletics, squash, swimming, skiing, and power lifting as required by their respective international governing bodies. Now it’s time to focus on education beyond advising and testing athletes.”

A number of discussion panels on the first day addressed topics such as the influence of the athletes, their entourage and the media on the fight against doping in sport. These sessions provided participants with the opportunity to interact with the members of WADA’s Athlete Committee, as well as a number of high-profile whistleblowers and specialized reporters.

“What was discussed over the couple of days ties in well with our plans in the VI to expand our reach deeper into the community with value-based education,” said Penn.” We have put it in an application for a local project grant from UNESCO which will help with our efforts.”

“We have entered into a new era of anti-doping,” said WADA Director General David Howman, who delivered an introductory presentation on ADOs’ responsibility following the opening address of WADA Vice President, Rev. Dr. Makhenkesi A. Stofile. “With the new Code in place, the world anti-doping community has a renewed responsibility to preserve the integrity of sport. That was the purpose of this Symposium: to get into the details of ADOs’ responsibilities and provide them with additional tools to deliver our collective promise of protecting the rights of all those who reject doping. WADA looks forward to continuing to work with all of its stakeholders in the pursuit of this mission.”