Community Learns, Moves and Discovers at 4th annual Sports Festival celebrating Olympic Day

Adults and children celebrated Olympic Day with activities on Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke on Saturday, June 24.

The 4th annual free Sports Festival organised by the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) took place at the A. O. Shirley Grounds. The morning event, featuring 14 activity stations hosted by National Federations and the BVI Heritage Dancers, was abuzz with excitement and energy. Moving from one sport to the next, attendees of all ages and abilities shot, ran, pitched, dunked, cycled, volleyed, side-stepped, kicked and danced their way around the field.

BVIOC 1st Vice President Sabinah Clement opened the morning with the “Let’s Move” invitation from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. The call was to discover an inspiring activity to incorporate as a daily movement to optimise physical and mental wellbeing.

“Olympic Day is an annual celebration focused on improving the quality of life of our community. The annual Sports Festival, brought to life by our national federations, and the events across the sister islands hosted by LTAD ambassadors, provide a window of opportunity for everyone to move together and discover an array of activities from walking to dancing for a happier and healthier lifestyle,” said Ms. Clement. “I encourage you to use the morning to learn, move and discover.”

His Excellency the Governor Mr. John Rankin leant his voice to the call to action, citing in particular his support of events that get the youth engaged and active. Highlighting the remarkable achievements of the sports-men and -women of the Virgin Islands, Governor Rankin made special mention of 400m hurdles Commonwealth champion Kyron McMaster, sprint phenomenon Adaejah Hodge and the NBA draft D’Moi Hodge recently signed to the L.A. Lakers – the roll call indicating an unusual wealth of talent per capita to be discovered and developed starting at events such as the Sports Festival.

BVIOC Athlete Representative and Athletes’ Association Chair, Olympian Ashley Kelly echoed the encouragement to get active.

Participating National Federations included the Virgin Islands Archery Association, BVI Athletics Association, BVI Basketball Federation in collaboration with Mr. Milton McClean, BVI Cycling Federation, BVI Rugby Football Union, BVI Royal Yacht Club for sailing, Virgin Islands Softball/Baseball Association, BVI Squash Rackets Association, Boynes Taekwondo Academy, BVI Triathlon Federation and the Virgin Islands Volleyball Association. The Netball association also was represented while the BVI Heritage Dancers participated for the first time this year. Each station host reported signing up new recruits to their sport and dance troupe.

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool and Dr. Ryan Kelly, representing the BVI National Anti-Doping Commission, were in attendance to speak on the anti-doping regulations and clean sports.

The San Salvador 2023 CAC Games’ 9 athletes and coaches attending the first major Games of the year were also acknowledged and congratulated on making the team. In person at the Sports Festival were the Gumbs twins – Djimon (shot put and discus) and Diamante (discus) and Ritseeniyah Georges (compound archery), who all make their first appearances at a CAC Games. The VI will also be represented in track and field by Olympian Eldred Henry, Rikkoi Brathwaite, Beyonce Defreitas, Deya Erickson and Jaleel Croal and ILCA 7 laser sailor Thad Lettsome.

The Trident 10K Championship and Olympic Day 10k, 5k and 1k Race kicked off at 6:30am on Tortola as the community on Virgin Gorda took part in a walk/run followed by a friendly game of softball. Early risers joined in a roundtrip walk from Great Harbour to White Bay on Jost Van Dyke.

BVIOC President, Ephraim Penn, who was in El Salvador for the Centro Caribe Sports AGM ahead of the opening of the 24th CAC Games, acknowledged the contributions of the station hosts, sponsors and event supporters for a successful day. “The Executive Board is pleased with the collaborative effort between the BVIOC, National Federations and community groups to celebrate Olympic Day and act in unity for the greater good,” said Mr. Penn.

Sponsors and supporters included Road Town Wholesale, distributor of Coca-Cola products Dasani water and Powerade, and the National Bank of the Virgin Islands.

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, Friendship and Peace while celebrating the Olympic Day pillars: move, learn discover together for peace.

Browse the full gallery of photos on Facebook.

9 athletes to represent Virgin Islands in 3 sports at San Salvador 2023 CAC Games

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) has confirmed that 9 athletes from 3 sports will represent the Virgin Islands at the 24th Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in San Salvador, El Salvador from June 23 – July 8, 2023.
 
The team comprising 4 track and 3 field athletes, 1 sailor and 1 archer will arrive in El Salvador between June 22 and July 1 ahead of their events. Chef de Mission, Gloria Fahie arrives in San Salvador on June 21 ahead of the athletes in preparation for their arrival. BVIOC President Ephraim Penn is in San Salvador to attend the Centro Caribe Sport AGM before the Opening Ceremony.
 
“This year’s CAC Games are seen as an important qualifying and ranking opportunity for athletes from all sports we can expect to see some tough competition,” said President Penn. “It will be the first time that archery will be represented at these Games and the second time for sailing since 1993 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Athletics has seen representation since the VI’s first participation in the CACs in 1982 and has included softball, squash, triathlon and cycling. This historic achievement for archery is a promising trajectory for the development of different sports in the Territory and brings to fruition one of the BVIOC’s missions for this quadrennial to have more sports compete at major Games.”
 
Laser sailor Thad Lettsome, competing in the ILCA 7 men’s single person dinghy event, is the first of the VI’s team to compete when the sailing events start on Saturday, June 24 at Lake Ilpongo. Lettsome is also selected to be the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony on Friday, June 23.
 
Archer Ritseeniyah Georges will compete in the Women’s Compound Individual starting Sunday, July 2 at 9:00am at the Polígono de Tiro con Arco Ciudad Merliot.
 
Track athletes include Rikkoi Brathwaite in the 100m semi-finals starting at 5:00pm and Beyonce Defreitas in the 100m semi-finals starting at 5:30pm on Monday, July 3; Deya Erickson in the 100m hurdles semi-finals starting at 5:45pm, Tuesday, July 4; Jaleel Croal in the 200m semi-finals starting at 5:00pm and Beyonce Defreitas in the 200m semi-finals starting at 5:30pm on Wednesday, July 5.
 
The all-men field athletes comprise Olympian Eldred Henry and twins Djimon and Diamante Gumbs. Henry and Djimon Gumbs will compete in the shot put final on Monday, July 3 starting at 5:25pm. Djimon and Diamante Gumbs will compete in the discus final on Wednesday, July 5 starting at 6:55pm.
 
While San Salvador 2023 will be the first CAC Games for 7 of the athletes, it will be the second appearance for Henry, who won the territory’s first shot put medal in a CAC games when he placed 3rd with a distance of 20.18m at Barranquilla 2018 and for Erickson who made her debut at the same games in the 100m hurdles.
 
In addition to the Chef de Mission Gloria Fahie and President Penn, the VI delegation to San Salvador 2023 includes Erwin “Redz” Telemaque (athletics coach), Winnette Lawrence (archery coach), Xavier Buxo (archery technician), Chris Watters (sailing coach) and Chester James (Physiotherapist).
 
The VI will be one of 37 countries represented at the CAC Games. The games, under the auspices of Centro Caribe Sports, will feature 57 disciplines in 37 sports taking place over 16 days. The Games, under the theme “It’s time to transcend”, will be broadcast live on the Centro Caribe Sports Channel on YouTube.
 
The CAC Games are the oldest continuous running regional games dating back to 1926. Held every four years, the Games typically host competitors from countries in Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda and the South American countries of Suriname, Guyana, Colombia and Venezuela. The San Salvador 2023 Games were originally slated to be held in Panama in 2022. 30 sports will take place in El Salvador and 7 will take place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
 
The CAC Games are considered the starting point of international competition for athletes from the region who are seeking to represent their countries at the Olympic level. They are designed to provide a step between sub-CAC region Games held the first year following a Summer Olympics and the Pan American Games, which are held before the Summer Olympic. The next Pan American Games are slated to take place in Santiago, Chile October 20 – November 5, 2023.

More information on the San Salvador 2023 Games can be found on their website.

Follow the BVIOC page on FaceBook for regular updates and results.

Luka Chalwell makes sporting history as VI’s first professional footballer

Luka Chalwell with Lea Bradbury, Manager of Eastleigh FC. Photo: Luka Chalwell

Luka Chawell is the first Virgin Islands national, who is born and raised in the British Virgin Islands, to become a professional footballer after signing a contract on Thursday, June 15 2023, to join Eastleigh FC in the English National League.

Chalwell, a product of the BVI Football Association development pathways, started under the watchful eye of Coach John Reilly. He flourished in the BDO Schools League and blossomed in the BVIFA youth teams before earning his first full international cap in the Concacaf World Cup qualifier against Guatemala in 2021.

Since then, Chalwell has represented the VI in the Concacaf Nations League. He moved to England to develop his talent at clubs such as Poole Town, where he scored a hat trick in the FA Youth Cup. BVI National Coach, Chris Kiwomya, who was working with Chalwell on improving his all round game, recommended Chalwell to Lee Bradbury, Manager of Eastleigh FC and the Eastleigh Elite Development Program.

Chalwell impressed both Kiwomya and Eastleigh with his work ethic. He demonstrated an exemplary attitude to gain his chance and be rewarded for his undoubted talent. He also showed a willingness to listen to coaches and mentors alike and benefited from being able to work with Coach Kiwomya.

“I was able to get Luka (Chalwell) the opportunity, but he had to show dedication to learn the game and improve himself,” said Kiwomya. “He has really improved over 12-18 months, has an eye for the goal, good stamina and is a good header of the ball. I was happy to step in and help him achieve his dream, which he’s grabbed with both hands, and I believe he has a good chance of making the breakthrough to the first team and playing at a higher level.”

Chalwell was excited to learn of the offer to sign the professional two-year contract on Thursday 15th June 2023.

“This is such a proud moment for myself and my family, signing my first professional contract with Eastleigh FC,” said Chalwell. “I want to thank my parents for their unwavering support and sacrifice throughout my journey so far. Words can’t describe how I feel to have reached this stage. I’ve always worked very hard but especially this past year, putting my all into further developing my physical and mental skills whilst working very hard to condition my body for the intense physicality of professional level football, which has allowed me this opportunity with Eastleigh FC. I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

According to an announcement on the Eastleigh FC website, “Chalwell has been involved in training with the first team in the latter stages of the season and impressed, earning himself a pro deal.” Chalwell’s new manager, Lee Bradbury said “I’m really pleased to have the lad on board. He has excellent ability and I’m looking forward to seeing the progress through the early years of professional football.”

BVIFA President, Andy Bickerton added “The BVIFA is very proud of Luka, he is a shining example of what can be achieved with dedication, hard work, and the essential and necessary family support.”

Those sentiments were echoed by BVIFA Technical Director, Dan Neville, “Congratulations to Luka, the first of what we hope is many more to follow!”

“Let’s Move” invitation to 4th annual Sports Festival and walk/runs celebrating Olympic Day

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) in collaboration with its member National Federations will host the 4th free annual Sports Festival at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds from 9:00am – 12:00pm on Saturday, June 24. The event will be preceded by the Trident Trust Championship and Olympic Day race with a 10k, 5k and 1k run/walk starting from the grounds at 6:30am. Walks will take place on Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke at 6:30am and at 5:30am respectively.
 
The roundtrip walk/run from the recreational field in Spanish Town to the Baths will culminate with a friendly softball game on the fields on Virgin Gorda. For people on Jost Van Dyke, the dawn walk will start from the Albert Chinnery Administration Building in Great Harbour to the Soggy Dollar parking lot in White Bay and return to Great Harbour.
 
The events across the islands will mark Olympic Day which is internationally recognised each year on June 23.  This year, the International Olympic Committee has themed the event “Let’s Move”.
 
The world is moving faster than ever, but people are moving less. Research has found that one in four adults and over 80% of young people are not able to meet the recommended minimum activity levels needed for optimum health (WHO, 2022).
 
“Encouraging physical activity throughout the wider community is one of the remits the BVIOC has been working on through the Long Term Athlete Development programme,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “Our Olympic Day celebrations through the Sports Festival has embraced the concept of helping people of all ages and abilities to move by finding an activity that appeals to them. Walking is also an activity that’s easy to do and the community walks help to remind people of the pleasure and satisfaction of that exercise. We are pleased that our LTAD partners in Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke are helping to promote the message.”
 
The walk/runs on VG, JVD and the early morning run/walk on Tortola hosted by the BVI Runners, the road racing affiliate of the BVIAA, is a traditional global Olympic Day event.
 
The collaboration on Tortola with the different National Federations, the National Anti-Doping Commission, the Public Health Unit and, new for this year, the BVI Heritage Dancers, provides an opportunity for the public on Tortola to combine discovering an activity that they can engage in, understand what is meant by “clean sports” and learn about optimizing their nutritional intake.
 
The morning will feature interactive stations suitable for adults and children alike. Skills can be tested in archery, athletics, basketball, cycling, football, rugby, sailing, softball, squash, taekwondo, triathlon and volleyball. Director of Culture, Dr. Katherine Smith will provide insight to the history of the dances to be taught by the BVI Heritage Dancers. Olympian and chair of the BVI Athletes’ Commission, Ashley Kelly will run an outdoor fitness circuit and host Olympian Q & A sessions. Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, Chief Anti-doping Officer will speak about clean sport and the importance of understanding prescription and over the counter medication as well as the impact of recreational drug usage. Ms. Patrice Maduro of the Public Health Unit will be providing guidance on health and nutrition.
 
Free Olympic Day tee shirts on registration and subject to availability and complimentary Coca Cola products Dasani water, and Powerade will be provided courtesy of Road Town Wholesale.
 
In the run up to Sports Festival and in marking Olympic Day values, National Federations are hosting training sessions which the public are welcome to join in as follows:
·       Archery at the HLSCC, Paraquita Bay – 1:00pm – 5:00pm on Saturday, June 17 and Sunday June 18.
·       Athletics at the A.O.Shirley Recreation Grounds 1:00pm – 5:00pm on Saturday, June 17;
·       Squash will host an open session with visiting professional players at the Tortola Sports Club starting at 3:30pm on Monday, June 19.
·       Rugby will have a training session with visiting professional rugby player, ex All Black, Norm Maxwell at 6:00pm on Wednesday, June 21 at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds.
·       Taekwondo will host open sessions for youths Monday, June 19 through Thursday, June 22 at 3:30pm – 4:30pm and 5;00pm:45pm – 6:45pm. Adult sessions will take place on Monday and Thursday, 7:00pm – 8:00pm.
More information on these sessions can be sought from the National Federations whose contact details can be found on www.bviolympics.org.
 
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, Friendship and Peace while celebrating the Olympic Day pillars: Move. Learn. Discover.

BVI Men’s National Team to face Dominica and TCI in Concacaf Nations League C

BVI vs Puerto Rico, Concacaf Nations League C Group D, A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds, March 23, 2023

The BVI men’s National team has been drawn in Concacaf League C, Group C for the 2023/24 edition of the Nations League competition, which will begin in November of this year and conclude in March 2024.

Concacaf conducted the official draw for the third edition of the Concacaf Nations League (CNL) in a live event in Miami, Florida, hosted by sports anchor Carmen Boquin. The occasion included the participation of Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio, as well as former players Gonzalo Romero (Guatemala), Maylee Atthin-Johnson (Trinidad and Tobago and Wendy Acosta (Costa Rica).

Group C also includes Dominica and Turks and Caicos. Each team will play every team in their group, home and away, for a total of four matches per team (two at home and two away).

League C includes Bonaire, Saint Martin, and Anguillam in Group A and Aruba, Cayman Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands in Group B.

Promotion and relegation between CNL Leagues will take place at the conclusion of the third edition, as follows:

League A: 5th and 6th place finishers will be relegated to League B.
League B: Group winners will be promoted to League A, and 4th place finishers will be relegated to League C.
League C: Group winners and the best 2nd place finisher will be promoted to League B.

The 2023/24 CNL will be played in a three-League format (A, B, and C), with the region’s 41 men’s senior national teams distributed into the Leagues according to the results of the 2022/23 CNL.

The 2023/24 CNL Group Stage will be played during the official FIFA Match Windows in September, October, and November 2023. The 2023/24 CNL Finals, where the third CNL champion will be crowned, will take place at a to-be-announced venue in March 2024.

Concacaf will announce the competition’s schedule at a later date.

Major PSA squash tournament returns to Tortola Sports Club

The Carey Olsen Tortola Classic Professional Squash Association (PSA) Challenger Tour will be taking place from June 13-17, 2023 at the Tortola Sports Club. The event will comprise 24 players in total made up of 21 professional players from overseas and 3 of the BVI’s best players. The 21 pro players will be representing 14 different countries including Egypt, Spain, USA and Mexico and others. The number 1 seed for the tournament will be Spanish International Bernat Jaume who is currently ranked 59 in the World.

Other noteworthy names in the draw are the returning American duo of Andrew Douglas and Spencer Lovejoy who are seeded 2 and 4 respectively. The two of them are on top form having recently battled it out with each other in the US National Final with Andrew emerging victorious claiming his first US Senior National Title. This is no mean feat with the US having 4 players between 34 and 54 in the world who were all present in the event.

Pakistan International Muhamad Asim Khan is the tournament’s no.3 seed. He is a very smooth player and will have serious aspirations of progressing deep into the draw.

Mohamad Zakaria of Egypt is another player that is expected to make waves. At only 15 years old he has already cemented himself as one of the best junior players in the world. Mohamad has already scalped players within the top 100 in the world and is hoping to overturn a few of his higher ranked opponents. Like Jonah Bryant who played in the PSA Challenger event last year, Zakaria has the potential to reach the very top of the game making this event a unique opportunity to watch him compete on the courts in the BVI.

Resident players going into the draw will be BVI’s former professional player, Joe Chapman who reached a career high world ranking of 98. Incredibly, Joe has represented the BVI 5 times at the Commonwealth Games.

BVI National Coach Adam Murrills will also be participating in the draw. Prior to arriving in the BVI, Adam reached a highest world ranking of 76.

The BVI Squash Racket Association will hold a play-off amongst several top players for the final spot with the winner having the opportunity to play against one of the best players in the world!

“It really is an honour to welcome truly world class sport to the BVI,” said BVISRA President Mark Chapman. “We encourage everyone, and especially sports enthusiasts, to take advantage of this opportunity to watch a major squash competition on home turf and soak in the action. Whether you’re a regular player or someone who wants to learn more about the sport, come to the courts at the Tortola Sports Club and make the most of what should be a fantastic week of squash.”

All games will start at 5:15pm and will be free to all. The final competition will have a $25 entry fee payable at the door.

Wolues victors of President’s Cup

Wolues FC enjoyed a 1-0 victory over VG United in the President’s Cup Final at East End / Long Look on Sunday 21st May

Marcus Robinson scored the only goal of the game to hand Wolues FC a 1-0 victory over VG United in the President’s Cup Final at East End / Long Look on Sunday 21st May.
 
The goal came in just the 11th minute of a game that later saw Wolues reduced to 10 men. The match then developed into a tactical dual between two well organized sides. The game, which was played in front of a large crowd at the future National Stadium venue, was as worthy a match to celebrate the President’s Cup as there has ever been.
 
“We got off to a good start and put some pressure on them early,” commented Phil Nelson of the Wolues. “The game was pretty even when Marcus (Robinson) was slid through. He went on to finish perfectly and then found ourselves hanging on a little bit. We were really up against it when one of our players got sent off, but we changed the formation a little at half time to try block the middle and give up the space on the sides. We rode our luck a little but overall didn’t give up much. It was a real determined performance”.
 
Nelson went onto congratulate VG United on a good season and a good game noting that “they have built their team from the youths and play very well together. They are ones to watch for next year.”
 
Meanwhile Manager of the VG team, Jermain Abrams, thought that his team didn’t start too well. “We were a bit shaky to begin with but settled down after they had scored,” he said. “Our confidence grew when they were reduced to ten men, but it seemed like it wasn’t to be our day as we missed many opportunities to score. We tried, we hit the woodwork, and it just wasn’t meant to be. But it was a good game, and the fans definitely got their money’s worth.”
 
At the conclusion of the game, the BVI Football Association President, Mr. Andy Bickerton, the Premier, Mr. Natalio Wheatley and members of the BVIFA Executive celebrated the season with awards not only going to the Wolues FC as Cup Winners, but also to One Love as National League Champions, the Golden Boot Winners, Johari Lacey of Rebels FC  and Derol Redhead of Sugar Boys FC, who both scored 22 goals, the Golden Boy award for League newcomer, which went to Devon Letteen of One Love FC, who was also the Golden Glove winner and League MVP who was named as Collin Lavia of One Love FC.
The Fairplay award went to Positive FC, the Manager of the Year was named as Nick Messum of Wolues and the Referee of the Year award went to James Ramprasad.

BVI Rugby 7s squad set to compete in Puerto Rico

BVI Rugby 7’s Squad scrum down under the watchful eye of referee, Jorge Soltero, Director, Rugby Puerto Rico during the 2020 Founder’s Cup, Puerto Rico

The British Virgin Islands Rugby Football Union (BVIRFU) will be competing in the Founders’ Cup 7s tournament to be held this Saturday, March 18, 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The “Friendlies” tournament will feature 2 competitive teams from Babson College, Massachusetts, USA. According to the BVIRFU, Babson 7s, who play in the USA National Championships, will be a force to be reckoned with at this year’s tournament.

The event will pit an experienced BVI squad up against the speed and fitness of the College teams as well as the highly spirited home team, the Puerto Rican Pitirres.

BVI was able to win the tournament convincingly in 2020 but the Puerto Ricans are persevering with their program and are expected to put up a strong showing this weekend. Babson, who are playing well this year, are also expected to be very competitive.

The matches will be held at Club de Futbol Fraigcomar and first kickoff is 4:00 PM with the finals expected around 8 PM. There will be a women’s rugby exhibition game mid way through the tournament.

The BVI squad consists of several experienced players such as the Thornton brothers, Roan and Rory, who both played competitively on the UK circuit while at University before returning home and running out for the BVI National squad on many occasions.

Emerging talent, young BVIslander and 2nd generation BVI rugby star, William Adamson is expected to be the team’s enforcer – putting down the big hits and moving youngsters out of his way at will.

National team coach, Stuart Fee will lace up his boots to play for the territory for the first time and big things are expected from the 110kg flyhalf.

With over a half century of experience between them, Tom Chapman and Ian Chambers are also expected to throw their weight around to put the American youngsters under pressure.

The full squad is a follows:
Rory Thonton
Roan Thornton
William Adamson
Stuart Fee
Tom Chapman
Ian Chambers
Alex Haywood
Luke Saltastall

National Head Coach hopeful of closing the gap in the CONCACAF Nations’ League match against Puerto Rico

BVI Football Association Head Coach, Chris Kiwomya is looking to the future with young players as he looks to close the gap in Nations League encounter with Puerto Rico at the A.O. Shirley Ground on March 23rd, 2023. Photo: BVIFA

BVI Football Association Head Coach, Chris Kiwomya is looking to the future with young players as he looks to close the gap in Nations League encounter with Puerto Rico at the A.O. Shirley Ground on March 23rd, 2023.

In a recent interview on 284 Media, ahead of the CONCACAF Nations’ League clash with Puerto Rico, Men’s National team Head Coach, Chris Kiwomya noted that he had been impressed with the showing of two or three youth players and that some would, no doubt, get their opportunity to be involved and gain experience in the senior set up.

BVIFA President, Andy Bickerton, current National team captain, Troy Caesar and forward Tyler Forbes were also in attendance and, such has been the impact of a development plan spearheaded by Bickerton, supported by his Executive Committee, that those two, still youthful players are already considered stalwarts of the team and are about to be joined by the next generation from the BVIFA’s youth development programme.

When asked by the President, Coach Kiwomya cautioned that it was a big step up from youth to Men’s football, but mentioned Johari Lacey, Azarni Callwood, and the Abram brothers as being in line for a chance to gain experience in what will be a tough game to end the CONCACAF Champions League campaign.

Forbes recognised that the level of the National League had increased and was much more competitive. Coach Kiwomya is keen to reward those players doing well in the local league by giving them an opportunity to get used to being around the senior players. He also sees the benefits of involving them and encouraging them to continue their development and keep improving as they are the future of the national team.

Rebels coach, Latoya Sue – recently praised by the Deputy Governor, David Archer, for her work in Football – already has a cadre of other players like Denvin Jones, Jahmal Austin Prentice and Ikyjah Williams representing at National levels so Lacey and will be in good company.

VG United under Coaches Glen Bascombe, Richie Morton and Jermain Abrams are already boasting Giovanni Grant, Daniel Gilford, and Levon Williams having made senior debuts. That list could well be swelled by the likes of the Abrams brothers, Mekhi Waters and Sheldon Toney, who have all been involved at representative youth tournaments and are pushing for places in the senior squad. .

Another exciting prospect, and one mentioned by the coach as a possible contender, is Azarni Callwood.

According to the BVIFA, whatever the final squad is, and despite the fact that the reverse fixture resulted in a 0-6 defeat, with several youngsters coming into the frame, who are like family to each other, the game will prove a valuable experience against professional opponents and show the home fans National Pride.

BVIOC President and Member at Large attend historic Women in Sport Forum in Panama

BVIOC Member-at-Large, Gloria Fahie and President Ephraim Penn attend the first Women in Sport Forum in Panama March 7 – 8, 2023 hosted by the Panam Sports Women in Sport Commission. PHOTO: BVIOC

BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) President Ephraim Penn and Member-at-Large Gloria Fahie arrived in Panama on March 6 to attend the first Women in Sport Forum hosted by the Panam Sports Women in Sport Commission.

President Penn and Ms. Fahie join sport leaders from the 41 member countries of Panam Sports gathering to tackle the biggest issues and challenges concerning equality in sport and present strategies to increase representation at every level in National Olympic Committees and sport federations.

The theme of the forum is “Joining the Path for Change” and topics include safe sport, increasing representation, empowerment, best practices, equality and inclusion that will be covered by presentations by leaders in the field as well as interactive panel discussions and workshops.

The Panam Sports Women in Sport Commission is led by its President Alicia Morea (ARG) and members Patricia Lopez (CHI), Fenella Wenham (DMA), Elida Parraga (VEN), Annette Knott (TTO), Monica Franco (PAN), Jane Noel (GRN), Lorena Toriello (GUA), K.A. Juman-Yassin (GUY) and athlete representative Adriana Escobar (ESA).

The two-day forum takes place Tuesday, March 7 – 8 at the Sheraton Grand Panama hotel and is streamed live throughout the world for free on the Panam Sports Channel. The daily program, which kicks off at 10:00 a.m. EST, concludes in the late afternoon each day.

Many prominent leaders in the worldwide Olympic Movement will speak or join panel discussions during the forum, including International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Panam Sports Neven Ilic who will open the forum with their respective video messages.

Panam Sports Secretary General Ivar Sisniega and Panama Olympic Committee President Damaris Young will give the official in-person welcome to the forum. Other speakers and panelists include IOC Vice President Nicole Hoevertsz and IOC Members Laura Chinchilla, Tricia Smith, Maria de la Caridad Colon and Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein, as well as NOC, regional organizations and sport federation leaders such as Marisol Casado, Brian Lewis, Camilo Perez, Mario Moccia, Maria Jose Alcala, among many more.

“We are very excited and proud to organize this first Women in Sport Forum to continue our mission to strengthen the voice and representation of women in sports organizations throughout the continent. Working towards greater equality is a constant goal and we hope to see that emphasis at every sports organization in the Americas. I’d like to thank the Olympic Committee of Panama and all of the members of our Women in Sport Commission for their hard work to ensure this event is successful,” said Ivar Sisniega.