Lima 2019 Pan Am Games athletes announced at Olympic Day Sports Festival

Lima 2019 athletes representing the Virgin Islands include Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser). Photos: track & field athletes – BVI Olympic Committee, Thad Lettsome – Royal BVI Yacht Club

Four athletes were officially confirmed as members of the team who will represent the Virgin Islands in track and field and sailing at the Lima 2019 Pan American (Pan Am) Games this Summer. The announcement was made at the 2nd annual Olympic Day Sports Festival held on Saturday, June 22 at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground when Honourable Neville Smith, 1st Vice President of the BVI Olympic Committee named the four as Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Eldred Henry (shot put) and Thad Lettsome (men’s laser).

Both athletics and sailing were among 20 other disciplines at Lima 2019 confirmed earlier this month as being qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Congratulating the athletes, Hon. Smith said, “Qualifying for these Games has become much tougher than previous years and, given the elevated standards and smaller team representing the VI this year, we are justifiably proud and excited to be sending a group of strong competitors who have the proven talent to make history and win our first ever medal – or medals!- in the Pan Am Games. We are also pleased that we have a young sailor who will bring us back into the Games after a long respite.”

The 3 senior athletes who will be competing in track and field events met their specific qualifying marks with outstanding achievements:

Kyron McMaster, who will compete in the 400m Hurdles semi-final on August 6th, qualified by winning gold at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. Eldred Henry, competing in the shot put finals on August 7th, qualified for the PanAms with his record setting performance during the indoor season. Chantel Malone, set to compete in the long jump finals on August 7th hit her qualifier when she claimed the then world #1 spot with a personal best leap of 6.9m at the at the 3rd Annual Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens, Georgia on April 26, 2019. The mark currently ranks Malone #2 in the world.

Joining the 3 track and field athletes is Thad Lettsome who, at 17 years of age, makes history for the VI as the first sailor since the 1990s to represent the VI at the Pan Am Games. Awarded a universality place by the organisers, Lettsome will start his competition in the Men’s Laser class on August 3rd.

Former national sprinter, Mr. Lindel ‘Chef’ Hodge is the Chef de Mission for Lima 2019.

“This is the VI’s 10th Pan Am Games. We have competed in each of the Games since the 9th edition and, in fact, our first appearance at the 1983 Pan Am Games was the starting point for the establishment of the BVI Olympic Committee. The closest we have come to a medal was in 1987 when our softball team finished 4th after a narrow 4-3 loss against Cuba in the bronze medal game but we are hopeful that 2019 will be the year we make the podium,” said Honourable Smith, a member of the historical 1987 softball team.

The 19th edition of the Pan Am Games will be held in Lima, Peru from July 26th to August 11. Approximately 6,700 participants from 41 countries in the Caribbean and Americas are expected to compete in 39 sports and 61 disciplines, 22 of which are qualifiers for Tokyo 2020. News on the Games and the athletes will be provided by Dean Greenaway’s daily reports to media and via radio broadcast on CBN 90.9FM at 5.00pm through August 5th and then at 9.00am, 2.00pm and 9.00pm from August 6 – 11.

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.

Caribbean RADO Gets New Chairman, Directors

Caribbean RADO Executive Committee members 2019
Newly elected Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) Executive Committee members (l-r) Director, Mr. Ephraim Penn (British Virgin Islands), Vice-President, Dr. Adrian Lorde (Barbados), Chairman, Mr. Patrick Werleman (Aruba), Director, Dr. Karen Pilgrim (Guyana), Director, Mr. Joel Johnson (Grenada) pose at the close of the 14th Annual Board Meeting held in the BVI from June 1 – 2, 2019.

Patrick Werleman is the new Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO).

Werleman, the Board Member representative for Aruba, has been elected to serve for the next term following the 14th Annual Board Meeting in Tortola, British Virgin Islands on Sunday, June 2nd 2019.

Werleman who is also Director of Sports Development of the Aruban Olympic Committee and President of the Aruba Anti-Doping Commission says compliance with World Anti-Doping Code will be one of his major priorities for Caribbean RADO member countries.

“Even though there is a new chair and there are new Directors, the organization will continue to move forward and we need everybody to be on board. We need to communicate better, giving more physical and technical support to Board Members. A lot of members are still not compliant, so we really need to work towards addressing that. We need to press a little harder to have everyone compliant with the Code. I think that is the most important priority we have now right.”

Outgoing Chairman Dr Adrian Lorde, who did not seek re-election, thanked the body for the confidence placed in him since he took up the helm in 2005.

Dr. Lorde, who is the Board representative for member country Barbados, will still serve on the Executive Committee, having been elected as its new Vice President – a role in which he is pleased to contribute.

“As the World Conference is coming up in November in Poland with a new Code coming into being in 2021, there will be a need for expert leadership in the region to guide our countries further forward and to keep them compliant. The new Chair Patrick Werleman has made tremendous strides in the time he has been involved, and I think the Caribbean RADO is in very good hands.”

Werleman and Lorde will be joined by directors Dr. Karen Pilgrim (Guyana) who previously served in this role, along with newcomers Joel Johnson (Grenada) and Ephraim Penn (British Virgin Islands).

“It’s an honour to be elected as a director on the new Caribbean RADO Executive Board. I recognise that there is a lot to be done in the promotion of clean sports in the region and I look forward to pursuing this with the new team going forward,” said Penn, Director Caribbean RADO, BVI Board Member, Chairman BVI Anti-Doping Commission and President of the BVI Olympic Committee.

The two-day AGM was hosted by the BVI Olympic Committee and included a welcome reception hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports. It was the first time the BVI hosted the board meeting since joining Caribbean RADO in 2012. Representatives of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) and Caribbean RADO board members from 17 countries were in attendance.

Curacao will host the 2020 Caribbean RADO, where the organization will celebrate its 15th anniversary.

VI Rugby Team to face TCI in RAN North Cup 2019

RAN Friendly – TCI v BVI. Photo: RAN

The Virgin Islands team will be playing against team Turks and Caicos in the second match of the Rugby North America (RAN) North Cup. The game will take place at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground at 10:00am on Saturday, May 4.

The RAN North Cup is a Tri-Nations competition in which the British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, and Turks and Caicos Islands all play each other. The three island nations make up 50% of the 2019 RAN Cup which is structured according to the north and south with the RAN South Cup being a competition between Martinique, Curacao, and Barbados.

North Cup Fixtures:
April 13: Turks & Caicos Islands vs Dominican Republic (TCI 24- 20 DR)
May 04: British Virgin Islands vs. Turks & Caicos
TBA: Dominican Republic vs British Virgin Islands

South Cup Results: Martinique vs. Barbados – March 16, 2019
Result:  Martinique 43-14 Barbados
Martinique vs. Curacao  – March 23, 2019
Result:  Martinique 39-0 Curacao
Barbados vs. Curacao – April 6 2019
Result:  Barbados 55-7 Curacao

VI sailors make news – Thad Lettsome selected for Lima 2019 PanAm Games

By Royal BVI Yacht Club

Thad Lettsome. Source:All at Sea

2019 PanAm Games
Thad Lettsome will be representing the Virgin Islands (UK) in the Men’s Laser event at this year’s Pan American Games in Peru. The territory’s #1 Laser sailor has been awarded a Universality Place by the organizing committee and will be traveling to the prestigious event in July this year.

The BVI has not been represented in the sailing events at the PanAm Games since the 1990s.

RWU Hall of Fame
BVI Sailor, Alec Anderson, has been inducted into the Roger Williams University Hall of Fame. Anderson was a four-year member of the RWU Sailing team, ending his career as one of the most accomplished sailors in program history. He was a three-time ICSA All-American Coed Skipper and a three-time All-NEISA First Team Skipper. Congratulations Alec!

Charleston Race Week
Colin Rathbun, Christian Thompson, Ted Reshetiloff and Max Reshetiloff representing the BVI raced in the Flying Tiger 7.5 class with Andrew Kerr at the 2019 Sperry Charleston Race Week. The Team finished 1st overall with four wins in the 9 race series and never finishing lower than third in any race. Congratulations Team BVI!

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.

BVIAA names 2018 Athletes of the Year

By BVI Athletics Association

BVIAA Colonial Insurance (BVI) Ltd 2018 Athletes of the Year. Photo: BVIAA

The British Virgin Islands Athletics Association is pleased to officially announce the 2018 Colonial Insurance (BVI) Ltd. Athletes Of The Year awards in each of its categories:

Kyron McMaster and Chantel Malone have been named BVIAA Colonial Insurance (BVI) Ltd. Senior Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

Kyron McMaster, ranked No. 3 in the world in 2018 in the men’s 400-meter hurdles is the two-times Diamond League Champion of 2017 and 2018. He is a three-times 2018 Gold medalist in the 400m Hurdles having won at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, the Central and American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Barranquilla, Colombia and the North American and Caribbean Championships (NACAC) in Toronto, Canada. McMaster’s personal best of 47.54 seconds achieved at the Paris Diamond League in June 2018 highlights his huge accomplishments.

Chantel Malone, the territory’s first IAAF World Championships finalist finishing 7th in the women’s long jump in 2017 was ranked top 100 in the world in 2018 in the women’s long jump. Malone’s 2018 achievements include placing 5th at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, a silver medalist at the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) with a leap of 6.52m, and a 5th place in the women’s long jump at the 2018 North American and Caribbean Championships in Toronto, Canada.

Rikkoi Brathwaite and Beyonce Defreitas have been named BVIAA Colonial Insurance (BVI) Ltd. Junior Male and Female of the Year.

Brathwaite is the Jr. National Record Holder in the 100m dash. During 2018, he placed 3rd in the 100m at the Flow Carifta Games in Bahamas as well as competing at the IAAF World Under 20 Championships in Tampere, Finland where he advanced to the 100m semi-finals with a time of 10.44 seconds.

DeFreitas, 2017 silver medalist at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas in the 200m sprint, began 2018 with astonishing times which qualified her for the Flow Carifta Games, the IAAF World Under 20 Championships and the Youth Olympic Games. She is one of the few in the OECS to run under 24 seconds in the 200m at the age of 15 and is a national leader in her division. She has remained unbeaten in local competition since the age of 13.

Jaleel Croal and Adaejah Hodge have been named BVIAA Colonial Insurance (BVI) Ltd. Youth Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2018.

Croal, coming off strong performance among peers in the Heptathlon at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Age Group Championships held in Trinidad and Tobago in June 2017, ended 2018 as the national top 100m and 200m leader in his U15 age division. He qualified for the Flow Carifta Games in both the 100m and 200m and as a first time competitor, he placed 6th in the 100m finals at Carifta.

In 2018, Hodge ran a time of 12.34 seconds in 100m. She broke the 26 year old record (24.47 August 1st, 1992) with a time of 24.37 seconds in the 200m in her Under 13 age division at the Jr. Olympics in the USA. Hodge was honoured as the top female athlete at both the Wildcat Invitational meet and Mustang Stampede meet in Douglasville, GA. She also set 60m and 200m indoors with times of 7.88 seconds and 25.53 seconds respectively at the Birmingham Alabama Cross Plex meet during the season. Her personal best in other events includes 56.79 second in the 400m and 17 feet 12 inches in the long jump amongst her other highlighted accomplishments as an Under 13 athlete.

The BVIAA Executive and the BVI athletics family extend congratulations to all the athletes.

VI sailor Thad Lettsome competes at Hempel World Cup Series 2019

By RBVIYC

BVI’s Thad Lettsome placed 88th at the Hempel World Cup Series 2019, Miami, USA Jan 27 – Feb 3. Photo copyright: Sailing energy/World Sailing

Thad Lettsome from the Virgin Islands placed 88th in the Laser class at the Hempel World Cup Series 2019 in Miami, USA  (January 27 – February 3). The top three places went to Hermann Tomasgaard (Norway) 1st, Sam Meech (New Zealand) 2nd, and Tom Burton (Australia) 3rd.

Competing at his first elite regatta at just 16 years of age, Lettsome raced in a fleet of 101 Lasers (the equipment used at the Olympic Games) including Olympic medalists and world champions.  Conditions were tricky throughout the regatta with storms whipping through the course areas and dramatic wind shifts providing challenges to all.

The qualifying series consisted of four races over two days before the fleet was divided into gold and silver fleets.  In light shifty conditions, Lettsome posted consistent results with his best finish in 39th position.  Assigned to the silver fleet, he went on to impress with outstanding scores in races 8 and 9 when he claimed 7th and 5th place.

With an excellent overall position of 88th, Lettsome takes home some valuable experience from his first elite senior regatta. Upcoming challenges for Lettsome will include the Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships in Poland in July.

The Hempel World Cup Series is the annual series of Olympic sailing events for elite and professional sailors.  The multi-class regattas attract the best of the best with this year’s Miami event listing 101 Laser entries including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tom Burton, and bronze medalist Sam Meech.

French windsurf Olympic gold medalist sailing through the VI

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee presents French windsurf Olympic gold medalist, Charline Picon with a commemorative pin during her first visit to the Virgin Islands. Photo: CM Farrington/BVIOC

Members of the BVI Olympic Committee executive were invited by the BVI Tourist Board to join them today in welcoming Olympian Charline Picon, a French windsurfer who specializes in Neil Pryde RS:X class.

Extending a courtesy to a visiting Olympian, BVIOC President, Ephraim Penn presented Ms. Picon and her entourage with national Olympic Committee pins to commemorate their first visit to the Virgin Islands.

Traveling with her young daughter, family and friends, Ms. Picon will be cruising the islands aboard a Sunsail yacht following which, Ms. Picon will be visiting the Youth Empowerment Project located in East End/Long Look on February 14th.  Interacting with the YEP members enrolled in the kite surfing program being offered at YEP, Ms. Picon will be engaged in teaching the children the rudiments of windsurfing in exchange for kite surfing guidance from the youth.

Ms. Picon most recently competed in the HEMPEL World Cup Series – Round 2, Miami USA last month where she took the silver. She also placed 2nd in the 2018 Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark,

Ms. Picon has captured two bronze medals in her respective class at the Windsurfing World Championships, and a gold medal to earn her an olympic title at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio after attaining a top ten finish at the 2012 Summer Olympics. As of September 2014, Picon is ranked as one of the top ten sailors in the world for the sailboard class by the International Sailing Federation, following her successes at the European and World Championships and at the Sailing World Cup series*

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charline_Picon

VI boys’ football teams bring home silver and gold from Caribbean Showcase

Source: BVI Football Association

The Virgin Islands Boys U13 and U10 Teams respectively won silver and gold in the 4th Global Premier Soccer (GPS) Caribbean Showcase tournament held January 25 – 27, 2019. Photo: BVIFA

The BVI Football Association and their national Boys U10 and Boys U13 football teams have outdone themselves yet again after returning from Puerto Rico with a gold and silver medal respectively in the 4th Global Premier Soccer (GPS) Caribbean Showcase tournament held January 25 – 27, 2019.

GPS hosts on average 44 tournaments each year between various states in the USA and the Caribbean Showcase held in Bayamon was one of their newest additions. It provided the children in Puerto Rico and the neighboring region the opportunity to play against some of the top footballers in the Americas without having to travel too far from home.

The Virgin Islands easily being the smallest participating territory has had its best results to date with a win in the Boys Under 10 category and placing 2nd in the Boys Under 13 category.

The VI U10 Boys – named U10 Rock BVI – first matched up with GPS Guaynabo where they won 2-0.
Rock BVI played GPS Aquadilla and won by 3-0 in the semi- finals and went on to the finals where they obliterated SA United from Massachusetts with a 7-1 hammering, to become the 2019 U10 Boys Champions.

Meanwhile, the U13 Rock BVI Team opened their account with a 1-1 draw against Athletico San Juan, with Adrian Padillo scoring the equalizer.

Game two against GPS Aquadilla ended in a tame 0-0 draw. The final game for the BVI U13 Rock saw them defeat GPS Guaynabo by 3-1. Joel Mars out of Virgin Gorda scored for the BVI while the talented Azarni Callwood found the back of the net twice to ensure the victory.

Coach Dan Neville expressed his delight with the overall success of both teams stating, “this result shows that the attitude and application by both teams during the games and in the build up to the tournament went well for our national teams and is a clear indication of them being able to make the transition as they move on to play at higher levels. Both teams played physical and very attacking football. What we are focusing on now is ensuring that we teach the same style of football at all ages so players get to learn their positions well and are able to make a smooth transition as they move up in age groups.”

President of the BVIFA, Andy Bickerton, was elated with the results saying that he was especially pleased to see the younger teams do well as this fits right into his dream of seeing a truly local VI team with youngsters born and brought up through the BVIFA system, participate and do well at the highest level in football, which of course would include the World Cup.