Jaleel Croal runs sub 20 PB in Cali 2021 200m finals. 3×3 basketball team perform valiantly against top teams

Virgin Islands sprinter Jaleel Croal delivered a PB of 20.93 in the 200m finals at the Cali 2021 Junior Panam Games – his first major Games and season opener.

Pitching his speed against faster and older runners in the race, Jaleel did well to pull out all the stops to run sub 21 and place 5th. The new time smashes his previous PB of 21.10 achieved at the end of last  season.

“When I got on the track my main goal was to have fun and run a 21 so after a nice start and execution and finish and a 20.93 – even though I came 5th – I was the happiest man on the track at that moment. There’s more to come and I already marked the guys’ faces!” said Jaleel.

Speaking after the race, Coach Ralston “Grandfather” Henry said, “This is the peak time of season for the sprinters from Ecuador and Brazil and to see him come and run that fast with them is a major accomplishment!”

Jaleel already qualified for the World Athletics U20 Championships with his semi-finals time of 21.24 and he will be back at the same stadium for the event next August 1 – 6.

The medals in the Cali 2021 200m went to Anderson Marquinez (Ecuador, 20.51), Lucas Vilar (Brazil, 20.59) and Lucas Rodrigues Da Silva (Brazil,20.68).

Jaleel and Coach Grandfather return home to the BVI on Saturday, December 4.

The 3×3 basketball team comprising Shakeem Tyson, Michael Richardson, D’/Andre Mitchum and Stephano Paul played their final group game against Venezuela on December 3. The team gave everything they had and put up a much improved performance with contributions from all of them. While they ultimately lost 22-11 they remained very much in touch with their strong opposition until the halfway point when Venezuela showed their class and pulled away. Since that match, Venezuela went on to beat Puerto Rico (in their final group game) and then beat Brazil in the quarter finals. 

“After initially losing out 21-5 to Puerto Rico in their first match to only a day later be pushing Venezuela in a much closer affair shows how far the team has come in such a short amount of time,” said Chef de Mission Adam Murrills. “It also shows a strong mentality in their ability to problem-solve, adapt, work together and improve throughout what has been the BVI’s first International Competition for Basketball since 2010!

“Having spoken with the guys I know that they’re proud (and rightly so!) of how they performed and how they improved throughout the tournament and they’re keen to push on after this and hopefully experience more International Competition in the future!”

President Ephraim Penn who has attended the competitions from the start of the Games was impressed with the level of application and incremental improvement of all athletes and more so with the camaraderie and supportive attitude of the athletes from the different sports ensuring to attend the matches or watch live where physical attendance was not possible.

“The athletes and coaches all arrived as separate teams but as they leave these Games, they depart with a sense of one BVI team which is a very rewarding result in itself,” said President Penn.

“On behalf of the BVIOC, I congratulate Jaleel on setting a new PB coming off the blocks of the final at his first major Games. That he achieved this at the start of the season and racing against more experienced and older sprinters in the middle of their season is all them more exciting for what we can expect to see from him in 2022. Congratulations also to the 3×3 Basketball team who have done a remarkable job of holding their own in new territory. Thank you to the National Federations, their athletes and especially to their coaches, Ralston  “Grandfather” Henry, track and field coach and 2nd Vice President of the BVI Olympic Committee and to Coach West for Basketball for committing to and executing admirable performances at these inaugural Panam Junior Games.”

Thad Lettsome, who is based at Lake Calima with his coach, Chris Watters finished the 2nd day of the regatta with a 7th and 6th place for an overall 6thplace at the start of the final set of races in the one-person ILCA7 laser today, Saturday December 4. 

Coach Watters described the second day of competition as a “tough day”.

“It was cranking windy and we were closer to shore. The guys in 1st and 2nd place are in a race of their own; they have a good 15lbs on Thad. It’ll be a major focus for him moving forward. That and the downwind in heavy breeze flat water,” said Coach Watters. “He’s still not bad shape in the regatta. 6th overall but only 1 point from 5th. Bit of a gap to the medals but there’s some protests for 3/4 going on so we’re not out of it!”

The closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 5 after which the  3×3 team and BVI delegation will return home to the VI while Thad will return to Tulane University, New Orleans and Coach Watters to Florida.

Croal advances to semi-finals. Lettsome settles mid fleet on day 1 and 3×3 basketball compete in first two games of the Cali 2021 Junior Panam Games

Congratulations to Jaleel Croal who placed 3rd in his heat of the 200m semi-finals at the Cali 2021 inaugural Junior PanAm Games . His time of 21.24 secured a spot in the finals where he will run in lane 8 at 7:00pm on Friday December 3.

18-years old Jaleel came out of the race feeling positive about his time and performance. “Before the race I was nervous but I said to myself that the hard part is qualifying and the fun part is the finals. Once on the track I felt better and I felt good coming out of the blocks and overall felt the race was good. I am very happy about it and will be ready to give it my 100% in the finals.”

Coach Ralston “Grandfather” Henry also was happy with the race and performance saying, “It was a very good time with which to open the season at this time of the year. He ended the season with 21.10 so coming back with a 21.24 to start the season was very good. I’m looking forward to what we will see in the finals.”

Thad Lettsome closed out his first day of racing the ILCA7 laser with a 5th and 4th place finish out of a fleet of 14 which, according to Coach Chris Watters, is exactly where they planned to be. “Thad did a really good job starting, sailing smart and conservatively. We want to be in the middle of the hunt all the way through the end so we’re hoping for similar conditions tomorrow,” said Coach Watters.

“The first day of the regatta went well,” said Thad. “We’re looking to maintain a consistent score line and then perhaps look at being more aggressive and making a push after the first race as that would mark the half way point of the event.”

Thad will compete in 4 more races with 2 each on Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4.

The BVI 3×3 basketball team competed in their first two matches of their first international Game where they lost out to Puerto Rico 5-21 in a shake up match. The 2nd match against Colombia went better for the team as they held the lead for the first part before finally conceding the game by 6 points for a 9-15 score. The team comprising Michael Richardson, Shakeem Tyson, Stephano Paul, D’Andre Mitchum and Coach Trevor “West” Stevens will face Venezuela at 11:30am BVI time on Friday, December 3.

“Today has been a very positive day for Team BVI at the Junior PanAm Games,” said Chef de Mission Adam Murrills. “The day started with a very tough game for our basketball team against one of the favourites. They really showed a strong mentality in bouncing back in their 2nd match against home country Colombia. They still have a chance of qualifying and so there is everything still to play for. After speaking with the boys they are up for the challenge and are looking forward to getting stuck in!

“Thad had a great day out on the water executing objectives which put him in 4th place ready to mount a challenge for a medal while Jaleel did the business in the 200m semi-final and everyone is looking forward to cheering him on in his final where he’ll be going in with no pressure!”

BVI Olympic President Ephraim Penn has been in Colombia since November 21 where he attended the meetings as a member of the Technical Commission as well as attending the Panam Sports AGM and the Extraordinary General Assembly of Centro Caribe Sports along with Secretary General Lloyd Black.

“So far the Cali 2021 Junior PanAm Games have been very busy both from a technical perspective and from the angle of our athletes, coaches and physio, Levi James” said President Penn. “This is a new experience for all but one of our juniors – that being Thad Lettsome who competed in his first major Games at the Lima 2019 PanAm Games. I am impressed with how the athletes have adapted to the demands and expectations of international competition guided by their coaches. They are excited, yet disciplined and focused and are great ambassadors for the Virgin Islands. As Chef de Mission, Adam Murrills is doing an excellent job of making sure that our athletes are well looked after and that the delegation is kept up to date and informed of all schedules and requirements as may be announced by the organisers. As the BVI Olympic Committee, we couldn’t be prouder of our team and we look forward to the action over the next couple of days.”

The live action can be seen on Panam Sports Channel, CBNTelevision.com and CBN Channel 101. Full scores for competing nations can be found on calivalle2021.com.

9 athletes to represent Virgin Islands in 4 sports at inaugural Junior PanAm Games in Cali-Valle, Colombia

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) has confirmed that 9 athletes will represent the Virgin Islands in 4 sports at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games which will take place in Cali-Valle, Colombia, November 25 – December 5, 2021.

The VI team comprising 1 sailor, 3 track athletes, 1 squash player and 4 basketball players will start to arrive into Colombia from November 24 ahead of the opening ceremony on November 25 and their events starting November 26. Chef de Mission and squash coach, Adam Murrills will be in Cali in advance of the athletes in preparation of their arrival.

“I have been working closely with the National Federations and the coaches confirming the athletes’ participation at Cali 2021 and ensuring that all processes are completed,” said Murrills. “I attended the Chef de Missions’ seminar in Cali in September and am satisfied that our athletes will be comfortably accommodated and will have the opportunity to settle in and train ahead of their events.”

The first athletes to qualify for Cali 2021 were sailor Thad Lettsome, who made his first major Games debut at the Lima 2019 Panam Games and swimmer Elinah Phillip, who made her first Olympic appearance at Rio 2016 and competed again at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Unfortunately, Phillip is making a health recovery and will not be able to compete at Cali.

Lettsome will compete in the men’s ILCA 7 single person dinghy on Lake Calima, December 2 – 4.

Making his major Games debut, Luca Reich will be the first athlete to compete at Cali 2021 when he faces his squash opponents at Club Campestre de Cali, November 26 – 27.

The 3 track athletes who are all competing at their first major Games are sprinters Rikkoi Brathwaite (100m and 200m), Jaleel Croal (200m) and Zara Brown (100m). The 100m races take place November 30 – December 1 and the 200m events take place at the Estadio Olimpico Pascual Guerrero, Santiago de Cali, December 2 – 3.

The VI will be represented in basketball at a major Game For the first time since appearing at the CAC Games in 2010 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. D’Andre Mitcham, Stephano Paul, Michael Richardson, and Shakeem Tyson have been selected to form the 3×3 basketball team competing at the Pan American Courts in Cali, December 2 – 5.

BVIOC President Ephraim Penn, who was elected as a member of the Panam Sports Technical Commission in April 2021, will also be in attendance at the Games.

“This is the second major Games since the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held last summer and we are excited for our junior athletes who will be taking to the international stage. For the majority of athletes representing the VI at these Games, this will be the first time competing for their country,” said BVIOC President Ephraim Penn. “At the start of the pandemic, the region’s NOCs were uncertain as to when the inaugural Junior PanAm Games would be held until the commitment was made by Cali to move the dates from June 2021 to the end of the year. We have embraced the opportunity presented to our young athletes who have their eyes on the future including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the 2023 Panam Games and the Paris 2024 Olympics.”

The Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games is a pathway to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympic Games with gold medalists gaining automatic qualification to Santiago 2023.

The VI delegation to Cali 2021 also includes, Lloyd Black (Secretary General, BVIOC), coaches Chris Watters (sailing), Ralston Henry (athletics), Trevor Stevens (basketball) and physiotherapist, Levi James.

3,500 athletes from 41 countries will compete in 39 sports across 10 days of nonstop action which will be broadcast live and direct on the Panam Sports Channel and on CBN Television Channel 101 beginning with the Opening Ceremony on November 25 and concluding when the curtain is lowered on the Games at the Closing Ceremony on December 5.

Follow the BVIOC on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter for regular updates and results.

Olympic Day June 23, 2021 – #StrongerTogether

In the British Virgin Islands, in-person Olympic Day runs were hosted on Saturday, June 19 on the islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. Photo: BVIOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today launches “Stronger Together”, a global Olympic campaign that celebrates athletes by showcasing their journey to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and how they kept moving even when the world around them stopped. The story celebrates their strength, resilience and determination to bring hope, unity and inspiration to people around the world.

Timed to launch ahead of Olympic Day (23 June), the story features world-renowned athletes, including past and present Olympians Usain Bolt, Naomi Osaka, Andre De Grasse, Yusra Mardini and Nyjah Houston. Tony Hawk is also present, representing the skateboarding community as they enter their first-ever Games.

It focuses on a people-centric message of Stronger Together, emphasising the IOC’s message of solidarity and the belief that the world moves forward only when it moves together, and the irresistible power of the Olympic Games to unite people, communities and societies across the globe.

The film can be watched here.

The #StrongerTogether campaign has been designed to unite people around the world while building excitement for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Online fan engagement

On 23 June, a number of activities will take place on the IOC’s digital platforms to celebrate Olympic Day. People around the world will be able to connect, chat and get inspired by some of the world’s best athletes, including through a dedicated Olympic Day yoga session with Christy Prior, live chats with Usain Bolt and Japanese surfer Kanoa Igarashi, plus workout sessions and a Q&A with tennis star Venus Williams, to name just a few of the activities. These will focus on both physical and mental strength, and will include workouts as well as advice on mindfulness and well-being.

Olympic Day around the world

Some 110 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world are also planning to encourage people to get active on Olympic Day. In-person activities around the world held where the situation permits, include Olympic Day runs, outdoor games for families, introductions to new sports, meetings with Olympians and workshops on the Olympic values. Digital initiatives, such as virtual Olympic challenges, online workouts, virtual live chats with Olympians, online quizzes and webinars on the Olympic values, will also be organised by NOCs. In the British Virgin Islands, in-person Olympic Day runs were hosted on Saturday, June 19 on the islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke and on Sunday, June 27, the BVI Olympic Committee will host the Territory’s first BVI Beach Games with sporting activities for all ages and abilities hosted by the National Federations for rugby, sailing, volleyball and football encouraging people to experience the Olympic Day message to Move, Learn and Discover”.

Olympic Virtual Series

The finals of the first-ever Olympic Virtual Series, the Olympic-licensed event for physical and non-physical virtual sports, will be broadcast live on olympics.com on 23 June.

Virtual sports fans can choose if they want to watch the Main Olympic Live Broadcast or specific disciplines. The sports featured are: baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motor sport.

“Lausanne Capitale Olympique” run

On 23 June, the “Lausanne Capitale Olympique” run, organised by the City of Lausanne (Switzerland), where the IOC is headquartered, will be held digitally for the first time.

The organisers have devised a route of around 7km along the shores of Lake Geneva to discover some iconic places linked to Olympism and sport in Lausanne. Along the route, various personalities will provide comments and encouragement, including the IOC President, who will launch the run. You can take part here.

IOC President Bach: “Let’s celebrate the precious Olympic spirit”

“In this extraordinary Olympic year, celebrating Olympic Day is even more special than usual,” said the IOC President, Thomas Bach. “On this Olympic Day, when the entire world has been facing the same struggles and fears because of the global coronavirus pandemic for far too long, the power of sport to bring hope and optimism takes on an even greater significance. Solidarity, hope and optimism – this is what the power of sport is all about. This is why on this Olympic Day, let us stand together to celebrate the precious Olympic spirit,” he continued.

Olympic Day celebrates the revival of the Olympic Games

The idea of celebrating an Olympic Day was adopted at the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz in January 1948. The chosen date celebrates the founding of the IOC at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 23 June 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games.

The first Olympic Day was celebrated that same year on 23 June 1948 and, 30 years later, in the 1978 edition of the Olympic Charter, the IOC recommended that all NOCs organise an Olympic Day to promote the Olympic Movement.

Over the last 20 years, Olympic Day has been associated with Olympic Day runs all over the world. First launched in 1987, the runs were about encouraging all NOCs to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport.

More information about Olympic Day can be found here.

Basketball Federation launches 3×3 District Tournament

Photo: BVI Basketball Federation Facebook

President of the BVI Basketball Federation, Mr Derrick Varlack, announced that the Federation is seeking interested persons to register for the 3×3 district tournaments in an effort to familiarize themselves with the 3×3 game.

Mr Varlack noted that “the Federation has been reviewing viable solutions to rejuvenate and sustain basketball throughout the Territory. We believe that 3×3 basketball is a new option for basketball in the territory, which provides opportunities for basketball players regionally and internationally.”

“As we prepare to enter the 2021 basketball calendar year, we anticipate facilitating several 3×3 tournaments in addition to the traditional 5 on 5 basketball leagues across the BVI. We will continue providing support in efforts to foster the development of basketball while promoting an active lifestyle in our community,” said Mr. Varlack.

The BVIBF 3×3 district tournament coordinators are:

D1 Deshaun Hodge/ Ray Victor
D2 Verne Turnbull
D3 Milton McLean
D4 Ronald Simmonds/Bryant Thomas
D5 Kennedy Bass
D6 Nathaniel Malone/Byron Massicot
D7 Vanceto Pickering/ Kareem Thomas
D8 Kareem Thomas/Vince Pickering
D9 Mark Noel

Interested persons should contact the BVIBF for more information at bvibasketball@gmail.com or at (284) 340 – 3790. Updates on the BVIBFs plans, athletes, community initiatives and more can be found on the federation’s social media pages at @bvibasketballfed.

Free Basketball & Baseball Camp underway in Districts 7 & 8

(Standing Front L-R) Ephraim Penn, President, BVI Olympic Committee and Milton McLean founder of the Basketball & Baseball (B & B) youth Summer Camp which this year was sponsored by the BVIOC and was launched at Greenland, East End, Tortola on August 17, 2020

A two-week, free Basketball & Baseball (B & B) youth Summer Camp, sanctioned by the BVI Basketball Association and sponsored by the BVI Olympic Committee was launched at Greenland, East End, Tortola on Monday, August 17, 2020.

The summer camp is offering coaching in both basketball and baseball to all boys and girls aged 8 – 12 years residing in Districts 7 and 8. The initiative – now in its third year of community engagement – is managed by Mr. Milton McLean and Mr. Raymond “Chi Chi” Fonseca of the Sea Cow’s Bay Basketball Club (SCBBC). Mr. McLean founded the B & B group in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria bringing in Mr. Fonseca to help with the baseball programme.

“After the hurricanes of 2017 there was little or no activity in sports on Tortola. This prompted me to create the B & B group as an affiliate to the Sea Cow’s Bay Basketball Club,” said Mr. McLean. “The first B & B clinic took place in District 4 in July 2018 and we teamed up with YEP to host the programme in District 3 in 2019. This year, we have partnered with the BVI Olympic Committee to introduce the clinic in East End/Long Look, where I actually grew up. We can’t thank the BVIOC enough for their support as we could not have offered the camp otherwise.”

Basketball and baseball (with an option of softball for girls) are both offered in the Greenland field in District 7 while basketball camp is offered in District 8. Children residing in either district can be registered to attend any of the camps. The camps run from 9:00am – 3:00pm Mondays through Fridays.

“We are hoping to cater for 30-40 children, helping them to release some of that pent-up energy,” continued Mr. McLean. “The idea is to train the participants in the skills of both sports and organize them into teams of 12. We will work with the participating coaches in the districts for a couple of months after the camps so that they can continue to run a district B & B club throughout the year.”

The intent is to offer the B & B summer camp in Districts 1 and 2 in 2021 with the hopes that the grass roots programme will take off and eventually lead to Territory-wide basketball and baseball youth teams that can compete against each other.

The mutual goal of the B & B group and the BVIOC is to encourage younger children to become physically active with a view to tackling the growing problem of childhood obesity made worse by the impact of COVID-19 on sports. Both organisations also recognize the inextricable link between endorphins released through cardio-aerobic exercise, emotional well-being, improved self-esteem and social attitude.

“The BVIOC accepted the invitation to support the B & B initiative because it speaks directly to the Long Term Athlete Development and physical literacy programmes that we have been championing in the Virgin Islands since we launched the community-wide workshops in 2016,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC.

The funding for the summer camps was sourced through Olympic Solidarity, which this year gave National Olympic Committees the discretion to support programmes that help to develop sports and encourage physical activity in the community.

“Typically, the bulk of the money from Olympic Solidarity is ear marked for national federation sports development and athlete or team activity in preparation for or participation in events and competitions that are part of the ladder to competing in major Games such as the CAC, Panam Games, and Olympic Games,” explained Mr. Penn. “With all competitions suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOCs were invited to apply for funds to continue to build capacity and engage with the public to move and get physically active. As always, we are accountable to OS and are required to report on the activities which we fund.”

For more information on the B & B Summer Camps or to register a child, contact Mr. McLean on 345-0555 or Mr. Fonseca on 441-1435.

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.

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.

Death of Patrick Baumann, IOC Member sends shockwaves

Mr Patrick Baumann, IOC member and Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) died October 14, 2018 aged 51.

It is with the greatest sorrow and shock that the International Olympic Committee and its member NOCs learned of the death of Mr Patrick Baumann, IOC member in Switzerland, in Buenos Aires. He was 51.

Patrick Baumann was a central figure of the Olympic Movement.

Former player, coach and referee, Patrick Baumann dedicated his life to basketball and to the sport community. Deputy Secretary General (1995-2002) of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), he was then unanimously appointed Secretary General by the FIBA Central Board in 2002, a role he has held since. He has been greatly instrumental in the transformation and the growth of the sport in the international basketball community, successfully supporting for instance the popularisation of 3×3 basketball.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “This is a great shock which has hit us all very hard. We can hardly believe this terrible news. Particularly since, even today, we have seen him working hard, as we always knew him, for the sport he loved. We lose a young and sympathetic leader full of hope who was standing for the future of sport. Our thoughts are with his wife, his children and his family.”

To honour the memory of Patrick Baumann, the IOC President asked for the Olympic flag to be flown at half-mast at the IOC Headquarters and at the IOC Headquarters at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires for three days. The IOC also held a memorial in the Youth Olympic Village.

IOC member since 2007, he had been recently appointed as a member (2016-2017) then president (2017) of the Evaluation Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad in 2024, then Vice-Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad Paris 2024 after the French capital won the organisation of the Olympic Games 2024. He was also chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Los Angeles 2028, helping the two host cities to work closely with each other.

A swiss national, Patrick Baumann was also president of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.
Patrick Baumann has continuously and actively participated in the IOC’s development throughout his mandate, as a member in the following IOC Commissions: Evaluation for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008 (as IF representative) (2000-2001), Coordination for the Games of the XXX Olympiad London 2012 (2007-2012), International Relations (2008-2014), Sport and Law (2010-2014), Evaluation for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020 (2013), Entourage (2014-2015), Marketing (2014-), Athletes’ Entourage (2015-2018); and Legal Affairs (2017-2018).

Able to speak five languages, Patrick Baumann was the owner of a remarkable academic curriculum: MBA from the Business School of the University of Chicago, a Masters in Sports Administration Management (MEMOS) from the University of Lyon in France and a law degree from the University of Lausanne.

A man of numerous talents, as a lawyer he always demonstrated a great sense of responsibility: he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of the World Academy of Sport in 2009, was a member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) since 2010 and was also a member of the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Patrick Baumann was elected as a Council member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) in 2011 and re-elected in 2015, he was elected in 2016 President of GAISF and in 2017, President of SportAccord.

“The BVI Olympic Committee joins the IOC in expressing deepest sympathies to Mr Baumann’s family,” said Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC.