BVIOC secures international competition standard swimming pool for BVI from Panam Sports


Mr. Ralston Henry 2nd VP BVIOC , Mr. Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC, Prof. Emeritus Arthur G Richardson PHD, Chairman Board of Governors at HLSCC, Dr. Richard Georges HLSCC President and Mr. Mark Chapman, Treasurer BVIOC. PHOTO: BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee has secured a commitment from Panam Sports and World Aquatics (the international swimming federation formerly known as FINA) to support the supply of a 25m international competition standard swimming pool from Myrtha Pools to be installed and managed by the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

The development of the project has been formalised following six months of discussions between Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC, Mr. Ivar Sisniega, Secretary General for Panam Sports and Dr. Richard Georges, President of the HLSCC. Preparatory work on the proposal included a meeting with the President of the BVI Swimming Federation, schematics from Myrtha Pools received through Panam Sports and a rough order of magnitude.

“Dr. Georges initially approached the BVIOC in July with an offer of partnership for the installation of a swimming pool following a response I had given to a question on the status of swimming in the territory at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games press conference,” said President Penn. “This was a timely outreach that came on the heels of a Panam Sports National Olympic Committee Consultation meeting that Secretary General Lloyd Black, Treasurer Mark Chapman and I attended in Miami in May 2022.”

During the meeting, Panam Sports had expressed a desire to see the development of public and competition standard swimming pools in the Caribbean.

“Panam Sports and World Aquatics identified installation of swimming pools as an urgent need for the region,” said Mr. Neven Ilic, President of Panama Sports. “The BVI has already made its mark in swimming with the likes of Olympian Elinah Phillip and this, along with our history of support for the development of the BVI’s athletes, coaches, sports and sporting facilities like the Mondo track at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground, helped us to identify the NOC as the beneficiary of our offer to provide a training and competition pool provided they could find a location and a partner that would be responsible for civil works and the maintenance and management of the facility, which should be accessible to all.”

The initiative was presented to the BVIOC by Mr. Sisniega who explained that a pool is essential for the development of competitive swimmers while stressing the importance of learning to swim as a survival skill.

“A short course 25 meter pool is the ideal sized pool for a small country, since it would allow the swimmers to compete in official distances, while at the same time supporting a learn to swim program that would help develop local talent and, more importantly, give the opportunity to many of the local children and youth the opportunity to learn to swim properly and to engage in this sport on a regular basis,” said Mr. Sisniega.

Panam Sports supports the development of sport and its 41 member National Olympic Committees “to inspire more participation in international competitions as well as participation of the youth to prepare the generation to come in our region.” The donation of the swimming pool – valued at around $400,000 – is expected to be a pilot scheme for other Caribbean NOCs.

The project is aligned with the College’s master plan as the swimming pool supports its marine and maritime curriculum as well as its vision for the student experience.

“The HLSCC currently offers a range of accredited maritime certifications that prepare students to work in the marine and marine tourism industries,” said Dr. Georges. “Our current STCW certifications require a water safety module for which a swimming pool is integral to the practical training and testing of the participants. Until we have our own pool, we are reliant on the use of private facilities.

“Having our own facility will provide stability to those programmes while enabling us to evolve our campus into a comprehensive educational institution that supports the development of student life while strengthening its regional and international appeal to third party educators,” he added.

In addition to serving training needs, the swimming pool will be used for teaching basic survival skills through progressive swimming lessons offered at all levels. The BVI Swimming Federation, which has been on an enforced hiatus since Hurricane Irma destroyed the swimming pool at Prospect Reef which had served as its training facility, is expected to resume its coaching and competitive training programs with a view to hosting regional and international meets.

“We know that the BVI Swimming Federation has been waiting for a very long time to see such a project come to fruition so finally having a swimming pool that will be accessible to all, and which will allow the sport of swimming to take off in the BVI is an exciting development for the territory,” said President Penn. “We are surrounded by sea and survival in the water has to be a fundamental skill that is learned from an early age. From there, the grass roots take hold and the sport will develop naturally. We have already produced an Olympic swimmer and we know that there are young swimmers here with the budding skills who are training with KATS and BVI Swim School and who already are competing at regional meets.”

The Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), which has been invited to oversee and manage the preparations and construction of the facility, is in receipt of a Statement of Requirement.

“Swimming and water safety are essential life skills and should be taught at a young age. The Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports has been considering the prospect of delivering this necessary component of the national curriculum. Thus, we are pleased that HLSCC has collaborated with the private sector to deliver a facility that would open up access to many aquatic disciplines, thereby giving all students and the wider community the opportunity to be taught water safety and to engage in aquatics. I commend Dr. Georges, Mr. Ephraim Penn and the parties involved in the project and thank Panam Sports and World Aquatics for their commitment to the BVI through the BVIOC,” said Hon. Sharie de Castro, Minister for Education, Youth Affairs and Sports.

“The next step in the process is to put the proposal together for the funding for the civil works and ancillary elements of the aquatics center such as the administrative offices, changing facilities, gym and therapy area, stands, storage rooms etc,” said Dr. Georges who has identified potential financiers for the project.

Athletes, coaches and medics benefit from Anti-Doping and Sports Nutrition Workshop

National Federations, athletes, coaches, medics and volunteers benefited from the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) free Anti-Doping and Sports Nutrition Workshop held in the Eileen Parsons Auditorium at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Tortola on Saturday morning, December 3. An anti-doping presentation was made in the evening at the Bregado Flax Educational Center on Virgin Gorda on Friday, December 2.

The workshops, supported by Olympic Solidarity, were held in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), head quartered in Barbados and the Ministry of Health and Social Development through its Public Health Unit (PHU).

In brief remarks at the opening of the workshop at the HLSCC Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC said, “In recent years, the BVI has produced 2 Olympic finalists, a two-times Commonwealth Games and Diamond League Champion and a junior track and field phenomenon which has brought us to the attention of international organisations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

“As both the National Olympic Committee and the National Anti-Doping Commission, we need to educate our national federations and their member athletes, coaches, parents and volunteers on the processes and expectations for clean sport since lack of knowledge is not accepted as an excuse in the event of a violation.”

President Penn also highlighted the importance of combining athletic performance with a healthy diet for optimal results. Honourable Marlon Penn, Minister for Health and Social Development expounded on the topic in his remarks.

“The Ministry for Health and Social Development, through its Public Health Unit, has an agenda that seeks to combat non-communicable diseases in the community and to encourage healthier lifestyles through physical activity and a diet rich in nutritional food. As athletes, it is even more important that you receive the right information that will help you to choose the right food that will help you maximise your output for the results you hope to achieve. I am pleased that the Ministry is positioned to provide this guidance.”

The educational workshops explained the anti-doping rules and regulations that guide WADA’s mandate for clean sports in all competitions sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee. They included an introduction to the Anti-Doping Education and Learning Platform (ADEL) – the centralised platform offering educational solutions for athletes and coaches – and ADAMS (the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System) for processing and entering data in all anti-doping issues. ADAMS is used by athletes for submitting their whereabouts and can also be used to manage the application and recognition of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs).

The engaging presentations were made by Ms. Marsha Boyce, Communications and Projects Coordinator for Caribbean RADO and Dr. Harlan Vanterpool MD, Chief Doping Control Officer for the BVI National Anti-Doping Commission.

“It was pleasing to see the enthusiasm and keen interest shown by participants during our interactive Clean Sport Workshops in Virgin Gorda and Tortola,” said Ms. Boyce who flew in from Barbados for the events. “Education is crucial to the success of the Clean Sport movement. It’s important for all athletes and athlete support personnel, for example coaches, managers, physios and doctors to be exposed to the right information and to have access to the relevant resources in the fight against doping in sport. We at the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization look forward to our continued partnership with the British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee in support of its anti-doping programme.”

Building on the long-standing relationship with the Ministry of Health and Social Development to promote Long Term Athlete Development and health through physical literacy, the BVIOC worked with Ms. Patrice Maduro, Public Health Nutritionist and Ms. Harmonie Brewley-Massiah, National Epidemiologist of the Ministry’s Public Health Unit to share critical information on sports nutrition.

“We are keenly aware that BVI’s athletes need guidance and information on nutrition and to be able to make the distinction between good and bad – or ‘mal’ – nutrition,” said Ms. Brewley-Massiah and Ms. Maduro. “The session with the attendees – both adults and juniors – was not just an opportunity to share information but also a chance for us to get a measure of the level of awareness and dietary practices of this segment of the community. We plan to conduct more of these interactive programmes with athletes and to make sure that they have access to the support and resources to build and maintain a healthy diet that will lead to optimal physical and mental performance both on the field of play and at work or college.”

The session at the HLSCC was attended by representatives for archery, athletics, basketball, cycling, football, netball, sailing, softball/baseball, taekwondo and volleyball. In Virgin Gorda, the presentation was attended by coaches for athletics, basketball, cricket, football, softball and volleyball. Attendees across the board were enthusiastic and appreciative of the new information learned by the sessions.

“This was a really good workshop. We’ve learned a lot and we feel better prepared for what’s to come as we look towards entering the international competition arena in 2023,” said Sahbumnim Olanzo Boynes of Boynes Taekwondo Academy.

Clean sport and nutrition workshops respectively conducted by Dr. Harlan Vanterpool and the PHU can be arranged through the BVIOC. Contact 541-7845 for further information.

Anti-Doping and Sports Nutrition Presentation

Time and Date: 10:00am – 12:30pm, Saturday, December 3, 2022
Venue: Eileen Parsons Auditorium, HLSCC, Paraquita Bay, Tortola

Supported by Olympic Solidarity, the BVIOC is collaborating with the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), head quartered in Barbados and the Ministry of Health and Social Development’s Public Health Unit to host a free workshop presented by professionals who are experts in their field. All National Federations, their national teams, athletes and coaches are expected to attend. All interested parties also are encouraged to attend.

An anti-doping presentation will be made to the Virgin Gorda community at 5:30pm on Friday, December 2 at the Bregado Flax Education Center.

Free transportation is available on Tortola departing at 8:45am from the well by the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School Sea Cow’s Bay and 9:10am from the Old Festival Grounds in Road Town and at 8:45am from the Sticket in Long Look and 9:00am from the East End Police Station. Return trips available at the end of the workshop.

Schedule:
• 9:30am – 10:00am – Arrival and Registration
• 10:00am – 11:00am – Anti-Doping Presentation. Q & A
• 11:00am – 11:30am – Refreshment Break
• 11:30am – 12:30pm – Health and Nutrition Presentation. Q & A

Click to confirm and register attendance.

Contact Sofia Fay, BVIOC PRO on (284) 541 7845 if you have any questions.

WORKSHOP OVERVIEW
As BVI’s elite athletes deliver podium-finish performances, so in turn do we become a place of interest for international Games’ organisers and moderators. As National Federations continue to develop their sport and produce athletes who are representing (or who soon will represent) the nation in regional and international competitions, the BVIOC is required to mandate anti-doping education for all national teams and athletes.

With health and nutrition being key components of optimal performance, these elements are also considered to be an imperative part of the BVIOC’s education and athlete development outreach.

ANTI-DOPING
The World Anti-Doping Agency has its focus on the Caribbean region, and it is the duty of the BVI National Anti-Doping Commission (BVI NADC) to ensure all our active National Federations, their national athletes, coaches, volunteers (and parents where appropriate) are fully informed of the anti-doping rules and regulations.

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, MD, the Chief Doping Control Officer for BVI NADC, will present on the current anti-doping rules and regulations including the requirements and execution for in- and out- of competition testing. Ms. Marsha Boyce, Communications and Projects Coordinator for the Caribbean RADO, will provide instruction on how to use the Anti-Doping Education and Learning Platform (ADEL) – the centralised platform offering educational solutions for athletes and coaches. She also will demonstrate how to use ADAMS (the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System) for processing and entering data in all anti-doping issues. ADAMS is used by athletes for submitting their whereabouts and can also be used to manage the application and recognition of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs).

SPORTS NUTRITION
Health and Nutrition is critical for the optimal development of competitive athletes. The practical and interactive presentation will address all areas related to this topic.

Ms. Patrice Maduro, Public Health Nutritionist, PHU and Ms. Harmonie Massiah, National Epidemiologist, PHU will provide an overview on what exactly is meant by “nutrition” and tackle myths that have been accepted as fact, but which don’t effectively support optimal performance.

TOPICS COVERED

Opening Section: Myth #1 & 2

  1. Nutrition Overview
    a. Define Nutrition. Explaining why nutrition is important. Nutrition versus diet. What malnutrition looks like.
  2. How to optimally fuel your body for performance.
    a. How carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals support athletic performance.
  3. How to Build Balanced Meals: Hands-on portion. Will also address plant-based meals
    Short question & answer segment (2 questions).

Opening Section: Myth #3 & 4

  1. Pre, During and Post Exercise Fueling for optimum performance: Why, when, what and how much to eat and drink before, during and after training and competition.
  2. Hydration and Athletic Performance: Hands on portion.
    a. How hydration status affects performance. Determine if athletes are adequately drinking enough for optimal training and competing. 
    b. The Effects of Caffeine on Athletic Performance 
    Short question & answer segment (2 questions).

Opening Section: Myth #5 & 6

  1. “Super” Foods for Super Athletes:  Foods that have been scientifically proven to be benefit performance.
  2. Optimal Performance when Traveling: How to eat and hydrate when traveling.
  3. Impact of Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana: How these negatively affect the athlete’s body.
    Short question & answer segment (2 questions).
    Myth #7 & 8
  4. Grocery Shopping for Champions: How to read food labels. How to purchase optimal foods that will support health and performance.
  5. Supplements & Performance Enhancing Aids: Do they really work? Scientifically-based information on the aids that are essential for optimal sports performance, the pros and cons of taking supplements.
  6. Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports
    Question & Answer Segment (open floor)

Continental Results Management Panel (CRMP) Americas

The BVI National Anti-doping Organisation, in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Results Management, and in line with Article 8.1.1.1 of its Anti-Doping Rules, has appointed the Continental Results Management Panel (CRMP) Americas to adjudicate matters pursuant to the BVI National Anti-doping Organisation’s anti-doping rules and thus ensure the right to a fair hearing by an operationally independent panel for first instance hearings.

The Panel is comprised as follows: 

PANEL MEMBERCOUNTRY
Wendy M. N. MarajBarbados
Kenneth Muñoz UreñaCosta Rica
Jorge Gustavo Rehwoldt CastañedaGuatemala
Alejandra Gómez UgarteNicaragua
Manuel Berardo Díaz BultrónPanama
Aracely Sáenz OspinoPanama
Jaliya Retamozo Escobar (CHAIRPERSON)Peru
Malgorzata Judkiewicz-GarvanPeru
Kurlyn D. V. MerchantSt. Kitts and Nevis
J. Tyrone MarcusTrinidad and Tobago
Stefan A. FabienTrinidad and Tobago

To view the CRMP Americas procedural rules, click here.

APPEALS PANEL

Kindly note that Sport Resolutions will be the Appeals Panel for related matters.

To view Sport Resolutions procedural rules, click here.

Team BVI returns with silver and bronze medals from inaugural Caribbean Games

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, July 6, 2022 – The Virgin Islands (UK) delegation returned after securing 2 podium finishes at the inaugural Caribbean Games which were held June 27 – July 3, 2022, in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe.

Djimon Gumbs won a silver medal in the men’s shot put with a throw of 17.99m (59’02”). The men’s 4x100m team comprising Vadley Sylvester Jr, Mikkel Bassue, Ke’Andre Campbell and Malik John won the bronze with a time of 42.24.

The Games were attended by 29 countries from the Caribbean. The VI took part in two of the seven sports: 3X3 basketball (women) and track & field.

“Congratulations to our medalists and on behalf of the BVI Olympic Committee, I thank the athletes and coaches for their participation and efforts at the Caribbean Games,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We are pleased to have provided the majority of the athletes on the team an opportunity to compete in their first major Games. These Games are the next level up from the Carifta and the youth Games and provide a useful yardstick for the standard of competition the athletes can expect to face as they continue to chart their progression in their chosen sport.”

It was an historic occasion for the VI’s women basketball team competing for the first time in a 3×3 tournament and also at a major Games took part. The basketball team played three (3) games against the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe.

“Although the 3×3 team was defeated at the Caribbean Games, they were very competitive and played extremely well considering it was the first of such a tournament for the women. The exposure was at a very high level which now prepares the team for the Commonwealth Games,” said Ralston Henry, Chef de Mission, Guadeloupe 2022.

Track and field entered athletes in the 100m (male and female), 400m (men), long jump (women), triple jump (women), shot put (men), javelin (women), 110h (men) and 4x100m (men).

Events and Results
Track and field
• Djimon Gumbs (Shot Put), 2nd
• Diamante Gumbs (Shot Put), 6th
• Vadley Jr. Sylvester (400m – DNF, 4x100m – 3rd)
• Malik John (400m – 13th, 4x100m – 3rd)
• Mikkel Bassue (100m – 8th, 4x100m – 3rd)
• Ke’Andre Campbell (100m – 11th, 4x100m – 3rd)
• Malik Romney (110mh – 4th)
• Beyonce Defreitas (100m – 11th)
• Arianna Hayde (Long Jump – 6th, Javelin – DNF, Triple Jump – sole competitor)
• Xiomara Malone (Long Jump – 5th)
Coaches: Ericca Fredrick and Eric Matthias J

3×3 Basketball
Team: Shauliqua Fahie, Jolene Bowens, Keithrece Smith, Kiara Woodley.
Coach: Joy Victor

BVI Vs Dominican Republic 12-15
BVI Vs Puerto Rico 4-21
BVI Vs Guadeloupe 12-16

Beyonce de Freitas was the flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony. The team was attended to by physiotherapist Chester Levi James.

Fun, movement, learning and discovery at 3rd annual Sports Festival celebrating Olympic Day

Saturday, June 25 saw children and adults join the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) and member National Federations in the 3rd annual Sports Festival promoting the Olympic Day Movement at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds and Virgin Gorda on June 25.

“This year, Olympic Day set out to inspire people to get active and move together with purpose and we feel that the annual Sports Festival is an ideal way to bring the community out, discover a sport, learn about anti-doping and about making changes for a healthier lifestyle and hopefully forge new friendships,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC.

National Federations including the Virgin Islands Archery Association, BVI Athletics Association, BVI Basketball Federation, BVI Football Association, Virgin Islands Softball/Baseball Association, Boynes Taekwondo and Volleyball took part in the interactive event.

Special appearances included His Excellency the Governor Mr. John Rankin, softball athlete Mr. Kennard Dawson, former pro volleyball player Ms. Sharonda Pickering and the National Women’s 3×3 Basketball team players, Ms. Joy Victor, Ms. Shaliqua Fahie, Ms. Kiara Woodley, Ms. Jolene Bowens and Ms. Keithrece Smith. The 3×3 basketball team will be participating at the inaugural Caribbean Games this week in Guadeloupe and also will make up the historic team to represent the BVI at basketball at the Commonwealth Games for the first time this summer in Birmingham, UK.

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool representing the BVI National Anti-Doping Organisation was in attendance and spoke with athletes, coaches and parents on the relevance of the anti-doping regulations in athletes’ lives and in playing clean sports.

The BVI Public Health Promotions Unit represented by Ms. Sophia Brewely-Massiah, Ms. Harmonie Massiah, Ms. Patrice Maduro was a popular addition to this year’s event where people took part in a hands-on presentation to receive a personalised recommendation on creating balanced meals based on current level of activity and eating habits. The team also helped individuals to interpret and understand their body measurements and how to set realistic goals with a balance of food and exercise.

His Excellency Governor John Rankin shared words of encouragement and took part in some of the activities including the BVIAA obstacle course and Archery’s practice drill.

“I’m all in support of events and sports that will get our community active, no matter the age or ability and I’m very pleased to have had a go. If I can do it, so can you!” said H.E. Governor Rankin.

“I play basketball but I tried some of the other sports today and really enjoyed them,” said 6th grader Antoine Reilly. “I’m glad I came out. I had to ask my Dad to come back for me later than planned as I was having so much fun!”

In the Multipurpose complex a new basketball recruit was pitching her skills against the national squad. “I’m a softball player but now that the Industrial League has drawn to a close, I was looking to try another sport just to stay active. I’m an NBA fan and watch the games on TV so I decided to actually play the sport and, just a week in, I can say I’m really enjoying it,” said Ms. Shah.

“Thank you to all the National Federations who participated, to those who came out in support and to our drink sponsor Road Town Wholesale, distributor of Coca-Cola products Dasani water and Powerade for making this a fun event,” said Mr. Penn.

During the Sports Festival weekend, three National Federations hosted events. The BVI Squash Rackets Association hosted the highest caliber Professional Squash Association international tournament of the territory to date, BVI Rugby Football Union hosted a junior rugby game followed by a Senior 15s match while the BVI Cycling Federation conducted its UCI sanctioned National Time Trial and Road Race events.

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.

See more photos on Facebook: https://bit.ly/sportsfestival2022

BVIOC announces team for inaugural Caribbean Games

BVIOC announces the BVI team for the inaugural Caribbean Games to be held June 29 – July 3, 2022 in Guadeloupe. The Team includes 11 track and field athletes and 4 basketball players. (L-R front row): Steve Augustine, President, BVI Athletics Association, Ralston Henry, Chef de Mission, Ephraim Penn, President, BVIOC, Honourable Sharie de Castro, Minister for Education, Culture and Youth Affairs, Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC. (L-R back row) Chester Levi James, Physio, Beyonce Defreitas (100, 4×100), Shauliqua Fahie (3×3), Joy Victor, 3×3 basketball Coach, Djimon Gumbs (shot put), Malik Romney (110 hurdles), Malik John (400, 4×100), Diamante Gumbs (shot put), Arianna Hayde (long jump, triple jump, javelin, 4×100), Mikkel Bassue (100, 4×100), Kiara Woodley (3×3). Absent Jolene Bowens (3×3), Keithrece Smith (3×3), Xiomara Malone (long jump, 4×100), Ke’Andrae Campbell (100, 4×100), Zara Brown (100, 4×100) and Vadley Sylvester JR (400, 4×100). PHOTO CREDIT: CM Farrington

The BVI Olympic Committee announced the team of 15 athletes that will be representing the BVI at the inaugural Caribbean Games which are scheduled to take place in Guadeloupe from June 29 to July 3, 2022.

The athletes who will compete in the regional U23 Games were introduced by the Chef De Mission Ralston Henry at a press conference held on June 21 at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.

The 11 track and field athletes include Ke’Andrae Campbell (100, 4×100), Malik Romney (110 hurdles), Diamante Gumbs (shot put), Djimon Gumbs (shot put), Malik John (400, 4×100), Beyonce Defreitas (100, 4×100), Zara Brown (100, 4×100), Arianna Hayde (long jump, triple jump, javelin, 4×100), Xiomara Malone (long jump, 4×100), Mikkel Bassue (100, 4×100) and Vadley Sylvester JR (400, 4×100). They will be accompanied by coaches Ericca Fredrick and Eric Matthias J and physiotherapist Chester James.

The 3×3 basketball team comprises Kiara Woodley, Shauliqua Fahie, Jolene Bowens and Keithrece Smith. They will be accompanied by Coach Joy Victor.

Beyonce de Freitas will be the flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony which kicks off the Games at 7:00pm on Thursday, June 29.

“We are very excited to be sending a competitive team of track and field athletes as well as our historic 3×3 Women’s Basketball team, who are the first set of female athletes to be representing the territory in the sport in a regional event,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “Beyonce de Freitas and Djimon Gumbs returned as medalists from the the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in 2017. They did us proud then so we have high expectations that we may hear the Territorial Song for the first time at a major Games on this occasion.”

Honourable Sharie De Castro, Minister for Education, Culture and Youth Affairs shared remarks on the occasion. “It’s a great feeling when we send our athletes as ambassadors to the region and the world to celebrate and to show their Virgin Islands pride,” said Honourable de Castro. “We know, and are appreciative of, the hard work that it takes to prepare for Games such as these we want to put the full force of our population behind you in cheering you on and supporting you. On behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands, we offer our full support behind Team BVI.”

The Minister went on to thank the BVIOC, the National Federations and the DYAS for the continued initiatives – the funding and the development that allow the athletes to continue to thrive.

29 countries will be represented by approximately 800 athletes and 200 officials competing in 7 disciplines.

The 7 sports include Athletics, Basketball 3×3, Cycling, Futsal, Judo, Netball and Swimming. The BVI will be represented in Athletics and Basketball 3×3.

The Chef de Mission will depart for Guadeloupe on June 25 ahead of the athletes, coaches and President of the BVIOC who will leave for the Caribbean Games on June 27.

The Closing Ceremony will be at 7:00pm on Sunday, July 3. The Games can be followed live on Panam Sports Channel.

Patrick Werleman re-elcted as Chairman of Caribbean RADO – Ephraim Penn re-elected to Executive Committee

Caribbean RADO Executive Committee [L-R Dr Karen Pilgrim (Guyana), Ephraim Penn (British Virgin Islands), Chairman – Patrick Werleman (Aruba), Vice Chairman – Dr Adrian Lorde (Barbados), Rheeza Grant (Trinidad & Tobago)

Patrick Werleman has been re-elected as Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO). Werleman, the Member Country Representative (MCR) for Aruba, was returned unopposed during the 2022 Annual General Meeting which ended on Sunday May 8th in Curaçao.
Werleman has expressed his gratitude to members for entrusting him with a second term, particularly after the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on anti-doping programmes in the Caribbean. He says the main objectives of the Caribbean RADO over the next three years include improving communication with various key stakeholders, and the further development of anti-doping programmes in Member Countries.

“Every Member Country should have an active anti-doping programme that includes a solid education plan, and of course testing. These are the basic requirements for compliance with the [World Anti-Doping] Code. Education is the fundamental tool to create awareness, so this should be an area of focus in each Member Country.”

Werleman also wants to develop additional strategic partnerships to positively impact the sustainability of the Organization. He is joined on the Executive Committee by returning Vice Chairman – Dr Adrian Lorde of Barbados along with Directors Dr Karen Pilgrim of Guyana and Ephraim Penn of the British Virgin Islands who were all re-elected unopposed. There is one new member on the Executive Committee as Rheeza Grant of Trinidad and Tobago was also elected unopposed for the remaining vacant position of Director.

Caribbean RADO Member Country Representatives and Secretariat Officials following AGM

The Caribbean RADO AGM was held May 7-8 in Willemstad, Curaçao at the Renaissance Wind Creek Curaçao Resort. Seventeen (17) of the eighteen (18) Member Countries participated in the two-day hybrid meeting which facilitated delegates both in-person and online.

A Sport Diplomacy Workshop was conducted on the opening day of the session by Dr. J, Simon Rofe, Sport Diplomacy expert at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London. During the workshop, there was a special guest presentation from IOC Vice-President Nicole Hoevertsz who shared valuable knowledge on navigating relationships and building strategic partnerships at the highest levels in sport.

IOC Vice President Nicole Hoevertsz with Sport Diplomacy Expert Dr J. Simon Rofe

On Day 2, participants focused on Risk Assessment and Test Distribution Planning for the Anti-Doping Programmes in their respective countries with representatives of the World Anti-Doping Agency – María José Pesce Cutri, Director, Latin American Office; Ieva Lukosiute-Stanikuniene, Senior Manager, NADO/RADO Relations and Federico Perroni Sánchez, Manager, Latin American Office.

Werleman is looking forward to even greater collaboration among Member Country Representatives.

“During the Board meeting, we took off our jackets and rolled up our sleeves and got to work, with representatives focusing on developing their testing programmes. Everyone was there to support each other. This is how we want to continue to work with our Member Country Representatives, moving forward – side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder.”

“There is nothing more satisfying than making progress together. We have lots of challenges ahead, but I am totally confident that, working together, we will overcome all of these challenges and lead the Caribbean RADO to greater heights of success,” he says.

St Croix, Virgin Islands (US) has been chosen as the host of the 2023 AGM.

Zara Brown places 4th in 100m semi-finals at Cali 2021 in season opener

Representing the Virgin Islands (UK) at the inaugural PanAm Junior Games in Cali, Colombia, Zara Brown finished 4th with a non-advancing time of 11.87 in her heat of the 100m semifinals today, November 30.

Speaking after the event, the 19-year old sprinter said “I feel okay about the race. As a season opener, it gives me a chance to see where I am and what I have to work on going forward – both for indoor and outdoor. It’s been a good experience for me and I can’t wait to be back!”

Coach Ralston Henry noted that this was Zara’s first race after being laid off for so long and a good race for opening the Season early. “I am looking forward to a lot more to come later in the Season and ahead of the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

8 competitors will race in the women’s 100m finals on December 1.

100m sprinter Jaleel Croal, Thad Lettsome, sailing the ILCA7 (Laser) in the men’s one person dinghy event, and the 3 x 3 Basketball team comprising D’Andre Mitcham, Stephano Paul, Michael Richardson, and Shakeem Tyson will all compete on December 2. Lettsome will be racing against some of the region’s best sailors aged between 17-22 from 14 countries. The 3 x 3 basketball team – who are placed in group A along with Colombia, Venezuela and Puerto Rico – will face Colombia in their first match.

Following the competitions of the day, the BVI Olympic Committee will host a virtual live chat with the BVI delegation in Colombia at 8:00pm on Thursday, December 2 and which will be streamed on the BVIOC Facebook page when all fans and supporters can tune in and post their questions to the athletes and coaches.

Squash player and flag bearer Luca Reich opens for BVI at Cali 2021 Junior Panam Games

Representing the Virgin Islands (UK) at the inaugural Junior PanAm Games in Cali, Colombia, squash player Luca Reich was the first athlete of the team to compete at Cali 2021.

After demanding and challenging games, Luca lost out 3-0 to his higher ranked Argentinian opponent, Miguel Gonzalo Pujol on November 26.

Chef de Mission and squash Coach Adam Murrills reports that given that the event is an Under 23 competition, it was always going to be a tough ask competing against the best players in the Pan American region at the young age of 18.

“These events are exactly where Luca wants to be though in the coming years and so getting this experience at such an early stage in his squash development is invaluable!” says Coach Murrills.

Luca played well and, for periods of the match, managed to match the quality of his more experienced opponent. During those periods he was able to finish the points with a few nice winners.

The next stage for Luca is going to be developing the ability to maintain that quality for long periods whilst under pressure and physical duress. This will come with more matches at this level.

Having just started studying at Western University, both player and coach are hopeful that through Western Mustangs’ very strong squash program – Western are the premier squash College in Canada – Luca will be able to train at and become accustomed to this higher level on a regular basis.

“On behalf of myself and Luca, I would like to thank the BVI Olympic Committee for their support and for helping facilitate this fantastic opportunity for Luca!” said Coach Murrills

Luca also got to train with fellow Caribbean players which adds to his time and experience at the inaugural PanAm Junior Games in Colombia.

“On behalf of the BVI Olympic Committee thank you Luca for representing the territory at the Junior PanAm Games as flag bearer,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “Congratulations on your efforts in your first major Games and thank you and Coach Murrills for the time, effort, passion for the sport and commitment to train to compete and represent at international levels. We look forward to seeing you make your mark in future Games!”