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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View the BVIOC free sports clinic photo album on Facebook

BVIOC to host free sports clinic presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott of Tru Fit Athletics and featuring Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster, Eldred Henry, & Ashley Kelly

Free interactive BVIOC Sports Clinic presented by Tahesia Harrigan-Scott of Tru Fit Athletics featuring Chantel Malone, Kyron McMaster, Eldred Henry and Ashley Kelly will take place at A. O. Shirley Recreation Ground on Saturday, October 12. Image credits: Todd VanSickle, CM Farrington, Tru Fit Athletics

The BVI Olympic Committee has organized a free sports clinic which will take place on Saturday, October 12th from 9.00am – 1.00pm at the Multipurpose Complex and A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds.

The clinic has been organised as part of special activities which will be held in recognition of Chantel Malone’s historic achievement at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games when she won a gold medal in the long jump with a mark of 6.68m to secure the Territory’s first ever medal in a Pan Am Games.

The clinic is open to the public and will be conducted by Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Florida and will feature Chantel Malone and her co elite athletes, Kyron McMaster (400m hurldes), Eldred Henry (shot put, discus) and Ashley Kelly (400m).

“We have a cadre of remarkable athletes who currently are ranked among the world’s top athletes and who are putting the BVI on the map with their performances at major international meets,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We are excited to have Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott the Territory’s recently retired, first senior professional female athlete and Chef de Mission, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games join us with coach Joey Scott of Tru Fit Athletics, Miami in organizing a free clinic for the community.

“This is a unique event which will bring our elite athletes back home for one weekend to celebrate the latest historic achievement by Chantel Malone at the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games by sharing their experiences with the community, giving us an insight into their lives as professional athletes, provide tips and pointers for aspiring athletes and serve as an inspiration to us all.”

The clinic, which supports the BVIOC’s Long Term Athlete Development programme, will include an educational section and a practical section. The educational section in the Multi sports Complex will be an open session discussion between the professional athletes and attendees focusing on the trials and tribulation of sports and provide insights on strategies and experiences that athletes have to work through in order to become successful and accomplish their goals.  

Dr. Harlan Vanterpool will conduct anti-doping breakout sessions which will aim to equip athletes and their parents as well as coaches and volunteers with practical and useful information on how to be aware of substances banned by the World Anti Doping Association (WADA) and identify ‘safe’ over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

The practical section will be held at the A.O Shirley Recreation Ground.  Attendees will be divided into age groups and cover sprints, jumps, throws, and hurdles.  Each section will be led by one of the professional athletes. 

The clinic will take place the day after a motorcade and recognition ceremony for Chantel hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The motorcade which starts at 3.00pm on Friday, October 11th, will travel from the Queen Elizabeth II Park and route through Waterfront Drive, Botanic Station and turn west at the traffic lights to end at the Central Administration Complex where the ceremony is scheduled to start at 4.30pm.

Click here for information on the Chantel Malone commemorative t-shirt.

Malone leaps to BVI’s 1st Pan Am Games medal in 36 years

Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
BVI Pan Am Games Media Contact

Chantel Malone on her victory lap after winning the BVI’s first ever medal at the Pan American Games when she leapt 6.68 in the long jump to take gold at Lima 2019. Photo: Todd VanSickle

LIMA, Peru – Four years after a medal slipped from her grasp in the final round of competition in Toronto, long jumper Chantel Malone buried the field on her first attempt, to win the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in its 36-year history, on the opening day of track and field in Estadio Nacional, in Lima, Peru.

Malone, No 14 on the 2019 IAAF list and the No 3 listed jumper in the Americas, sailed through the chilled air, then cut the sand at 6.68m (21’11”), a mark none of her 13 pursuers would surpass.

The USA’s Keturah Orji would come closest at 6.66m for silver while Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling earned bronze with 6.59m.

Chantel Malone, in winners row, center, is joined on the podium by the USA’s Kethurah Ojiri, left, silver medalist and Jamaica’s Tissanna Hickling, who earned bronze  PHOTO: Todd VanSickle, BVI Beacon

“This is amazing,” Malone said. “We know how the season started with a great bang and then I hand an injury, been up and down, with performances and trying to figure things out. And, to come here and come out with the gold, that means everything to me.”

She said after her opening jump, in her mind she wanted to go further but as it got colder and colder – with temperatures dipping to 59 degrees – it became harder.

Long Jumper Chantel Malone sails through the air, en route to capturing the BVI’s first Pan Am Games medal in 36 years, last night in Lima Peru PHOTO: Todd VanSickle, BVI Beacon

Malone explained that her thought process heading into the competition was not to focus on what happened in the past nor anyone else. “Coach and I were talking and he said “you need to be a Dog from the get go and let people chase you and you don’t chase them”,’” she pointed out. “Normally, I would do good as I progress, but honestly, I just went out there, trusted the process and tried to execute and that’s the result that came.”

Malone said she’s happy with her performance which she hopes will inspire other young athletes. “Winning gold is a big deal,” she said. “It lets the world know that the BVI is there. We’re small, but we have a lot of talent and I’m just happy to be an ambassador for my country.”

After jumping a world leading 6.90m at the time then getting a hamstring injury, her coach, Olympic and World Championships gold medalist, Dwight Phillips said he was grateful Malone was able to come out victorious. He said they had been working on hitting the World Championships standard of 6.75m on the first jump an improvement she has been making. “The conditions were quite cold, not the best conditions, but she has been able to come out victorious,” said Phillip, an Olympic champion long jumper and four times IAAF World champion. “I have my first medalist in the Pan Am Games and I’m grateful for that,” he said. “It’s more rewarding coaching someone to a gold than actually winning the gold medal myself.”

BVI Olympic Committee President Ephraim Penn, said he knew that BVI has the caliber of athletes to win a Pan Am title, but didn’t know who’d do it first.

“Chantel came through in flying colors,” he said. “Looks like every time we win our first medal, it has to be a gold,” he said referring to the Central American Championships and Commonwealth Games. “I know everyone at home is proud of this moment – this is a special moment for the BVI. We’re making major breakthroughs after our first Commonwealth and Pan Am Games medals and next year, maybe the first Olympic medal.”

Laser Sailing
Thad Lettsome got in two more Laser races in Paracas yesterday and continues today. He’s currently 19th overall in the fleet.

Radio reports on CBN 90.9 FM with Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway are aired 9.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m., through Sunday, with a 9 a.m. wrap up on Monday.