Athlete performances at Tokyo 2020 Olympics brings BVI in sight of podium – BVIOC seeks investment into elite athletes

The British Virgin Islands was represented by 3 athletes in 2 sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which concluded on August 8 with a closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. The small team comprising Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles), Chantel Malone (long jump) and Elinah Phillip (50m freestyle) was the strongest set to represent the territory at any Olympic Games.

Eldred Henry (shot put) was the first athlete to have qualified for Tokyo 2020 but he was forced to pull out due to an injury in his throwing arm.

In a Game of firsts for the territory, McMaster and Malone became the BVI’s first 2 athletes to advance to the finals to compete amongst the world’s best athletes in their events. They each were the first athletes to compete in the hurdles and long jump respectively. McMaster was the first athlete to win his heats and the first to make the top 4 finalists to cross the line with his time of 47.08 – current 4th fastest time and the world’s 8th fastest time ever – in what has been classed as the event’s fastest Olympic race. McMaster and Phillip also set National Records with Phillip’s time of 25.74 marking her as the top Caribbean performer in the 50m Free.

Harrigan-Scott, a three-times Olympian and the first female to represent the BVI at the Olympics in 2008, led the organisation and management of the team at the Games.

Speaking at a wrap up virtual press conference on August 4 after the final competition for the BVI, Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee congratulated and thanked the athletes, their coaches and National Federations and also acknowledged the efforts of the Chef de Mission and Lloyd Black, Secretary General for the BVIOC, who was the COVID Liaison Officer for the delegation.

Penn went on to explain that the impressive results of the team at the Games was many years in the making that required planning and funding to support the athletes in their training and preparations for the Games. He highlighted that the performances put the athletes as serious podium contenders in upcoming Games and that the opportunity was open to the private sector to support the pathway to get athletes to the finals and ultimately to the podium of the Olympics.

“The athletes have been preparing for these Games for 5 years and are recipients of an Olympic Scholarship which offers financial and technical support so they can train and compete at qualifying meets for the Olympics. In addition, the BVIOC set up an Elite Athlete scholarship which puts money into the hands of the athletes to ease their financial stress so that they can concentrate on preparing for competition. Their successes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will make it easier for us to try and solicit more funding from the private sector and bolster the structure we have in place to support them so they can develop to the best of their ability.”

The Chef de Mission, who is responsible for the organisation and logistical management of the delegation as well as the technical aspects of the athletes’ competitions and daily schedules and activities while at the Games, reviewed the athletes’ performances and acknowledged the commitment of their coaches and support of the BVIOC and encouraged a forward movement to help the athletes reach their potential.

“While our athletes may come from a small nation where the resources are more limited than larger countries, they come to compete with the same heart, talent and dedication so if we can figure out a way to level the playing field and really invest in them, you will be surprised at where they can take us because they are at that level and they are exceptionally good.”

Harrigan-Scott wrapped up the experience with a reflection on the organisation of the Games. “It actually was an amazing Games and the organisers, volunteers and Government of Japan did an incredible job under the constraints and concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am glad the Games were not cancelled as the athletes were ready to compete and we have seen some exceptional performances here.”

Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, MHA. Deputy Premier Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, who was in Japan to witness the finals, congratulated the athletes on their achievements and thanked them and the delegation for their roles in the success of the BVI’s appearance at Tokyo 2020 and to pledge more support for the athletes.

“We now understand what it takes to compete at this level and I will be focused on what we can do to assist more. We know that we have to invest more in sports and be more consistent in our support for our athletes and I will be working on this in consultation with the BVIOC,” said Dr. the Honourable Minister Wheatley.

In addition to the 3 athletes, the Chef de Mission, Ephraim Penn and Lloyd Black the BVI delegation included Team Coach Winston Potter, Coach Lennox Graham (McMaster), Coach Dwight Phillips (Malone), Coach Brien Moffitt (Elinah) and Sofia Fay, BVIOC PRO/Reporter.

The athletes, including Henry who is on the road to recovery, will continue with their training and preparations for upcoming competitions after a short rest and recovery break. A return date to the BVI is not yet confirmed based on their training and competition schedules. Malone and McMaster have sights on competing at the Diamond League events in Europe in August and September respectively.

Chantel Malone advances to long jump finals at Tokyo 2020

Chantel Malone after qualifying for the long jump finals on August 1 at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Chantel Malone made history for the British Virgin Islands once more when she qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games long jump finals with a distance of 6.82m achieved on her 3rd attempt at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Sunday, August 1.

“I’m excited and happy to be going into the finals with a 6.82- especially as I had to take some time off ahead of the Games to work on recovering from an injury that I sustained at a meet at the beginning of July,” said Malone. “Jumping an 82 was the reassurance I needed and is a testament to my growth as an athlete just because the old me would have folded after the first two bad jumps, but today, I reminded myself that it only takes one and to execute it.”

Malone became the first athlete of the territory to advance to an Olympic final.

“I may be the first athlete to make it to the finals but honestly, that’s always been the goal and to actually be on that podium. The goal is to execute and hopefully we will be good but it’s a tough field out there with a lot of automatic qualifiers, so I just have to bring my A-Game and stay focused.”

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee was watching the event from the Olympic Family tribune along with Secretary General Lloyd Black.

“We were so excited when Chantel not only qualified for the finals, but that she managed to hit a distance beyond the automatic qualifying mark of 6.75,” said Penn. “The BVIOC and family of National Federations congratulate Chantel and her coach, Dwight Phillips on this achievement and we are looking forward to Tuesday’s event and to cheering her on in support of the goal for a podium finish.”

Tokyo 2020 is Malone’s first Olympics which she qualified for when she leapt a distance of 7.08 at the Florida International “Pro Addition” International Track Meet, Miramar in March 2021. The mark was a new National Record and a Season and Personal Best for the athlete who is ranked number 8 by World Athletics.

Malone’s history-making flair was demonstrated when she won the BVI’s first PanAm Games medal when she took the gold at Lima 2019 with a leap of 6.68m.

The finals take place on Tuesday, August 3 at 10:50am (9:50pm, Monday, August 2 BVI time).

Kyron McMaster, will compete in the 400m hurdles semi-finals later today after he won his qualifying heat with a time of 48.79 on Friday, July 30. Elinah Phillip, the 50m freestyle swimmer, wrapped up her 2nd Olympic appearance on July 30 after she set a new National Record and PB with a non-advancing time of 25.74 in her heat of the qualifying round. The result ranks her top female Caribbean athlete in the event.

Phillip sets new 50m Freestyle National Record & McMaster advances to 400m Hurdle semi finals at Tokyo 2020

Elinah Phillip, of British Virgin Islands, swims in a women’s 50-meter freestyle heat at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Elinah Phillip set a new National Record and PB when she placed 2nd in her 50m Freestyle Heat with a non-advancing time of 25.74 at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the evening of July 30, 2021.

The time is an automatic qualifier for the upcoming FINA Worlds and ranks Elinah as the Caribbean’s top female 50m freestyle athlete. It also improves her standing in the inaugural PanAm Junior Games slated to be held at the end of this year.

Earlier in the day, Kyron McMaster made national history when he advanced to the semi-finals in the 400m hurdles at his Olympic debut to become the first male athlete to compete in an Olympic semi and the only athlete to win an individual event heat. He joins Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, to become the 2nd athlete to compete in a semi-final event at an Olympic Games. Kyron will race in Heat 3 Lane 7 on August 1.

Competing in her second Olympics, Elinah – who was also the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony – was very excited and proud of the result which positions her 34th out of 81 competitors.

“It’s a big day for me – I finished my pre dentistry summer program at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and came and set a new National Record and PB at the Olympics,” said the 21-year old swimmer. “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed because this achievement means so much to me personally after a very turbulent 2020. I am very grateful for all the support that I have received from my family, the BVI Olympic Committee, FIU, my swim coach Brien Moffitt and my teammates and everyone back home. I can’t express how much it means to me.”

Watching from the Olympic Family tribune were President of the BVIOC Ephraim Penn, Secretary General Lloyd Black and Chef de Mission Tahesia Harrigan-Scott.

“Elinah’s performance this evening has impressed us all and made us incredibly proud,” said Penn. “On behalf of the BVIOC and our member federations, I congratulate Elinah on her achievement and thank her for giving 110% and doing us proud. I also would like to recognize her coach, Brien Moffitt who has demonstrated a sound appreciation for Elinah’s potential and who, in just a few months, has helped her to achieve great results and outperform herself every time.”

A swim coach at FIU, Coach Moffitt was responsible for recruiting the 21-year old to the University as part of its longterm commitment to developing a strong swimming team.

“I am so very proud of Elinah’s accomplishment today and, to be able to be at her best at the biggest sporting stage that there is, is something that shows her resilience and mental fortitude,” said Coach Moffitt. ”When you look at the path and journey she has taken to get to this point it’s very remarkable. We’re grateful and happy with what the results today but we will be coming back to work after a short and plan to aim higher and dream bigger.”

Elinah is the BVI’s leading national swimmer, holding records in the 50, 100, and 200m freestyle and the 50m butterfly. She made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016. She is the first swimmer and the youngest athlete to represent the BVI at an Olympic Games.

Ranked number 8 in her event by World Athletics, Chantel Malone will make her Olympic debut when she competes in the Tokyo 2020 long jump Qualification round on August 1.

BVIOC Presents Team for Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

Team IVB for Tokyo 2020

The Virgin Islands (UK) Team for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games is today confirmed by the BVI Olympic Committee and Chef de Mission, Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott to include two track and field athletes and one swimmer. Kyron McMaster will compete in the men’s 400m hurdles and Chantel Malone will compete in the women’s long jump. Swimmer Elinah Phillip will compete in the women’s 50m freestyle. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take place in Japan July 23 – August 8, 2021.

McMaster and Phillip will be the flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony on July 23. The athletes will be in clothing and masks respectively designed by Virgin Islanders Ms. Rhenique Cooper and Ms. Kristin Fraser.

This will be the first Olympic Games for McMaster and Malone while Phillip made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil where she was the VI’s youngest athlete and the first to represent the Territory in aquatics at any Olympics.

While Olympian Eldred Henry had an automatic qualification to compete in the shot put at Tokyo 2020, ongoing recovery from an injury in his throwing arm resulted in the decision to step down from the team.

“I am proud to present our athletes for Tokyo 2020,” said Chef Harrigan-Scott, a three times Olympian in the 100m sprint. “Even though COVID-19 has drastically changed the dynamics of the Olympic Games, it did not waiver the determination or drive of our brilliant athletes. They have prepared vigorously to represent the Virgin Islands in their respective events coming up in the next few weeks and, after communicating with each of the athletes and watching their preparatory competitions leading up to Tokyo 2020, I am confident that they will make these Virgin Islands proud.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Tokyo 2020 Games to be rescheduled by one year to take place in the summer of 2021, the IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organisers and the Government of Japan have issued stringent protocols set out in regularly updated Playbooks to ensure the health and safety of all athletes, personnel, delegates, media and the people of Japan. The strict measures for the VI delegation are overseen by appointed COVID Liaison Officers (CLOs) BVIOC Secretary General Mr. Lloyd Black and Chef Harrigan-Scott.

The Chef de Mission highlighted how the response to the pandemic has differentiated Tokyo 2020 from previous Olympic Games. Precautions include restrictive movement of the delegation, strict COVID-19 counter measures which include daily temperature and COVID-19 testing, the inability to attend other sporting events, limited-to-no guest allowance in the Olympic Village, the lack of spectators from foreign countries, no site seeing by the delegation and every movement in Tokyo and Japan needing to be pre-approved by the Japanese Government.

“The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games probably are one of the most anticipated Games in sports,” said Mr. Penn. “The continuing changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have been quite a challenge and on behalf of the BVIOC, I highly commend all our athletes and Chef de Mission for their focus, determination and tireless efforts which have resulted in thorough preparation and impressive performances with new national records set in all three disciplines by Chantel, Kyron and Elinah in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Games. We are sad that Eldred will not be joining the team in person but intend to include him in our reports from Tokyo 2020. We are extremely proud of all our athletes have achieved thus far and will be in Japan to give our support and to watch them perform at the 32nd Olympiad.”

The delegation to Tokyo will include BVIOC President Mr. Ephraim Penn, Secretary General Mr. Lloyd Black, athlete coaches Mr. Lennox Graham (McMaster), Mr. Dwight Phillipe (Malone), Mr. Brien Moffitt (Phillip) and Mr. Winston Potter (team coach). Dr. The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley MHA, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture is also slated to attend the Games pending travel restrictions.

“I want to congratulate these hardworking individuals for this momentous achievement. It is even more exciting knowing that we have athletes, through their hard work, who are poised to compete for medal and I plan to be there to cheer them along waving our Virgin Islands flag. I wish all our athletes well; we are extremely proud of you!” said the Dr. The Honourable Minister Wheatley.

Daily updates will be posted on the BVIOC social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and reports will be disseminated to media from the BVIOC PRO, Sofia Fay, Broadsword Communications, who will be in Tokyo to cover the VI’s athletes.

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.

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.

Opening ceremony and first event at Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

BVI swimmer, Elinah Phillip (50m free & 50m fly) and Malik John (400m) at Buenos Aires 2018. Photo credit: BVIOC

Swimmer, Elinah Phillip was the face of the Virgin Islands when she served as flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony on October 6 at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also was the first of the two VI athletes to compete in the third edition of the Games when she swam in the 50m butterfly (fly) heats on Tuesday, October 9.

Swimming in heat 5, Phillip touched the wall in a non-advancing time of 28.65 placing her 28/36. Her PB and national record of 27.31 in the 50m fly was achieved just 10 days previously at the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Phillip, who was slated to compete in the 100m freestyle (free) on Monday was advised by her coach, Benoit Grattepanche to omit the race from her schedule and concentrate instead on the 50m fly and 50m free. The decision was made following a technical meeting ahead of the event.

Her next race is heat 5 of 7 of the 50m free which will start at 10:30am (9:30am BVI time) on Thursday, October 11. Phillip’s qualifying time for this event is 26.14.

VI track athlete, Malik John will also be competing on Thursday, October 11 when he runs in the 400m heats at 5.15pm (4.15pm BVI time).

The events can be viewed live on the IOC Olympic Channel.

The athletes continue to be fully immersed in the culture and experience of the Youth Olympic Games as they follow Young Change Maker, Keanu George’s recommendations of activities to enjoy and international athletes to meet. George has been trained to facilitate the VI’s athletes’ participation in “learn & share” activities and encourages them to embrace the YOG spirit of Compete, Learn and Share.

“There is a packed agenda of daily events and activities for the athletes to be a part of,” said Cleave Farrington, Chef de Mission, Buenos Aires 2018. “Working with Keanu, I try to ensure that Elinah and Malik make the most of their time at the Youth Olympic Games, which is much more oriented to facilitating the principles of Olympism for their age group than the Olympic Games which is geared towards older and more experienced athletes. I am pleased to report that the athletes are definitely engaged and appreciating all that is on offer.”

Photos and updates are posted regularly on the BVI Olympic Committee’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Elinah Phillip & Malik John to compete at Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Swimmer Elinah Phillip and track runner, Malik John will represent the VI at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 6 – 18.

Swimmer, Elinah Phillip and track athlete, Malik John will be representing the Virgin Islands at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The third edition of the Games will take place October 6 – 18.

Phillip who is 18 years old, will be competing in the 50m and 100m Freestyle and the 50m Butterfly. Her first event is the Women 100m Freestyle heat on October 8th.

This will be Malik John’s first attendance at the YOG. The 17 years old runner will be competing in the 400m with his heat on October 11th.

While this will be Phillip’s first YOG, she made her Olympic Games debut at age 16 when she swam in the 50m Freestyle at Rio 2016, becoming the VI’s first swimmer to compete at a Summer Games. Since then, she has competed successfully in several events in the UK and on the international circuit.

Phillip was a multiple medalist in the Swim England East Region and the winner of the Wilkinson Sword Award 2018, awarded annually for achievement in the sport of swimming.

Regionally, She scored a place in VI sporting history when she won 3 silver medals at the CARIFTA Swimming Championships 2018 in Kingston, Jamaica, March 31 – April 3. Her hat trick delivered a total of 10 medals won by her at CARIFTA, representing the most medals ever won by any BVI athlete in all CARIFTA sporting events.

Earlier this season, Phillip competed in 2 events at the British Summer National Championships held in Sheffield, UK from July 24 – 29, 2018. She reached the final in both events placing 5th and 7th and attaining a personal best and setting a VI national record in the process.

More recently, Phillip was a PanAm Sports Camp participant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida August 30 – September 11. The goal was for athletes throughout the Americas to develop, share experiences with other athletes and receive world-class training from renowned specialists in their sport.

Phillip then went on to compete in the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018 held in Eindhoven, Netherlands from September 28th -30th where she placed 5th in her 50m Butterfly heat with a time of 27.31 shaving 0.42 off her PB achieved a month previously and resetting the national record. Phillip also ranked 19/49 in the 50m freestyle with a time of 25.62 and she placed 27/49 in the 100m freestyle with a time of 57.00 before traveling to the Youth Olympic Games.

“I am really looking forward to racing, meeting athletes from around the world and experiencing Argentinian culture,” said Elinah Phillip.

Relative new comer to the bigger competitive stage, John started competing in track events in 2015 and has participated in the 2016 CUT Games, the 2017 and 2018 Carifta Games, the 2018 Golden South and the 2018 Barbados invitational.

He is a member of the Sprint Tech Track Club which falls under the umbrella of the National Federation BVI Athletics Association.

“I am very happy to have been selected as part of the BVI delegation to compete and experience Argentinian culture. I intend to represent the British Virgin Islands to the best of my abilities,” said Malik John.

In addition to the two athletes, Keanu George of the Valley, Virgin Gorda will attend the YOG as one of the 80 Youth Change Makers (YCM) from across the globe. Nominated by the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC), George will be expected to facilitate the VI’s athletes’ participation in “learn & share” activities and encourage them to experience the YOG spirit of Compete, Learn and Share.

George is an Honors graduate of the Bregado Flax High Schoo. He obtained an Associate Degree in Computer, Graphic Information Technology at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC). He was an athlete of the Raw Skillz Track Club of Virgin Gorda and currently works at the Wright Choice Canteen as a Manager.

The VI delegation includes Cleave Farrington, Chef de Mission; Benoit Grattepanche, Swimming Coach; Tracy Bradshaw, swimming chaperone; Ralston Henry, Athletics Coach; and Ephraim Penn, President, BVIOC

Ephraim Penn congratulated the athletes on their achievements and selection. “This has been a phenomenal sports year for the Virgin Islands with incredible results achieved by our young and senior athletes competing regionally and globally. It is fitting that we close out 2018 with the participation of these two young athletes who represent hope for our continued success in major international Games. We look forward to supporting and encouraging them at Buenos Aires 2018,” said Mr. Penn.

Community joins BVIOC in celebrating Olympic Day with Sports Festival

Participants of the 2018 Olympic Day Sports Festival. Photo: CM Farrington/BVIOC

Olympic Day in the Virgin Islands hosted by the Olympic Committee kicked off on June 23 with an early morning run and walk. This was followed by a Sports Festival to mark the globally celebrated day which locally, took place at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds featuring several National Sporting Federations and their athletes.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC also used the occasion to hand over new equipment donated by PanAm Sports to benefit the track and field athlete members of the BVI Athletic Association. Kit included shot puts, discus, hammer, and electronic starting blocks.

Around 70 runners and walkers registered for the 6.30am 10km/5km run and 1 mile run/walk on Saturday with top finishers receiving special edition BVIOC shirts and bags as prizes. More people arrived at the recreation grounds and the multi sports complex mid-morning to watch demonstrations and try their hand in athletics, archery, basketball, football, rugby, tennis, and volleyball.

Mr. Penn summarized the activities and achievements of the national federations over the last 12 months and invited attending national federation representatives to provide additional information on their progress.

“The public may be forgiven for thinking that sports had been put on the back burner since the August floods and Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Mr. Penn. “However, this is not the case as illustrated by the National Federations’ reports of individual and team success. We are encouraged and excited that not only did the coaches and athletes show their resilience and determination to continue with their sports following the natural disasters, but they went on to win medals, titles and trophies and improve on their previous scores and times! Congratulations to all involved.”

Coaches from Athletics, Archery, Football, Rugby, and Tennis spoke on the recovery of their sports following the August floods and September hurricanes and encouraged attendees at the Sports Festival to join in their demo sessions taking place on the field. A 12-month review of the National Federation activities is set out below.

The morning set up included a 10,000 Step Challenge and an information booth on anti-doping. There were children’s bouncy castles courtesy of Digicel and Red Cross volunteers were on hand to ensure the safety of all participants. Roadtown Wholesale provided Dasani water, Powerade, Coca Cola and Sprite throughout the day.

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.

In his Olympic Day message to people around the world, IOC President, Thomas Bach said, “For the past 70 years, Olympic Day commemorates the founding modern Olympic Movement. Olympic Day reminds us that anyone, anywhere, can enjoy and benefit from sport. In our fast-changing society, Olympic Day is an excellent way to encourage all people to lead healthy and active lives and to promote the role of sport in society. Our thanks and gratitude go to the National Olympic Committees who are bringing sport and its values closer to the people through the many sporting, educational and cultural activities that are organized throughout the year. Thank you for encouraging people of all backgrounds and ability to get up and get moving, to discover sport and to embrace Olympic Values. ”

Photo: BVI Rugby Football Union

Junior tennis players. Photo; BVI Tennis Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of National Federation Activity June 2017 – June 2018

BVI Athletics Association
2017 OECS Track & Field Championships – Team BVI won the Meet title.

2017 Commonwealth Youth Games – Djimon Gumbs placed third in the discus with a distance of 56.24 meters. Beyonce Defreitas placed second in the 200m with a time of 23.88 seconds.

2017 Diamond League Championships – Kyron McMaster won the event with a time of 48.07 seconds.

2017 World Championships – Chantel Malone placed 7th with a jump of 6.57 meters becoming the first BVI athlete making it to a final of a Major Championship Outdoor Meet

2018 Carifta Games – Rikkoi Brathwaite placed third in the 100m with a time of 10.46 seconds (BVI’s first medal in the male sprints in 41 years)

2018 Commonwealth Games – Chantel Malone placed 5th with a jump of 6.48 meters
Kyron McMaster won the event with a time of 48.25 seconds

Virgin Islands Archery Association
2017 – National Archery introduced in the schools’ program and 21 Students received scholarships of the $20K that was awarded in 2017. Participating schools included Cedar International School, Elmore Stoutt High School, Bregado Flax, Willard Wheatley, and Francis Lettsome Primary School.

The National Archery Team competed in Puerto Rico at the JEB Cup Developmental Championships and brought home 16 medals competing against 17 other countries (
5 gold, 6 silver, 3 bronze).

2018 – After the departure of a few members of the team due to hurricane Irma, only 3 members of the National Archery Team traveled to the Dominican Republic in April to compete in their first world ranking event. The team missed the mark by 1 spot for the CAC Games.

BVI Football Association
2017 – At the Concacaf U 15 tournament, the national team won 8-2 v. Montserrat, 2-0 v. Anguilla, and 8-2 v. Turks & Caicos and finished 4th out of 16 in Division C.
January 2018 – Played in the Premier U 12 Tournament in Puerto Rico and finished 3rd having won 1, drawn 1, and lost 1.
2018 U 14 Flanders Cup in St. Martin – Finished 2nd having defeated the favourites Martinique and St. Martin teams to advance in the finals.

At the 2018 World Cup, Deshawn Richardson, 13 and 12 year old Ryan Ramlall attended the Gasprom F4F 2018 program in Moscow, Russia as a footballer and journalist respectively. The boys participated in 3-day camps which focused respectively in journalism and soccer. The culmination were interviews by Ryan getting published and Deshawn’s team, the Humpback Whales, making it to the semi-finals of the F4F championship. Both Ryan and Deshawn represented the BVI well.

BVIFA also have successfully conducted the Senior Men’s National League and the Primary and Secondary School Leagues.

BVI Rugby Football Union
Rugby is now back in the schools and training is in full swing for all men and women.
In April 2018, BVI won the Kowloon 10s RugbyFest in Hong Kong.
In May 2018, the national team represented in an international match against Turks and Caicos Islands in the TCI.

Royal BVI Yacht Club
BVI youth sailing is ongoing at Nanny Cay Marina.
Thad Lettsome, representing the BVI at the 47th Youth Sailing World Championships in Sanya, China in December 2017 finished in 33rd position in the Laser Radial Class.
The RBVIYC hosted the annual Manhattan Yacht Club Trophy in February, the annual BVI Spring Regatta in April and the 2018 BVI Dinghy Championships in May.

BVI Squash Rackets Association
A new coach will start the squash program in July. Joe Chapman and Neville Sorrentino competed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Joe won the Plate.
The VI team competed in the annual OECS Squash Championships in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in May.

BVI Swimming Association
Elinah Phillip won 3 silver medals in the 50m Fly, 50m Freestyle, and 200m Freestyle at the Carifta Swimming Championships held in Jamaica in April.

BVI Tennis Association
Tennis programme is ongoing at the East End Tennis Courts.
Deandrea Baijnauth competed in the C. O. Williams COTECC U14s International Junior Tennis Tournament in Barbados in April.
Three juniors competed in the 6th annual Caribbean 12 & Under Junior Invitational Tennis Tournament in Antigua in May.
The association successfully hosted open tennis days for Mothers’ Day and World Tennis Day.

Virgin Islands Volleyball Association
The association organised the 2 on 2 male and female Beach volleyball tournament which concluded earlier in June.

Elinah Phillip wins hat trick of silver medals at 2018 Carifta Swimming Championships

Source: BVI Swimming Association

Elinah Phillip scored a hat trick with 3 silver medals won in the 50m Freestyle (26.29), 50m Fly (28.29) and the 100 Free (58.98) at the 2018 Carifta Swimming Championships, Jamaica. Photo: Proviced

Swimmer Elinah Phillip competing at the 23rd Carifta Swimming Championships in Jamaica completed her events in the Girls 15-17 years category with podium finishes in all three.

Elinah’s first race was the 50m Butterfly in which she placed 2nd with a time of 28.29 seconds. Chade Nersicio, Curacao took 1st (28.00) and Shaun Johnson, Jamaica came 3rd (28.52).

Elinah went on to win her second silver medal in the 100m Freestyle in 58.98 seconds.

The VI swimmer rounded up her 2018 Carifta appearance with her third silver medal when she placed 2nd in the 50m Freestyle with a time of 28.29 second.

The 2018 Carifta Swimming Championships took place March 15 – April 4, 2018.

Elinah, a Virgin Islander who lives and trains in the UK, has represented the VI in major games including the Youth and Senior Commonwealth Games, and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games where she was the first swimmer to represent the territory at the Olympics.