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)

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.

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.

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!”

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.

BVI Olympic Committee elections add 2 new names to returning Executive Board

The BVI Olympic Committee AGM held the evening of Thursday, October 7 concluded with the elections of the members of the Executive Board that will sit for the next quadrennial and which ends following the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The newly elected board comprises President Ephraim Penn, 1st Vice President Sabinah Clement, 2nd Vice President Ralston Henry, Secretary General Lloyd Black, Treasurer Mark Chapman, and Member At Large Gloria Fahie. Ashley Kelly sits as chair of the BVIOC Athletes’ Commission.

The elections were conducted at the BVIOC office at Road Reef Plaza and were overseen by an independent election committee comprising Mrs. Kisheba Sprauve-Callwood, Mr. Gareth Thomas and Mr. Kayron Todman.

Re-elected for his fourth term in seat, President Penn is looking forward to strengthening and solidifying the sports development pathways for national federations and their members and promoting the Olympic Values communitywide.

“Thank you to all the National Federations for attending the AGM and participating in the election and thank you to the election committee for your professional and excellent service. On behalf of the newly elected Executive, I thank you for your support and acknowledge the trust placed in us to continue the work of the BVIOC to support athletes on the road to major games and to facilitate sports development through grants and opportunities offered by the IOC, Olympic Solidarity and PanAm Sports.

“We also will continue to promote and help secure the community-based Long Term Athlete Development programme, which is already being rolled out in our schools through the Physical Literacy programme,” said President Penn.

In welcoming new executive members, Ralston “Grandfather” Henry and Gloria Fahie, President Penn also acknowledged the work of Past 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents, Hon. Neville Smith and Mr. Roy Barry.

“Grandfather and Gloria, through their professional careers and history with sports, bring a new dimension to the table and we look forward to a productive team for the upcoming quadrennial. I also take this opportunity to thank outgoing Vice Presidents Hon. Smith and Roy Barry. The BVIOC has benefited immensely from their services and commitment in their roles over many years as part of the Executive. They have also been key persons in sports development in the community through their affiliations with softball, basketball and volleyball to name a few and we know that we will have their support in delivering our mission to the wider community.”

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.

Kyron McMaster delivers historic performance at Tokyo 2020 Olympic finals

Kyron McMaster of Team British Virgin Islands competes during round one of the Men’s 400m hurdles heats on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Kyron McMaster wrapped up Team BVI’s performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games on August 3 with an historic 4th place finish in what is classed as the fastest 400m Hurdles race of all time. McMaster’s time of 47.08 sets a new National Record and Personal Best and is ranked as the 5th top fastest times at an Olympics and the 8th all time fastest in the world. He is the first BVI athlete to achieve a top 4 position in an Olympic final.

“Being in the race felt amazing. The plan was to come out and just execute the race as best as possible. I came into this race with a personal best of 47.50 and I chopped off 0.4 off my best and I literally gave it my all,” said McMaster.

4 years ago, 47.08 would have been a World Record or an Olympic Record but with the medal contenders consistently running 47 in their pre-Olympic competitions, the bar was raised for Tokyo 2020. The 3 top spots were won by Karsten Warholm (Norway) who set a new World Record and Olympic Record with a blistering time of 45.94 followed by Benjamin Rai (USA) 46.17 and Alison do Santos (Brazil) for the bronze with a time of 46.72.

“What you saw today was the epitome of greatness with the world’s top 3 hurdlers and I am grateful that my performance was enough to get me in the top four to cross the line,” said McMaster. “These guys are not the average runners anymore and I will be aiming to get to their level.”

McMaster, who was racing after 2 weeks of treatment on his right quad which he tweaked at the Diamond League race in Sweden, was the first male athlete of the territory and second national athlete to advance to an Olympic final. He is also the first athlete to win individual event heats at the Olympics. His time is an OECS, Caribbean and Central American record.

Chantel Malone of Team British Virgin Islands competes in the Women’s Long Jump Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Chantel Malone, who is the BVI’s first Olympic long jump competitor was the territory’s first athlete to advance to the finals when she jumped a distance of 6.82 in the Qualifier round. She closed out her first Olympic appearance with a mark of 6.50 in her third attempt falling short of her expectations and abilities.

“I am very disappointed with my result,” said Malone. “My intention was to go out there and at least execute and I didn’t. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the experience and being able to compete as a finalist at the Olympics. I am going to do what I need to do in order to stay on my A game and be able to compete and get on the podium.”

Elinah Phillip, the 50m freestyle swimmer, had concluded her second Olympic appearance on July 30 after she set a new National Record and PB with a non-advancing time of 25.74 to place 2nd in her heat of the qualifying round. The result positioned her 34/81 in the 50 Free and identified her as the top female Caribbean athlete in the event.