iFOREX to sponsor BVI Olympic Committee in National team’s journey to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) has signed an agreement with iFOREX – a leading global financial broker – to act as sponsor of the Virgin Islands (UK) Olympic team on its journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A spokesperson for Formula Investment House Ltd, operator of the http://www.iFOREX.com website, said: “As a company licensed in the British Virgin Islands, we have first-hand awareness of the spirit and potential of this exceptional team and we are proud and excited to support the athletes in their remarkable efforts to bring home the Territory’s first Olympic medal.”

The BVI Olympic Team will most likely consist of up to four athletes. Two athletes, namely Kyron McMaster in the Men’s 400m hurdles and Eldred Henry in the Men’s shot put have qualified for the Olympics already and a number of other athletes are seeking to qualify over the next four months. These include Chantel Malone, the 2019 PanAm gold medallist in the long jump and Ashley Kelly, who made her Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 400m sprint.

It is believed that the partnership marks the first occasion an investment firm has sponsored a National Olympic Committee and iFOREX joins athletic brand Puma as one of the BVIOC’s two official sponsors.

For over 23 years, iFOREX has remained one of the largest and most respected firms in the Fintech industry, emerging early on as an industry leader in technological innovation and with a dedication to trust and excellence.

“By lining up with Puma, known for its history of performance and athletic support, we’re proud to help the BVI’s athletes to represent their country with devotion and determination,” said an iFOREX’s spokesperson.

Throughout the sponsorship, iFOREX will show its support of the BVI Olympic Team with online content chronicling the team’s journey from their training camps to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as the team’s results, which will be available to both clients and staff all over the world at iFOREX News.

Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC commented on the partnership, saying: “The BVI Olympic Committee is delighted that a respectable and successful investment firm such as iFOREX has identified the potential of the BVI team for Tokyo 2020 and we believe that together we can make history and see a first Olympic medal won by an athlete competing for the Virgin Islands.”

Malone, Lettsome to attend inaugural Panam Sports Awards Gala

With the aim of recognizing the effort, passion and dedication of the athletes of the Americas, for the first time in history, Panam Sports is bringing together athletes, media, sport and government leaders to an awards ceremony on December 13 honoring the best of the best in sport in 2019, with the highlight being the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Chantel Malone – who made history when she won the Virgin Islands’ first Panam Games medal with her gold winning leap of 6.68m in the long jump – and Thad Lettsome, the VI’s first sailor in the Games since the 1990s – will join Olympians, World Champions, historical sporting icons and those who shined brightest in the Peruvian capital at the inaugural Panam Sports Awards in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC will also be in attendance.

“This is a momentous occasion for the Virgin Islands,” said Mr. Penn. “We are exceptionally proud of Chantel and Thad who were selected from thousands of athletes to be invited to attend this special, historic event.”

The evening is expected to rival those seen in Hollywood, complete with Red Carpet, bright lights, artistic performances, glamor and emotion.

Featuring the great athletes of the Americas, the Panam Sports family and VIP guests, the historic ceremony honouring the greatest moments and performances from the Lima 2019 Pan Am Games will be broadcast live for the world to see who will be crowned the Best Athletes of the Americas.

The Panam Sports Awards will officially begin at 7:00 pm EST and will conclude at 8:15pm EST.

Univisión is producing and transmitting the event that will be shown free-to-air on their television network on Saturday, December 14 at 11:00 pm EST, 10:00 pm CST and 8:00 pm PST. The special program will feature the best moments and highlights from the inaugural Panam Sports Awards called “Gala del Deporte de las Américas”.

Sports fans across the globe will also be able to watch the Panam Sports Awards ceremony live through multiple streaming platforms. ESPN PLAY will stream the event throughout Latin America and the Caribbean; the R7 channel owned by Record TV in Brazil will also live-stream; and of course, the new and improved Panam Sports Channel will begin the live-stream at 5:00 pm EST from the Red Carpet.

ABOUT PANAM SPORTS

The Pan American Sports Organization (Panam Sports) is the leader of sport and the Olympic Movement in the Americas. We propel the development of sport and support our 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.

Panam Sports works closely with athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOC), Organizing Committees of all regional games, Pan American Sport Confederations, International Federations (IF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure the success and celebration of our main event, the Pan American Games.

BVIOC donates equipment to schools for Physical Literacy pilot programme

The BVI Olympic Committee donated equipment to the 12 pre- and primary schools piloting the physical literacy project.

The equipment will provide support in building the physical literacy capacity of students in schools participating in the project.

As part of the assessments that were carried out last month by the team of physical literacy specialists visiting from Canada Sports for Life, one of the recommendations in the report was the need for equipment to introduce various activities to the children that will assist in building mastery, confidence and motivation to move in different ways.

President of the BVI Olympic Committee, Mr. Ephraim Penn said “This initiative is being sponsored by the Olympic Solidarity and therefore we want to ensure that this programme is a success. In order to do so we have to continue to invest in the physical development of the Territory’s children.”

Physical Education teachers, coaches and persons involved in sports along with parents are encouraged to support the initiative by learning about physical literacy and following the physical literacy campaign on BVIOC’s website – bviolympics.org – and page on Facebook.

“There is great information and tips that everyone can use to introduce physical literacy concepts to children in their care. I encourage parents, teachers, care givers and volunteers to support the concept of physical literacy and to lead by example by being active and encouraging your child or children to be active as well,” Mr. Penn said.

The equipment was handed over to the Ministry of Education and Culture and received by Permanent Secretary Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe and Chief Education Officer Ms. Connie George on November 8 during a short ceremony.

“We recognize the importance of physical literacy in our community and the long term benefits of ingraining physical activity from an early age so that it becomes a lifetime habit,” said Ms. George. “Having the Physical Literacy project run in our schools is paramount and the Ministry of Education is very appreciative that the BVI Olympic Committee is ensuring its success through their ongoing support and donations with funding from Olympic Solidarity.”

The equipment, which includes a variety of training tools tailored for the needs of each recipient, will be distributed to the participating schools in the coming days.

Participating schools include Althea Scatliffe, Francis Lettsome, Leonora Delville and Jost Van Dyke Primary Schools, Bregado Flax Education Centre-Primary Division, Agape Total Life Academy and Pelican Gate School as well as New Life, Little Light House, New Testament, Visions and Jost Van Dyke preschools.

The mission to promote physical literacy locally is a multi-agency collaboration between the BVI Olympic Committee, Canada Sports for Life and the Ministries of Health and Social Development and Education and Culture.

Physical Literacy is the competence, confidence and motivation to enjoy a variety of sports and physical activities.

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

Physical Literacy assessments underway in 12 schools in the BVI

As efforts continue to promote physical activity in the British Virgin Islands, physical literacy assessments will be carried out in 12 schools from September 30th until October 10th.

The assessments are part of the physical literacy mission run through a multi-agency collaboration between the Ministries of Health and Social Development and Education and Culture as well as the BVI Olympic Committee and Canada Sport for Life.

A team of physical literacy specialists from Canada Sport for Life is in the Territory currently working with selected schools to encourage movement across the curriculum.

Education Officer, Mrs. Heida Joyles-Selwood said “The team will be introducing the PLAY Builder programme to physical education teachers and working with classroom teachers and early childhood practitioners to encourage physical activity.”

According to Mrs. Joyles-Selwood, physical literacy has been incorporated into the overall Healthy Schools initiative launched by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to improve the diet and physical activity patterns among school children by instilling knowledge, skills and providing motivation for adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors.

While all primary schools are participating in the Healthy School Project, only a total of 12 schools – which include public, private and preschools – were selected to participate in phase I of this project.

Participating schools are Althea Scatliffe, Francis Lettsome, Leonora Delville and Jost Van Dyke Primary Schools, Bregado Flax Education Centre-Primary Division, Agape Total Life Academy and Pelican Gate School as well as New Life, Little Light House, New Testament, Visions and Jost Van Dyke preschools.

Initially introduced and funded by the BVIOC, the Physical Literacy campaign is part of the Long Term Athlete Development programme which was launched in the Territory in February 2016 by the steering committee chaired by Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC targetting national federations, schools and the community.

The community is encouraged to support this initiative by increasing their child’s physical activity on a daily basis.

“Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.” – The International Physical Literacy Association, May 2014

It increases physical fitness and health and promotes healthy lifestyle habits, social skills, physiological wellness, cognitive skills and educational success.

VI Health Ministry signs agreement to develop physical literacy in pre-schools

Minister for Health and Social Development, Honourable Calvin Malone has signed an agreement with Sport for Life Society for the development of a physical literacy approach in pre-schools across the Territory.

The programme will be coordinated by the Ministry of Health and the BVI Olympic Committee and will enable the Sport For Life programme to build capacity in key personnel including early child care providers and teachers as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the project in increasing physical activity in children and youth.

Coordinator of Health Promotion Services in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Ms. Ivy George said the programme will also increase awareness of physical literacy in the Territory while improving physical activity.

The intervention will be held in four phases in identified schools in the Territory. Education, training and assessments will be carried out by the organisation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Agriculture and Fisheries.

The programme began in August and will conclude in July 2020. Sport for Life is a non-profit organisation out of Canada whose purpose is to create cross-sectional partnerships between sport, education, recreation and health while aligning community, physical activity programming and more.

Persons seeking more information on the organisation and the intervention programme can telephone the Ministry of Health and Social Development at 468-2274.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.

Gov’t ministries collaborate with BVIOC to introduce Physical Literacy in schools

The Ministries of Education and Culture and Health and Social Development and the BVI Olympic Committee have joined forces to increase physical activity in the daycare/preschoolers and primary school students through physical literacy in the Territory.

Last week during their annual professional development initiative the Ministry of Education and Culture with support from Sport for Life Canada trained pre and primary school teachers in physical literacy.

During a Lyte Vibrations interview Education Officer, Ms. Hieda Selwood and Physical Literacy Specialist Ms. Jessica Waterman explained what physical literacy is, why it is important and why teachers and parents should promote it.

Physical Literacy is the competence, confidence and motivation to enjoy a variety of sports and physical activities.

“We are trying to promote movement across the curriculum. It is our hope that if we foster physical literacy in the lives of our children they will grow up to be healthy adults thus promoting a healthier Virgin Islands,” Ms. Selwood explained.

As part of the workshop classroom and physical education teachers were introduced to physical literacy concepts, resources and information.

According to Ms. Waterman the training which featured theory and practical sessions focused on five key concepts. “We want teachers to promote physical literacy in programs and activities that are fun, challenging, inclusive, participant centered and by making sure that the children are always moving with purpose,” she said.

Parents and guardians are also encouraged to increase their children’s physical activity on a daily basis and support efforts to promote physical literacy in the Territory.

Physical literacy increases physical fitness and health, healthy lifestyle habits, social skills, physiological wellness, cognitive skills and educational success.

Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Tahesia Harrigan-Scott visits Japan 1 year ahead of Summer Olympic Games

(l-r) Aki Murasato (Executive Director of International Relations, Tokyo 2020), Yukihiko Nunomura (President, Tokyo 2020), Maxwell De Silva (Secretary General, NOC of Sri Lanka), Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (VI Chef de Mission), unkown, Turo Kobayashi (Head of NOC Services, Tokyo 2020), James Macleod (Director, NOC Relations & Olympic Solidarity, IOC) at the Chef de Mission Seminar in Tokyo, Japan, Aug 20 -22 2019.

Tokyo 2020 is just under a year away and the Virgin Islands’ 100m CAC multi-gold medalist and IAAF World Indoor Championships bronze medalist, Mrs. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott is the Chef de Mission for the 32nd edition of the Summer Olympic Games.

Undertaking her first official duty, Harrigan-Scott attended a three-day Chef de Mission Seminar in Japan from August 20 – 22. She joined representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) for progress updates and venue tours a year ahead of the Games which takes place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, 2020.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Chef de Mission, Tokyo 2020 with the Olympic Torch

“The seminar has been very informative and I have received a lot of information which will assist in structuring my plans going forward as Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020,” said Harrigan-Scott. “I was a bit disappointed not to be able to go into the Olympic stadium as the venue is still under construction. While some venues – like the field hockey venue – are completed, most of the others are in their test event phase so in term of venue tours, it’s just seeing the progression of the stadiums and the different areas being developed.

“The atmosphere in Tokyo is great, the environment is good with the only thing of concern to most people and the Tokyo 2020 organizers is the heat and humidity around the period of the Olympic Games. A lot of counter-heat measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of the athletes and the spectators coming out to visit.

They are taking safety, along with everything else, into consideration so I think it’s going to be a great event.”

Harrigan-Scott, who recently retired from her career as a professional athlete, was appointed by the BVI Olympic Committee to manage all aspects of the VI athletes’ participation in Tokyo 2020.

“The role of Chef de Mission will be well-suited to Mrs. Harrigan-Scott who was the first female to represent the Virgin Islands at the Summer Olympic Games at Beijing 2008 and who since then also competed in the subsequent London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Olympics,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “She has a wealth of experience in major international competitions that is unmatched by any other of our national athletes and we are fortunate that she accepted the role for what we anticipate will be an exciting Olympic Games for our roster of elite athletes who qualify to compete at Tokyo 2020.”

Harrigan-Scott’s athletic career
A long-serving athlete who represented the VI in athletics at various levels between 1998 through 2018, Harrigan-Scott made her debut competing regionally in the U17 division at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championships in the Cayman Islands and ended her international career as a finalist in the 100 meter dash at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Open Championships in Toronto, Canada.

She was the VI’s first female athlete to win a gold medal at an international Games with her victory in the 100 meters at the 2006 CAC Games a feat she repeated at the same Games 4 years later. Harrigan-Scott’s most significant accomplishment, however, was winning a bronze medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in the 60 meter dash in 2008. She has also been a finalist at the Pan American and Commonwealth Games and a silver medalist in the 100m at the CAC Championships.

She currently holds the national athletics records in the 100m and 200m dashes as well as the 4x100m relay. She was also a national record holder in the long and triple jumps.

Harrigan-Scott was an outstanding student during her collegiate career and has provided leadership to many of her younger colleagues. On two occasions she and her husband, Joey Scott, himself a former athlete, conducted brief athletics camps in the Virgin Islands.

Committed to using her training and experiences as a professional athlete, Harrigan-Scott will be working with the BVI Olympic Committee on projects which will serve to advance the Long Term Athlete Development programme in the territory as well as providing input towards the elite athlete programme.

6 VI juniors to attend tennis development tournament in Puerto Rico

6 VI players to participate in the USTA Caribbean Junior Development Tournament, Puerto Rico, Aug 23 – 25, 2019

Six youths will participate in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Caribbean Junior Development Tournament in Puerto Rico, August 23rd – 25th. The young tennis players attending the tournament and who are part of the BVI Tennis Association junior development programme are Amia Wheatly, Declan Wheatley, Deandrea Baijnauth, Malaika Bowens, Mikyly McMillan and Zoe Richards.

The tournament is open to beginner and intermediate players, seeking  to provide them with on-court experiences following the recommended progression: Orange Ball  (10U), Green Dot Ball (12U) and regular ball (14U and 18U). 

Puerto Rico is the only Caribbean Island  hosting Junior Development Tournaments using all three balls the same time and because of  the geographical location,  it’s ideal for the VI’s juniors who are recreational players.

“We are grateful to the BVI Olympic Committee for financially making it possible for the players to participate; supporting the development of our youths and sport,” said Mrs. Carol Mitchell, President of the BVITSA.

Lettsome wraps up BVI’s Pan Am Games action with best performance

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

Laser Sailor Thad Lettsome wrapped up his sailing competition in Paracas, Peru on Thursday August 8, with the best day of competition. PHOTO: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway 

LIMA, Peru – Thad Lettsome wrapped up the BVI’s 18th Pan Am Games appearance by its four athletes, with his best performance during four highly competitive days of racing against the Americas’ best Laser Sailors in Paracas, Peru on Thursday, August 8.

In his final two races of the competition, the 17-year old debutant, who carried the flag during the July 26 opening ceremonies, finished 11th in his first race – after being in fifth place then capsizing – and 16th in his second run. He placed 19th overall.

“The best day on paper but also a better day than it showed, because, the first race especially, we executed the plan perfectly and ended up rounding the first three marks in fifth,” said Lettsome. “Definitely the best three legs of the race and the best race by far, then I capsized. I was in sixth after that – it didn’t affect a lot – but it did affect me distance wise. I was close to the back of boats behind me, I didn’t manage them well and, on the last upwind, some of them passed me and I ended up eleventh.”

The Games he said, has been a great learning experience and he knows what he has to work on everything to improve: fitness, how he steers the boat in different conditions, and sail trim.

“Everything needs to be better rounded,” said Lettsome, who has decided on the Laser as the boat he will sail into the future.

Coach Alec Anderson said Lettsome was able to put together the things they had been discussing about the process in the last race.

“That race alone proves that he can commit, keep his head down, work hard on the process and it was really cool to see,” Anderson said. “What I’ve been preaching here is, as long as we’re focused on the process of improving, getting as much out of this experience as possible, in four years, he can come back, give it a go and compete for a medal. That’s the most important thing and I think Thad has done a tremendous job with that. I’m very proud of him for sticking it out, keeping his head down, keeping the preparations the same, following the plan day in and day out, focusing on the process. He should be proud of himself too.”

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.