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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Team BVI reports on 2016 OECS Swimming Championship

By CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank

Diane Francis, Manager, Retail Banking, CIBC FirstCaribbean (L) with BVI Swim team members who competed in the 2016 OECS Swimming Championships (l-r), Khadija Sampson, Arianna Angus, Keon Sampson, Kurt Salapare, Kassia Nichols, swim coach, Elsworth Phillip, and Kishma Williams, Administrative Officer, CIBC FirstCaribbean. Missing from photo, swimmer Jaden Marshall. Photo: CIBC FirstCaribbean

Diane Francis, Manager, Retail Banking, CIBC FirstCaribbean (L) with BVI Swim team members who competed in the 2016 OECS Swimming Championships (l-r), Khadija Sampson, Arianna Angus, Keon Sampson, Kurt Salapare, Kassia Nichols, swim coach, Elsworth Phillip, and Kishma Williams, Administrative Officer, CIBC FirstCaribbean. Missing from photo, swimmer Jaden Marshall. Photo: CIBC FirstCaribbean

With the support of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and the BVI Olympic Committee, the BVI Swimming Federation sent its top six local based swimmers to the 26th OECS Swimming Championship which took place in St Vincent and the Grenadines on November 10-12.

The 2016 championships fielded a total of 187 competitive swimmers from the OECS region. Teams participating included Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Martinique.

Khadija Sampson, who won the 2015 OECS Swimming Championship 100m freestyle bronze medal, participated in the Girls’ 8 and Under category competing in the 100m, 50m and 25m Freestyle, the 100m Individual Medley, the 25m ButterFly, the 25m Backstroke, and the 25m Breaststroke.

Arianna Angus, Kassia Nichols competed in the Girls’ 11-12 age group while Jaden Marshall, Keon Sampson and Kurt Salapare competed in the Boys’ 11-12 age group. Both sets of groups swam in the 400m, 200m, 100m & 50m Freestyle, the 100m & 50m Breaststroke, the 100m & 50m Butterfly, the 100m & 50m Backstroke, and the 200m & 100m Individual Medley.

The top male swimmer for Team BVI was Jaden Marshall who won three of his heats swimming to national records and top female swimmer for Team BVI was Khadija Sampson who swam to all personal best and became the first BVI 8 and under Swimmer to swim the 25m freestyle under 17 seconds swimming the event in 16.98 seconds.

This was the first swim meet of its size that the swimmers had competed in and representatives of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank met with the young swimmers to recognise their representation of the territory and their personal achievements.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you and to hear about your performances and your experiences in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Ms Diane Francis, Retail Banking Manager. “CIBC FirstCaribbean is really proud to support you in your efforts and to encourage you to keep up with the hard work and effort in improving in your sport. It’s good to know that you enjoyed visiting a new country and meeting other young swimmers from around the region while representing the BVI. We look forward to keeping up with your progress.”

“Even though team BVI did not win a medal at this year’s OECS Swimming Champs, we were happy with the overall performance of our swimmers as they swam for many personal bests at the meet, which is a clear indication to their commitment to the sport,” said Elsworth Phillip, the BVI Swimming Federation coach, “As a Federation and as a team, we are very appreciative of the support and encouragement that we have received from CIBC FirstCaribbean and the BVI Olympic Committee.”

Download results.

The 2017 OECS Swimming Championships will be held in Martinique.

VI swimmers net spectacular results at St Thomas Swim Meet

Source: VINO

The Virgin Islands' swim team in St Thomas, USVI. Mrs Simone Foster (left) of Harneys is seen presenting a sponsorship check to the VI swimmers at the St Thomas Meet. Photo: Provided

The Virgin Islands’ swim team in St Thomas, USVI. Mrs Simone Foster (left) of Harneys is seen presenting a sponsorship check to the VI swimmers at the St Thomas Meet. Photo: Provided

Six Virgin Islands’ swimmers competed in the St Thomas 2016 October Opener Swim meet with spectacular swims and numerous personal best times last weekend in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

Swimming for Team Virgin Islands (VI) were Jaden Marshall, Keon Sampson, Kurt Salapare, Kassia Nichols, Khadija Sampson, and Arianna Angus and Coach Elsworth Phillip said he was happy with the many new personal best times.

Khadijah Sampson, competing in the U8 Division led the way with first place finishes in the 25m Freestyle event (21.19), 25m Breaststroke (25.99 new PB), 100M Freestyle (1:39.49) and a second place in the 25m Butterfly (22.71).

It was the team’s first meet since April and Elsworth pointed out that his team still has quite a bit of work to do heading into the OECS swimming Championships next month in St Vincent.

Jaden Marshall won the Boys 11-12 50m Breaststroke in a time of 45.13, which was a new PB and also finished first in the 50m Butterfly with a new PB of 42.29.

Arianna Angus claimed first place in the 11-12 Girls 100m Butterfly in a time of 1:41.69 (new PB) and in the 50m version with a new PB of 41.79.

Official Meet Results

Event Swimmer Place

Finals Time

Boys 11-12 50Meter Freestyle Jaden Marshall 2nd



Boys 11-12 50Meter Freestyle Kurt Salapare 3rd



Boys 13 and Over 50Meter Freestyle Keon Sampson 4th



Girls 8 & Under 25meter Freestyle Khadija Sampson 1st


Girls 11-12 50 Meter Breaststroke Kassia Nichols 2nd



Boys 11-12 50 Meter Breaststroke Jaden Marshall 1st



Boys 11-12 50 Meter Breaststroke Kurt Salapare 2nd



Boys 13 & Over 50 Meter Breaststroke Keon Sampson 2nd



Girls 8 & Under 25meter Breaststroke Khadija Sampson 1st



Girls 11-12 100 Meter Butterfly Arianna Angus 1st



Boys 11-12 50 Meter Backstroke Kurt Salapare 2nd


Girls 8 & Under 100 meter Freestyle Khadija Sampson 1st


Girls 11-12  100 meter Freestyle Kassia Nichols 4th



Boys 11-12  100 meter Freestyle Jaden Marshall 2nd



Boys 11-12 100 meter Freestyle Kurt Salapare 3rd



Boys 13 & Over 100 meter Freestyle Keon Sampson 3rd



Boys 11-12 50 Meter Butterfly Jaden Marshall 1st



Girls 11-12 50 Meter Butterfly Arianna Angus 1st



BOYS 13 & Over 50 Meter Butterfly Keon Sampson 4th



Girls 8 & Under 25meterButterfly Khadija Sampson 2nd


Girls 11-12 100 Meter Breaststroke Kassia Nichols 2nd



Girls 11-12 100 Meter IM Arianna Angus 2nd



Exhibition highlights VI’s sports for Sochi 2014 and Glasgow 2014

BVI's half-pipe skier for Winter Olympic Fames Sochi 2014, Peter Adam Crook answers questions at the BVIOC's multi sport exhibition

BVI’s half-pipe skier for Winter Olympic Fames Sochi 2014, Peter Adam Crook answers questions at the BVIOC’s multi sport exhibition

The BVI Ski Association, the BVI Athletics Association, the BVI Swimming Association, and the BVI Squash Rackets Association presented their respective sports to a rapt audience at an interactive exhibition hosted by the BVI Olympic Committee at the Tortola Sports Club last Saturday. The morning event highlighted the upcoming Winter Olympic Games Sochi 2014, and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in which qualified athletes will represent the Virgin Islands.

Peter Adam Crook (Adam), who earlier last week was officially presented as the territory’s half-pipe skier for Sochi 2014, and Joe Chapman, squash player for the VI in Glasgow 2014 presented their respective sports in the glass-fronted squash courts to a public that previously had very little exposure to either half-pipe skiing or squash.
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VI heading to Winter Olympic Games Sochi 2014 and XX Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014

BVIOC to launch awareness campaign at interactive, multi-sports exhibition

BVIOC PosterThe Virgin Islands will be represented in the half-pipe ski event at the Winter Olympic Games Sochi 2014, and in squash, swimming, and athletics at the XX Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014. In April 2014, the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay will be in the VI.

The BVI Olympic Committee in collaboration with the BVI Athletics Association, the BVI Ski Association, the BVI Squash Racquets Association, and the BVI Swimming Association will host a free, interactive, multi-sports exhibition at the Tortola Sports Club on Saturday, October 26, 2014 from 8.30am – 12.00pm to showcase these international games, the sports, and some of the athletes who will be representing the VI.

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