Ephraim Penn elected as Caribbean Representative for Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Committee

Representatives of the Caribbean Commonwealth Games Associations with the Hon. Espérance Nyirasafari, Minister of Sports and Culture, Government of the Republic of Rwanda, Dame Louise Martin, DBE, President, Commonwealth Games Federation, the Rt. Honourable Patricia Scotland, QC, Commonwealth Secretary General, and Fortuna Belrose, Caribbean Regional CGF Vice President.

Dame Louise Martin DBE (Scotland) was re-elected as the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President for a second four-year term by acclamation by delegates from the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth attending the CGF General Assembly at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, September 3 – 6. She became the first female to hold this office in the history of the Commonwealth Sports Movement when she was elected in 2015.

Ephraim Penn, President of the Virgin Islands (UK) Commonwealth Games Association (BVICGA) was elected to the position of CGF Sports Committee Caribbean Representative.

The quadrennial elections saw three CGF Vice-Presidents elected: Kereyn Smith (New Zealand) Chris Jenkins (Wales) and Bruce Robertson (Canada).

Three new Regional Vice-Presidents were also elected to the Executive Board: Americas with Judy Simons J.P (Bermuda), Asia with Chris Chan (Singapore) and Europe with Harry Murphy (Gibraltar).

The three other Regional Vice-Presidents were all re-elected: Africa with Miriam Moyo (Zambia), Caribbean with Fortuna Belrose (Saint Lucia) and Oceania with Hugh Graham (Cook Islands).

In addition to Penn’s election for the Caribbean, results for every position on the Sports Committee included Sani Ndanusa (Nigeria) for Africa, Linda Cuthbert (Canada) for the Americas, Lt. Gen. Syed Arif Hasan (Pakistan) for Asia, Helen Phillips (Wales) for Europe and Craig Phillips (Australia) for Oceania.

Ephraim Penn, Caribbean Representative, Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Committee with the Hon. Espérance Nyirasafari, Minister of Sports and Culture, Government of the Republic of Rwanda

“Being elected to represent the Caribbean is indeed a great honour and I acknowledge and respect the trust and confidence that is being placed in me to act in the best interests of the region,” said Penn. “I have been in seat as the BVICGA president for the past 11 years and have served in various roles on other sports related bodies and advisory committees locally and regionally since 2004. I have forged good and open relationships with my Caribbean counterparts as well as those representing countries across the world. I look forward to working with CGF Sports Committee on behalf of the Caribbean CGAs and am excited to be part of a team that will continue to move the Commonwealth Sports agenda forward.”

The Sports Committee typically meets biannually. Its key functions are to provide technical expertise and support to the Executive Board in relation to the development and management of all aspects of the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games sports programmes. The Committee also engages with International Sports Federations, future host cities and bidding cities.

Penn, who has an Executive Masters of Sports Management (MEMOS)from the University of Lyon, France along with a Masters in Economic Planning and Bachelors in public Affairs from Florida Atlantic University, Florida, was a member of the VI’s 1st Track & Field team at the 1975 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Athletic Championship, Ponce, Puerto Rico and the 1976 Carifta Games, Nassau, Bahamas. He was a member of the national Softball team that competed in the 1987 Pan Am Games in Indianapolis, USA and which placed 4th – the highest team sport accomplishment at the Games for the VI – and a member of the national Softball team at the 1993 CAC Games, Ponce, Puerto Rico.

During his current tenure as president of the national Olympic Committee / Commonwealth Games Association since 2008, Penn established the Elite Athlete Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and was instrumental in composing the National Sports Policy of the VI. He established the VI’s Anti-Doping Commission and is a current board member of the Regional Anti-Doping Organization of the Caribbean (RADO). He also serves as the chairman of the Long Term Athlete Development Steering Committee and is a member of the Panam Sports New Sports Commission. Following Hurricane Irma, Penn secured funding and support from Panam Sports for the rebuild of sports facilities in the VI.

Penn sat as president of the BVI Amateur Athletic Association (now known as the BVI Athletics Association) from 2006 – 2008 and led the executive which was responsible for the installation of the first MONDO Class 2 rubberized track in the VI.

In addition to the elections, the General Assembly saw the approval of a refreshed Transformation 2022 strategy and the continued evolution of the CGF’s Governance and Regulations.

Deliberations took place to further evolve the Commonwealth Games Sports Programme while the new CGF Brand and Logo was formally showcased for the very first time.

The General Assembly marked the ten-year anniversary of Rwanda joining the list of Commonwealth nations in 2009.

It was staged a year before the country hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020 with Commonwealth Secretary General the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC in attendance where she delivered a formal address to the Assembly.

Rwanda itself is the newest member of the Commonwealth, and the second country (as well as Mozambique) in the Commonwealth without historic UK ties.

Henry shatters BVI records for top Jr. College spots

Edlred Henry copyBy: Dean Greenaway

Eldred Henry, a British Virgin Islands 2013 Carifta Games Discus Throw and Shot Put bronze medalist shattered the territory’s Discus mark and improved his own standard in the Shot, during two competitions in Arizona over the weekend.

At the Mesa Classic Discus Throw Invitational on Friday, Henry, the Central Arizona College freshman demolished Eric Matthias’ 10-year old mark of 55.87m with a toss of 58.18m on his fourth attempt to place third overall.

Then at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe on Saturday, on his last attempt, Henry released a 17.34m effort to win the Shot Put and improve his own National Record of 17.07m at the Willie Williams Classic on March 21. His marks also put him at the top of the National Jr. College Athletics Association rankings in both events.

“My plan was not only to break the record but to surpass it and qualify for the Commonwealth Games,” Henry said of his Discus Throw mark where he’s aiming to throw 60m and over 19m in the Shot.  “My technique has gotten a lot better than before and I’m beginning to understand the concept of the technique which is allowing me to perform the way I am now.”

Henry who’s turning 20 this year is relatively new to the sport and has moved from throwing the Jr. to the Sr. implements said the transition was a bit challenging because with the lighter weights, he was accustomed to seeing the Shot and Disc going further than with the heavier one. He pointed out that his first coach Omar Jones had him throwing the heavier implements as he was about to enter the senior ranks and that has made his adjustments easier.

Despite his inexperience Henry said he knows he has the potential to grow.

“I’m still making simple mistakes but working on correcting them,” he explained. “I would like to take out the school record which is 62m in the Discus and would have to train twice as hard as I’m doing now. If it doesn’t happen this year it’s going to happen next year.”

Henry—fourth and fifth respectively in last year’s Pan Am Jr. Championships Shot Put and Discus Throw—said the international experience has helped him prepare for events like the Commonwealth Games and NACAC U23 Championships during the summer.

“I’ve just begun competing in track a year ago and going and competing in front of thousands of people, isn’t something everybody can do,” he noted. “Once you can get that fear out the way you can relax and perform how you are supposed to. That has helped me out and because in college I have competitions almost every week is helping me to get rid of that fear of competition so its just a matter of how hard and how far you can throw on that day.”

Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay in the VI to debut at Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park

QBRThe Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay will be introduced to the Virgin Islands at 9.00am on Thursday, April 3. Mr. Steve Augustine will bring in the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton at a public welcome ceremony at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park. Mr. Augustine represented the VI in athletics at the XV Commonwealth Games Victoria 1994 and at the XVII Commonwealth Games Manchester 2002.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a symbolic event that heralds the Commonwealth Games and takes place every four years. It has been run since the 1958 games in Cardiff, Wales. The baton bears the Queen’s ‘message to the athletes’. When the baton ends its journey through the Commonwealth, it is returned to Her Majesty the Queen in the stadium. The message is removed and read aloud by HM to officially declare the Games open.

His Excellency Governor Boyd McCleary, Premier Dr. D. Orlando Smith, and Honourable Myron Walwyn, Minister for Education, Culture and Sports, will play key roles in welcoming the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay to the territory. The occasion will incorporate Scottish bagpipes in recognition of the host country for the XX Commonwealth Games.

The ceremony will end when the Minister hands over the baton to the first baton bearers. They will represent the three sporting associations slated to participate in the XX Commonwealth Games. The members from the squash, swimming, and athletics associations will run from the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park to the Wickham’s Cay I roundabout. This will be the first leg of the series of symbolic relays through Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda.

The BVI Olympic Committee, in its capacity as the local Commonwealth Games Association, is the host of the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay and encourages the public to participate in the relays.

“The baton relay routes are not too arduous,” said Ephraim Penn, president of the BVIOC.  “Each leg is quite short and we have planned for the relay of the baton to pass through main communities and areas of historic significance. It’s a symbolic relay and we really want to see as many people join in either as runners or supporters.”

On Thursday, April 3, relays will pass through Road Town from 10:00am – 11.15am and will move to the First District. The Queen’s baton relay will then start at 11.45am from Capoon’s Bay, and run through Apple Bay and Carrot Bay. It will be driven to De Wedding from where the baton relay will be run through Cane Garden Bay. The relay route will end at the beach by the Methodist Church where swimmers from the BVI Swimming Association will escort the baton out to the Police launch for transportation to Jost Van Dyke.

Following a relay through Great Harbour at 2.30pm, Queen’s baton will be transported to the BVI Spring Regatta at Nanny Cay Resort & Marina where the Tortola Sloop, Intrepid will receive the baton and conduct a sail-by in the company of Optimist sailors.

At 8.30am on Friday, April 4, the Premier will welcome the relay to Virgin Gorda at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Relays will take place through the Valley, to the Baths and the Bregado Flax Educational Center. The baton will then return to Trellis Bay, Beef Island at 4.30pm. Relays will be cycled, run and walked through East End/Long Look to the HLSCC.

The Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay will conclude its visit to the Virgin Islands at the HLSCC. There will be a cultural presentation featuring local and Scottish performers and a ‘Tasting under the Tent’ to showcase the cuisine of the VI and Scotland.

This is the third time that the relay will visit the VI. The first occasion was in August 2005. The VI will be the 54th country to be visited on the relay’s journey through 70 Commonwealth nations and Overseas Territories. The baton will arrive from Anguilla on April 2 and will depart for Jamaica on April 5.

The key stakeholders involved in organizing the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay events include the BVIOC, the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Premier, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (to include the Departments of Culture, and Youth Affairs and Sports), the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, and the BVI Tourist Board. The event is supported by the BVI Red Cross, Foxy’s Bar, the Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society, and Rotary Club of Tortola.

The Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports, the Ministry of Finance, CCT, BVI Bank Association, Roadtown Wholesale, San Bendetto, Powerade, and Harneys.

A detailed itinerary of the route can be found on www.bviolympics.org or can be requested from the BVIOC office. Contact Cleave Farrington on 542 1007.

2014 Queen’s Baton Relay in the BVI April 2-5

QBR Count down briefing presentersThe BVI Olympic Committee, in its capacity as the local Commonwealth Games Association, launched the one-month count down to the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay. The baton and traveling team will arrive into the Virgin Islands from Anguilla on Wednesday, April 2. Two full days of public events and relays will take place in the territory on April 3 and 4 before the Queen’s Baton Relay departs for Jamaica on the morning of Saturday, April 5.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a special tradition of the Commonwealth Games which take place every four years. The ‘friendly Games’ unite the two billion citizens of the Commonwealth in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace. The XX Commonwealth Games will take place this summer in Glasgow, Scotland.

The baton, which was specially crafted in Scotland, holds Her Majesty the Queen’s message calling the athletes of the Commonwealth to the Games. It is on its journey through 70 Commonwealth nations and territories, travelling 190,000KM over 248 days. Its journey is being reported on BBC News outlets.

The official public welcome ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay will take place from 9.00am – 10.00am at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on Thursday, April 3.

The baton will then start its first leg of the relay through the Virgin Islands from the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park. It will pass though communities in Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, and Virgin Gorda during the course of Thursday, April 3 and Friday, April 4.

The Premier will host a welcome ceremony in The Valley, Virgin Gorda at 8.30am on Friday, April 4.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a unifying event organized by the Commonwealth Games Association inviting members of the Commonwealth and the Overseas Territories to showcase their country, culture, hospitality, communities, and sports. This year, there is a focus on youth through a partnership between the Commonwealth Games Association and UNICEF.

“This is an occasion for all who reside in the BVI to come together in the spirit of friendship and unity,” said Ephraim Penn, president of the BVI Olympic Committee. “It’s the perfect opportunity to emphasize the Commonwealth Games message of friendly games and sports for all and to harness the current drive towards wellness and health for everyone and to encourage all to come out and take some exercise be it a gentle jog or a brisk walk.”

In an effort to reach out to the children of the territory, the Glasgow 2014 mascot named Clyde, after the river Clyde in Scotland, has been on a tour of some of the public schools earlier this year as part of a project undertaken in conjunction with Hertfordshire County Council

“The mascot was designed by a 12 year old girl and is based on the Thistle which is Scotland’s national emblem,” said Mark Chapman, Chef de Mission, XX Commonwealth Games. “We will be continuing to make presentations to schools on the Queen’s Baton Relay and the Glasgow 2014 Games during the next couple of weeks.”

As a key stakeholder involved in the planning process of the visit of the Queen’s Baton

Relay to the territory, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports endorses the communitywide event:

“At the Ministry, we are doing our part to ensure active participation by our schools and that our youth organisations are at the forefront,” said the Honourable Minister Myron Walwyn. “As the Baton arrives [at] a time when our schools are on Easter break, I am urging all parents and guardians to allow your children to participate in activities scheduled for that day so that your child can witness and participate in this global ceremony.”

The public events and the relays are planned to pass through Road Town, Capoons Bay, Carrot Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, and the BVI Spring Regatta Village at Nanny Cay Marina on Thursday, April 3 and through The Valley, Virgin Gorda, East End/Long Look to include The Sticket, and culminate at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on Friday, April 4.

A cultural presentation by traditional musicians, dancers and performers to include Scottish reel dancing will form part of the official closing ceremony HLSCC when the baton is returned to the Queen’s Baton Relay traveling team and the Commonwealth Games Association. The evening will end with a cultural tastings under the tent with samplings of food and refreshments from the BVI and Scotland on sale.

The full itinerary of events, baton route and times will be publicized closer to the arrival date through broadcast, print, and online media, as well as via the BVIOC Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media accounts.

Mr Rey O’Neil OBE, past president of the BVIOC and BVI Athletic Association and one of the territory’s sporting pioneers noted that Glasgow 2014 will be the seventh Commonwealth Games in which the Virgin Islands will participate, “Our first Commonwealth Games was at the Auckland 1990 games in New Zealand when one athlete went from the territory, Lindel Hodge. Lindel was the first batonbearer when the Queen’s Baton Relay first came to the territory in 2006.”

The Virgin Islands is expecting to send 8 athletes to represent the territory in Squash, Athletics, and Swimming at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games which take place from July 23 to August 3, 2014.

The last time the Queen’s Baton Relay toured the Commonwealth and Overseas Territories was in 2010 when the baton and traveling team visited the Virgin Islands in March of that year heralding the games in Delhi, India.

The key stakeholders involved in organizing the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay events include the BVIOC as the local Commonwealth Games Association and host of the Queen’s Baton Relay, the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Premier, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (to include the Departments of Culture, and Youth Affairs and Sports), the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, and the BVI Tourist Board.



Successful Commonwealth Games database training held in BVI

Commonwealth-games-database-training-2014-1From February 10th to 12th, 2014, the BVIOC hosted a three (3) day Commonwealth Games Planning workshop at the Training Division Conference Room. Thirteen (13) NOC’s/CGA’s delegates from the Caribbean and Canada attended the workshop to gain theoretical and practical education on how to organize, develop, and plan for regional, national and international sporting competitions. [Read more…]