VI athletes ready for Flow Carifta Games Bahamas 2018

By BVI Athletics Association

BVI’s athletes for the 2018 Flow Carifta Games stand behind officials (l-r) Ralston Henry – Athlete Representative, Nadia James-Harris – Flow Marketing and Communication Manager, Steve Augustine – BVI Athletics Association President, Brenda Lettsome-Tye – Director of Youth Affairs and Sports (Ag.), Ephraim Penn – BVI Olympic Committee President. Photo: Cleave Farrington/BVIAA

The British Virgin Islands Athletics Association introduced the athletes who will be competing at the 47th Flow Carifta Games to be held in Bahamas from March 30 – April 2, 2018. The announcement was made at a press conference held on Monday, March 26th 2018 at the BVI Arbitration Centre, Ritter House, Tortola.

The following athletes have been selected based on their performance:
Track and Field athletes includes under 17 Female: Xiomara Malone (100m Hurdles, High Jump and Long Jump), Zara Brown (100m and 200m) and Akrisa Eristee (200m and 400m). Under 17 Male: Malik John (200m and 400m) and Jaleel Croal (100m and 200m). Under 20 Female: Beyonce Defreitas (100m and 200m), Arianna Hayne (Long Jump) and Akira Phillip (Javelin). Under 20 Male: Rikkoi Brathwaite (100 and 200m), Joshua Hill (200m and 400m), Djimon Gumbs (Shot put and Discus) and Diamante Gumbs (Shot put and Discus).

Officials attending the Games include Stephanie Russ-Penn, Team Manager; Coaches Karene King, Cliff Williams and Erwin Telemaque; Chester “Levi” James, Team Physio and Cleave Farrington, Press.

Commenting to the athletes on their selection, Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye – Director of Youth Affairs and Sports (Ag.), who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports Hon. Myron V. Walwyn congratulated all the athletes that have qualified for the games. She further stated that the Minister extended his congratulations to the coaches and parents. She said “Honourable Walwyn is very excited and pleased that the Virgin Islands was able to field a team at the Carifta Games, especially after all that we have been through with the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and we will continue to have his support. We are a resilient people and we expect nothing but the very best from you. We expect you to continue to be BVI strong and we expect you to bring back medals again.”

BVI Olympic Committee President, Ephraim Penn congratulated athletes on being selected noting further that Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused severe damage to sporting facilities in the VI resulting in the set back of the progress of sports in the territory, Mr. Penn said, “We recognize the effort, determination and perseverance required by the athletes to stay on track despite the challenges that they faced from the impact of the storms on their homes, their families and not least, the tragic loss of Athletics head coach, Dag Samuels”.

Mr. Penn thanked the BVI Government for working with the BVIOC to get sports to this stage, he also thanked the BVIAA President, Steve Augustine, Flow, Puma and especially the parents of the athletes.

Mr. Penn said “the BVI Olympic Committee stands committed to help in the development of sport and in particular, track and field. We have sponsored the team this year for US$20,000, in addition, a shipment of track and field equipment has arrived in the territory from Panam Sports and to top it off, a contract between Mondo and Panam Sports is in the final stage for the replacement of the track surface at the A.O. Shirley Grounds. Our job is to make sure your job is easy. You put in the work. It’s our responsiblity to make sure things are in place to help you succeed.”

In closing Mr. Penn reminded Athletes that they are subject to anti-doping testing at the games.

Mrs. Nadia James-Harris, Flow Marketing and Communication Manager in her remarks congratulated all the athletes. Flow is the title sponsor of the annual Carifta Games for the third consecutive year. Ms. James-Harris stated that “Flow invests in Caribbean dreams as the best and brightest display of talents by Caribbean Athletes.”

She encourages all to follow the games in Flow Sports and identify BVI as your favourite team with #FlowCarifta. To the athletes, Mrs James-Harris said “We are confident that you are going to go faster, you are going to go further, and you are going to go higher and make us all proud and bring home some medals as you always do.”

Mrs. James-Harris presented 4 handsets to the BVI Athletics Association to assist the team during the Games with activated 7 Day Prepaid Combo Plans.

Additional contributions from Flow include:
• Featuring the BVI Delegation athletes through a series of 30 second videos of the athletes in training, or talking about their experiences preparing for the games
• Engaging the BVIAA and Carifta athletes in a radio interview on ZBVI
• Hosting a Carifta Games Watch Party – Sunday April 1st, 2018 at Mulligan’s 4 p.m. (all invited)

BVIAA President, Mr. Steve Augustine in his remarks made mention that Puma is now the BVI’s Track and Field official sponsor to outfit the national team competing at all international and regional events.

Puma has sponsored BVI world-ranked athletes, Kyron McMaster (400m Hurdler), and Chantel Malone (Long Jump) who have recently signed individual deals with the sportswear company. “This is certainly not the first time that Puma has sponsored the BVI Track Athletes,” said Mr. Augustine. As documented by Mr. Rey O’Neal, Mr. Augustine read “Puma outfitted the British Virgin Islands’ first Olympic team to Los Angeles in 1984 as well as competitors at the 1987 and 1991 World Championships in Athletics. Members of the first Olympic group still resident in the Territory include track and field athletes, Dean Greenaway, Guy Hill, and Lindel Hodge, sailors, Dr. Robin Tattersall, Keith Thomas, and Elvet Meyers, and team officials, Rey O’Neal, and Hon. Mark Vanterpool.”

Mr. Augustine commended the late Xavier ‘Dag’ Samuels who was instrumental with the PUMA deal for BVI Athletics. He said “Part of the reason we are here in Puma gear today had a great deal to do with the drive Coach Samuels brought to the table.”

In his closing remarks. Mr. Augustine reflected on past Carifta games’ medalists and made mention of the numerous athletes that have benefited in athletics scholarship for tertiary level education through the BVI Athletics and reinforced the importance of BVI Government investment into track and tield athletes.

The official opening ceremony of the Flow Carifta Games is set for Friday, March 30th at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas starting at 6 p.m. Competition begins on Saturday, March 31st until Monday, April 2nd, 2018.