BVI Athletics Association receives $100k grant from IAAF for recovery efforts following 2017 hurricane damage

By BVI Athletics Association

Steve Augustine, President BVIAA with Lord Sebastian Coe, IAAF President January 15 2018. Photo: BVIAA

Despite the impacts of Hurricane Irma and Maria, the British Virgin Islands Athletics Association continues to forge forward, aiming towards a more successful future in the sport of track and field for the athletes and the territory. One of its latest achievements after submitting an application for funding for the rebuilding of facilities at the A.O. Shirley Grounds was the receipt of US$100,000 grant from the International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) solidarity funding programme.

Discussions were held on January 15th, 2018 at a North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) meeting, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico to determine the degree of damage to the region and the extent of help needed to aid with the recovery efforts.  At the meeting attended by IAAF President Sebastian Coe, NACAC President Victor Lopez, and BVIAA President Steve Augustine and some of the affected Caribbean federations,  the IAAF and NACAC promised to assist affected federations as much as possible.

“I hope these funds will go some way to rebuilding the sport in the countries most affected by the hurricanes,” said Lord Coe. “We know this is not enough but hope it will at least get the member federations affected back up and running. We will continue to seek further funds and work with the region to ensure athletes’ training is as uninterrupted as possible.”

Victor Lopez said: “As President of the Area one of my key concerns was ensuring our athletes could continue training. I received calls and was in contact with members from across the athletics family and was touched by the support received from the IAAF and from colleagues from all corners of the world who have offered to help, house and host affected athletes training for this year’s events.”

BVIAA President Steve Augustine stated that “ the much needed  funds will go a long way in helping to get our facilities back in order.  With the provision of this funding alongside the continued voluntary works of our track family I am certain that our facility will regain and surpass the functionality it once had.”

“The BVIAA is very appreciative of the tremendous outreach and support of the IAAF and NACAC towards the recovery efforts. The BVIAA is also appreciative of the efforts of the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) in the rebuilding processes. On the heel of the anniversary of Hurricane Irma and that of the significant loss of our Chief Coach Dag Samuel, we are pleased to be able to report on the grant we have received and the hope of seeing the A.O Shirley Grounds and its surroundings restored.”

The BVIAA also invites those that are interested in aiding the rebuilding efforts to reach out to BVIAA Executive members as follows:-
• Steve Augustine +284 496-7529
• Stephanie Russ-Penn +284 496-7155
• Willis Todman +284 496-6666
• Cleave Farrington +284 346-8375
or email and to make a pledge for funding or support in kind.

BVIAA conducts IAAF Level 1 Certificate Coaching Course

By BVI Athletics Association

BVI's participants in the IAAF Level 1 Certificate Coaching Course. Photo: BVIAA/CM Farrington

BVI’s participants in the IAAF Level 1 Certificate Coaching Course. Photo: BVIAA/CM Farrington

The BVI Athletics Association (BVIAA) held its opening ceremony for an International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Level 1 Certificate Coaching Course at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports (DYAS) conference room on Monday, December 12, 2016. The sixteen participants on the course which runs through Thursday, Dcember 22, 2016 include: Akeem Lewis, Teymahl Huggins, Owen Telemaque, Burt Dorsette, Orville McMaster, Shamica Glascow, Jennifer King, AnnaBelle Skelton-Malone, Bianca Dougan-Charles, Willis Maduro, Johnt’a Charles, Limiel Hodge, Sanya Penn, Javon Carty, Karene King, and Eustace Freeman

In her remarks, Acting Director of Department of Youth Affairs & Sports (DYAS), Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye stated that the Ministry of Education and Culture under the leadership of the Hon. Myron V. Walwyn is very progressive and committed to the development of sports in the territory. Mrs. Lettsome-Tye commended the BVIAA in its efforts to encourage, develop and support opportunities for the training of coaches which is in line with the Territory’s National Sports Policy’s strategic plan. She added that “the Ministry and DYAS are very pleased to support this effort,” and she encouraged the participants to “learn as much as you can, learn the techniques and learn the skills so that in turn you can impart that to your athletes and in turn develop the standards of the level of BVI Athletics in the Territory.”

Mr. Kevin Gordon, manager of course supporter, Digicel said that he is elated to be a part of everything that the Virgin Islands does. He referred to the success of Athletics in the Caribbean with such coaches as Glen Mills and Steve Francis bringing some super star athletes to the front and that the a trend now is set in the Caribbean where you come to the Caribbean for Track and Field talents such as in sprints and long jump. Mr. Gordon ended his remarks by encouraging the participants to “Learn as much as you can learn from these 12 days of coaching; you can only get better, and Digicel would be happy to support you in any way that we possibly can going forward.”

BVI Athletics Association’s President, Mr. Steve Augustine marked this day as a memorable day for BVI Athletics as the stage is now set for the further creation of competent BVI Coaches. “The BVI Athletics Association, in tandem with the coaching principles of the IAAF, recognizes that if we are to further progress at the world stage in athletics, we must be strategic in our athlete development approach,” he said. The objective of the BVIAA is to qualify coaches involved in the training of young athletes (under 16) by providing them with the skills necessary to teach all the events of athletics. Mr. Augustine further stated that such factors as the importance of an active and dynamic warm up and cool down, healthy diet through nutrition and hydration, rest, relaxation and sleep are all key learning components that are expected from all participants to grasp and understand upon the completion of the course.

In his remarks, Mr. Angel Luis Alicea Rosario, Lecturer of IAAF, Kids Athletic Project Director in Puerto Rico provided the outline of the course set out below. Mr. Rosario as well as Mr. Augustine will be the instructors of the course during the next 12 days. There will be a practical evaluation, final evaluation and written test in order to go to the next level. Mr Rosario said “it is a great commitment and work hard during and after the course.”

Mr. Dag Samuels who chaired the opening ceremony acknowledged the past BVIAA President Mr. Dean Greenaway who was supportive of the IAAF Level 1 Certificate Coaching course initiative.

In closing remarks, Coach Dag Samuel thanked the IAAF for the assistance secured through Athletics Olympic Dividend, the utilization of the DYAS conference room and the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Special acknowledgements were made to Digicel and Mourant Ozannes for their contributions to the participants taking part in the 12 day Level 1 Coaching course.