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From Sarajevo to Sochi, BVIOC celebrates 30 years of Competition

The 2015 BVIOC Executive board, (L-R) Mark Chapman, Treasurer, Neville 'Sheep' Smith, Roy Barry, Vice President, Ephraim Penn, President, Lloyd K, Black, Secretary General, Cleave M. Farrington, Executive Director. Missing from photo is Sabinah Clement, Athlete Representative. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) Dag Samuels, athletics coach, Olympian Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, John Lewis, Past President BVIOC. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) Dag Samuels, athletics coach, Olympian Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, John Lewis, Past President BVIOC. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) Olympian Lindel Hodge, Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC, Johnny Hassan, founding member of the BVIOC, Rey O’Neal, Past President BVIOC, Das Surapaneni, committed to sports in the VI. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) Olympian Lindel Hodge, Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC, Johnny Hassan, founding member of the BVIOC, Rey O’Neal, Past President BVIOC, Das Surapaneni, committed to sports in the VI. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) BVIOC Past President, Rey O’Neal with Guy Hill, Lindel Hodge, Dean Greenaway, and Kenneth Fraser representing his nephew, Errol Fraser, the honouree 1984 Olympians in attendance at a celebratory event to mark the 30th anniversary of the BVIOC. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) BVIOC Past President, Rey O’Neal with Guy Hill, Lindel Hodge, Dean Greenaway, and Kenneth Fraser representing his nephew, Errol Fraser, the honouree 1984 Olympians in attendance at a celebratory event to mark the 30th anniversary of the BVIOC. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) Winston Potter, athletics coach, Nelda Huggins, athlete, Rey O’Neal Past President BVIOC, Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC, Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, Tanya Medley, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Doping Control Officer (DCO), Andy Bickerton, President, BVIFA. Photo: BVIOC
(L-R) Winston Potter, athletics coach, Nelda Huggins, athlete, Rey O’Neal Past President BVIOC, Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC, Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, Tanya Medley, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Doping Control Officer (DCO), Andy Bickerton, President, BVIFA. Photo: BVIOC
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) marked 30 years of the Virgin Islands’ participation in regional and international Games with a reception that honoured the first Olympians to represent the Territory, last weekend.

Lloyd K. Black, Secretary General for the BVIOC, named the ten honourees. Errol ‘Canute’ Fraser (1950-2002) was the first VI athlete to participate in the Olympics when he competed in speed skating at the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Games.

The Territory’s first participation in the Summer Olympics was Los Angeles 1984 when Dean Greenaway, Guy Hill, Lindel Hodge, and Jerry Molyneaux competed in track and field, and Robin Tattersall, Elvet Meyers, Keith Thomas, Keith Barker, and Peter Barker (deceased) competed in sailing.

In his opening remarks, President of the BVIOC, Ephraim Penn highlighted the necessary changes undergone from 2006 to date to ensure that the organization was fully compliant with international, regional, and local regulations.

Major areas included creating a constitution and holding regular elections, setting up an accounting framework, appointing legal counsel, ensuring compliance in accordance with the Virgin Islands’ Non-Profit Organizations Act, 2012 and creating a compliance manual for the national federations, incorporating the BVIOC as a limited guarantee company, and becoming a member of the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation.

Penn also outlined some of the areas of work undertaken by the organization to ensure that athletes from the 15 member national federations who represent the Territory at regional and global games are able to get the necessary training and support to compete at the highest level. These include submitting applications for Olympic Solidarity funding for athletes competing to qualify for upcoming Olympic Games, and the introduction of the Elite Athlete programme.

“We collaborated with government who agreed to partner with the BVIOC and offer a matching grant to those in the Elite Athlete programme,” said Mr. Penn. “The BVIOC provides $12,000 per year for each qualifying athlete and with the government’s matching contribution, those top athletes each receives an annual stipend of $24,000 to give them the opportunity to focus on training and to compete with the best in the world.”

In her toast to the BVIOC, Olympian, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott recognized all the members of the committee, past and present, for their contribution to ensuring that the VI athletes have access to resources necessary to excel at a higher level.

Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith congratulated the BVIOC, volunteers and all the athletes on results achieved to date and reassured the BVIOC of government’s continued support to help improve sports in the Territory.

“Really there is a lot that government has to do,” said the Honourable Premier. “For example we know that there is a lot that we have put in in terms of infrastructure. We will continue to support you to the best of our ability given our daily demands on government.”

Mr. Rey O’Neal, past president of the BVIOC explained that while the BVIOC was established in 1982, the efforts had begun in 1979. Mr. O’Neal gave special recognition to Johnny Hassan who was instrumental in securing recognition of the body by the Central American and Caribbean sports organization and confirmation of the VI’s participation in its first Games at the 1982 CAC Games in Cuba.

Self-taught long jumper, Guy Hill spoke on behalf of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympians and challenged the aspiring track athletes to set themselves a goal of breaking the 30 year-old national record which is still held by the Los Angeles 1984 400m relay team which comprised Hill, Dean Greenaway, Jerry Molyneaux, and Lindel Hodge.

By way of encouragement, Hill talked of the 3 ‘Ts’ that he shares with young track and field athletes: “You’ve got the Talent, you’ve got the Training and you’ve got to have the Tenacity to hold on to face the mental and physical challenge. So to the young ones coming up, pay attention to details, the Olympic experience is one that you take for the rest of your life. The Olympic creed is not to win but to take part.”

The vote of thanks was given by aspiring track and field Olympian, Kyron McMaster.

The event was attended by Premier Smith and Mrs. Lorna G. Smith, past and present members of the BVIOC executive, representatives of the national federations, past Olympians and athletes of the Youth Olympic Games, the PanAm Games, the Commonwealth Games, and the Central American and Caribbean Games. Other invited guests included individuals with a long-standing commitment to sports in the Territory, and media.

4 Responses to “From Sarajevo to Sochi, BVIOC celebrates 30 years of Competition”

  • fish (08/11/2014, 10:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Kudos to all who was honored
  • -------------------- (08/11/2014, 20:56) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good going to all who was honored…seems well deserving
  • Virgin Son (09/11/2014, 07:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wanna bet the others who were not honored will complain
  • BVIslander (10/11/2014, 08:08) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great that we can recognize those who paved the way. Great to see Olympians like Chef, Guy and Dean being recognized. This is a great lesson for our youth, that hard work can get you places.



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