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Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley congratulated Team BVI for representing the Territory at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the United Kingdom.
At a press conference held on Monday, Premier Wheatley thanked the athletes and their coaches for representing the Virgin Islands on the international stage and for continuing to inspire the people and instill pride.
Premier congratulated Mr. Kyron McMaster for winning the 400-meter hurdles at the Games on August 6. Mr. McMaster also won the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Honourable Wheatley said, “We are confident [Mr. McMaster] will win [the gold medal] again in 2026. He continues to be the flagbearer of BVI athletics, and we are extremely proud.”
The Premier added, “When you look at the size of the Territory’s population at roughly 35,000 and compare our performance to much larger countries, we are doing exceptionally well.”
Premier Wheatley affirmed that Government will give Team BVI the “welcome home they deserve as our heroes,” adding, “Government will further invest in our athletes and youth to ensure we remain highly competitive and see even greater success.”
The Honourable Premier, who was in Birmingham at the start of the Commonweatlh Games, shared that he engaged with a number of dignitaries who also attended the games. He met and interacted with Prince Charles, Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland, UK Leader of the Opposition Sir Kier Starmer, and Lord Ahmad who is the UK Minister for South Asia, North Africa, the United Nations and the Commonwealth.
“Our exchanges were congenial and in the true spirit of the Commonwealth Games that is often referred to as the ‘friendly’ games,” the Premier said.
He also had “positive discussions” with UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, The Rt. Hon. Amanda Milling MP in the margins of the Games.
Premier Wheatley reported that discussions with the minister centred on the need for the Virgin Islands to have greater fiscal flexibility to respond to surging inflation, high fuel and energy costs and urgent infrastructural needs.
“It is important that the Government is in some way able to further help ease the financial burden on families and businesses until external economic conditions improve.”
To watch yesterday’s press conference, go to the Government of the Virgin Islands’ official Facebook page @BVIGovernment, or click here: https://www.facebook.com/BVIGovernment/.