The BVI Olympic Committee announced the team of 15 athletes that will be representing the BVI at the inaugural Caribbean Games which are scheduled to take place in Guadeloupe from June 29 to July 3, 2022.
The athletes who will compete in the regional U23 Games were introduced by the Chef De Mission Ralston Henry at a press conference held on June 21 at the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The 11 track and field athletes include Ke'Andrae Campbell (100, 4x100), Malik Romney (110 hurdles), Diamante Gumbs (shot put), Djimon Gumbs (shot put), Malik John (400, 4x100), Beyonce Defreitas (100, 4x100), Zara Brown (100, 4x100), Arianna Hayde (long jump, triple jump, javelin, 4x100), Xiomara Malone (long jump, 4x100), Mikkel Bassue (100, 4x100) and Vadley Sylvester JR (400, 4x100). They will be accompanied by coaches Ericca Fredrick and Eric Matthias J and physiotherapist Chester James.
The 3x3 basketball team comprises Kiara Woodley, Shauliqua Fahie, Jolene Bowens and Keithrece Smith. They will be accompanied by Coach Joy Victor.
Beyonce de Freitas will be the flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony which kicks off the Games at 7:00pm on Thursday, June 29.
"We are very excited to be sending a competitive team of track and field athletes as well as our historic 3x3 Women's Basketball team, who are the first set of female athletes to be representing the territory in the sport in a regional event," said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. "Beyonce de Freitas and Djimon Gumbs returned as medalists from the the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in 2017. They did us proud then so we have high expectations that we may hear the Territorial Song for the first time at a major Games on this occasion."
Honourable Sharie De Castro, Minister for Education, Culture and Youth Affairs shared remarks on the occasion. "It's a great feeling when we send our athletes as ambassadors to the region and the world to celebrate and to show their Virgin Islands pride," said Honourable de Castro. "We know, and are appreciative of, the hard work that it takes to prepare for Games such as these we want to put the full force of our population behind you in cheering you on and supporting you. On behalf of the Government of the Virgin Islands, we offer our full support behind Team BVI."
The Minister went on to thank the BVIOC, the National Federations and the DYAS for the continued initiatives - the funding and the development that allow the athletes to continue to thrive.
29 countries will be represented by approximately 800 athletes and 200 officials competing in 7 disciplines.
The 7 sports include Athletics, Basketball 3x3, Cycling, Futsal, Judo, Netball and Swimming. The BVI will be represented in Athletics and Basketball 3x3.
The Chef de Mission will depart for Guadeloupe on June 25 ahead of the athletes, coaches and President of the BVIOC who will leave for the Caribbean Games on June 27.
The Closing Ceremony will be at 7:00pm on Sunday, July 3. The Games can be followed live on Panam Sports Channel
About the Caribbean Games
One of the dreams of sports leaders in the Caribbean has always been to organize multisport Games. The Southern Games, which took place for more than a decade in Guaracara Park, south of Trinidad, featured only Athletics and Cycling. Initially, the competition was held over a single weekend, but later expanded to five days.
World and Olympic champions used to participate in these Games, so much so that in 1969 there was a real “remake” of the 400m finals of the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics. The Olympic medalists of the Caribbean, Hasely Crawford, Edwin Roberts and Wendell Mottley all competed in the Southern Games.
Jamaica subsequently successfully hosted the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1966, the first English-speaking Caribbean country to host major international multisport Games. Many believed then that this would eventually lead the region to create its own Games, but that did not turn out to be the case.
One of the main objectives of CANOC (Association of Caribbean Olympic Committees) is the organization of the Caribbean Games.
Sofia Fay, PRO BVI Olympic Committee
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