PRESS RELEASE: Olympic Day in the Virgin Islands hosted by the Olympic Committee kicked off on June 23 with an early morning run and walk.
This was followed by a Sports Festival to mark the globally celebrated day which locally, took place at the AO Shirley Recreation Grounds featuring several National Sporting Federations and their athletes.
Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC also used the occasion to hand over new equipment donated by PanAm Sports to benefit the track and field athlete members of the BVI Athletic Association.
Kit included shot puts, discus, hammer, and electronic starting blocks.
Around 70 runners and walkers registered for the 6:30am 10km/5km run and 1 mile run/walk on Saturday with top finishers receiving special edition BVIOC shirts and bags as prizes.
More people arrived at the recreation grounds and the multi-sports complex mid-morning to watch demonstrations and try their hand in athletics, archery, basketball, football, rugby, tennis, and volleyball.
Mr Penn summarized the activities and achievements of the national federations over the last 12 months and invited attending national federation representatives to provide additional information on their progress.
“The public may be forgiven for thinking that sports had been put on the back burner since the August floods and Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Mr Penn.
“However, this is not the case as illustrated by the National Federations’ reports of individual and team success. We are encouraged and excited that not only did the coaches and athletes show their resilience and determination to continue with their sports following the natural disasters, but they went on to win medals, titles and trophies and improve on their previous scores and times! Congratulations to all involved.”
Coaches from athletics, archery, football, rugby, and tennis spoke on the recovery of their sports following the August floods and September hurricanes and encouraged attendees at the sports festival to join in their demo sessions taking place on the field.
A 12-month review of the National Federation activities is set out below. The morning set up included a 10,000 step challenge and an information booth on anti-doping.
There was children’s bouncy castles courtesy of Digicel and Red Cross volunteers were on hand to ensure the safety of all participants.
Roadtown Wholesale provided Dasani water, Powerade, Coca-Cola and Sprite throughout the day.
Olympic Day was established in 1948 as an annual occasion where everyone everywhere can get together in their communities to celebrate the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship and also celebrate the Olympic Day pillars: Move. Learn. Discover.
In his Olympic Day message to people around the world, IOC President, Thomas Bach said, “For the past 70 years, Olympic Day commemorates the founding modern Olympic movement. Olympic Day reminds us that anyone, anywhere, can enjoy and benefit from sport. In our fast-changing society, Olympic Day is an excellent way to encourage all people to lead healthy and active lives and to promote the role of sports Cont. in society. Our thanks and gratitude go to the National Olympic Committees who are bringing sport and its values closer to the people through the many sporting, educational and cultural activities that are organized throughout the year. Thank you for encouraging people of all backgrounds and ability to get up and get moving, to discover sport and to embrace Olympic Values. ”
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