President of the BVI Athletics Association (BVIAA) Steve Augustine is calling on corporate BVI to help with sponsorship for Olympic athletes.
Augustine asked for support at the recent ‘welcome home’ press conference for Olympic long-jump finalist Chantel Malone.
“I love the fact that the Athletics Association is being sponsored by Puma but what I would love to see is corporate BVI getting more involved,” Augustine said.
The BVIAA President commended the BVI Olympic Committee, Skelton Group of Companies and Malone’s parents for the help they gave her during her preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Augustine added that the association has done well without much support but sponsorship can assist with helping local athletes like Malone finish on the podium at the next Olympic Games.
“If we can do a little more with additional help from corporate BVI … we can get these athletes more sponsorship to help with nutrition advice, [help] to get therapy and everything else that can put the athletes on the podium,” he said.
Augustine also called on the government and the Olympic Committee to have dialogues with the private sector to assist with sponsorship.
Meanwhile, Malone recounted her experiences at the Olympic Games with limited sponsorship. She noted that in comparison to the top athletes from other countries had their coaches and physical therapists with them while the BVI athletes did not have such support.
However, she mentioned former athlete Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, who, according to Malone, was the leader of the team and without her, the experience would not have been as smooth. Malone also asked for more help for BVI athletes.
“Whether you acknowledge it or not, we [the athletes] are ambassadors for the BVI and we are walking billboards for the BVI. Every time we step on the global stage, we represent BVI and we need to acknowledge that and support the athletes moving forward,” the Olympian said.
Malone and McMaster making history
During the recently concluded Tokyo Olympic Games, Malone along with McMaster became the first two BVI athletes to qualify for an Olympic final.
Malone finished in twelfth position after jumping 6.50 metres. She is also a Pan-Am Games gold medallist and an IAAF World Championship finalist.
Meanwhile, McMaster made the finals of the men’s 400m hurdles where he finished fourth in the fastest ever race in the history of the event. He clocked a national record and personal best of 47.05 seconds. He is the reigning Commonwealth Games champion.
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