There was jubilation at the Road Town Jetty yesterday as supporters welcomed the return of local athletes who participated in last week’s Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas.
The week-long competition ended with the BVI walking away with two medals. The podium finishes came from 16-year-olds Dijimon Gumbs who copped a bronze in the Boys’ Discuss Throw, and Beyonce De Freitas who won a silver in the Girls’ 200m dash.
President of the BVI Athletics Association (BVIAA) Steve Augustine said there were many personal bests – an indication that virtually all of the athletes put their best foot forward when they represented the territory.
“I know you know about the medal winners, but I want you to know that almost everyone on the team had a personal best over the weekend,” Augustine said
“I think what we have done has essentially shown the world that they have the ability to achieve great things, and for that we are quite happy as far as the BVI Athletics Association goes. The year just seems to get better, and better, and better. And, for that, I am very grateful,” he further said.
Minister with responsibility for sports Myron Walwyn also sang the athletes praises. Furthermore, he promised the support of the government.
“We have two young persons here today, along with the entire team, that we are here to celebrate and to let them know that we are so very proud of what they’re doing to represent the territory of the Virgin Islands… I want them to all know that the government will continue to support sports and support the development of our young people,” added Walwyn.
Meanwhile, the delegation of young athletes was greeted with waving flags and the festive sound of vuvuzelas when they arrived at the Road Town Jetty.
They also received fruit baskets during a ceremony held to welcome them home.
While the youngsters were recognised, President of the BVI Olympic Association Ephraim Penn paused to recognise the persons behind the athletes.
“I just like to thank the coaches, the parents, and everyone that is involved in the development of our young people. It shows that, if we all come together and work together, great things can happen,” he said.
The BVI athletes who secured personal bests during the Commonwealth Youth Games include:
Dijimon Gumbs – 56.24m (Discuss)
Diamante Gumbs – 16.6m (Shot Put)
Mikkel Bassue – 10.86s (Boys’ 100m)
Arianna Hayde – 44.73m (Javline) AND 5.77m (Long Jump)
Beyonce Defreitas – 23.88 (Girls’ 200m)
Joshua Hill ran 49.75s in the Boys’ 400m.
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