VI Seeks Future Collaborations With World Athletics

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F. Skerritt
Photo of the President of World Athletics Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the BVIOC Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIAA Mr. Steve Augustine, Minister for Education, Youth Affairs and Sports Honourable Sharie de Castro

(PLTM) - GIS - Minister for Education, Youth Affairs and Sports Honourable Sharie de Castro has said that the Government of the Virgin looks forward to the continued partnership with the World Athletics organisation following a visit by its President Lord Sebastian Coe to the Territory.

Lord Coe paid a courtesy call last week and viewed first-hand the developments made at the A O Shirley Grounds following the flood and hurricanes of 2017. His organisation contributed to the rehabilitation of the grounds.

Honourable de Castro said, “I think Lord Coe’s presence is a signal to the Territory and by extension the world in terms of the capacity of our athletes and our federation. We look forward to seeing how we will go from strength to strength and the impact that this visit will make on our continued partnership.”

Athletes and coaches from across the Territory met with the President of the World Athletics organisation at the A.O Shirley Recreational Grounds where he received a briefing by Honourable de Castro, and Presidents of the British Virgin Islands Athletic Association (BVIAA) Mr. Steve Augustine, and Mr. Ephraim Penn of the British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) on the rehabilitation works on the grounds.

Mr. Steve Augustine said Lord Coe’s courtesy call was timely and that fruitful meetings were held. “We have had some productive meetings, we were fortunate enough to meet with the minister, positive things came from that meeting that we will be sharing as the weeks go along,” he said.

Mr. Ephraim Penn stated that Lord Coe’s courtesy call is a testament to VI achievements. He said the Olympic Committee has been playing a key role in working with all the Territory’s national federations, in particular track and field.

Mr. Penn added, “We are very pleased with the progress being made in track and field under Steve’s leadership it has really made a positive change that we embrace. The significance of having Lord Coe here speaks volumes not just locally or regionally, but internationally.”

Meanwhile, Lord Sebastian Coe thanked the Territory for its hospitality and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to visit the Virgin Islands. Following his meeting with the athletes and coaches, Lord Coe said he is often asked whether there is a secret ingredients to success. He said the answer is that there are certainly ingredients but there is no secret.

Lord Coe added, “Let me just place on record my eternal gratitude to the ingredients that I see standing before me. The fundamental is simply having athletes that are focused, passionate, and have a lot of talent. I have witnessed that in heaps in the last few years particularly at CARIFTA and world championships. I have witnessed the quality of your coaching and you do not get world class coaching without world class federations.”

Lord Coe also discussed potential collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports.

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