BVI President Interview

Clayton Clarke interviews President of the British Virgin Islands Athletic Association Dean Greenaway (Draft 2010 Calendar below)
By Clayton Clarke
of Trinidad & Tobago
December 2009
 
 

CC:Another track and field season is coming to an end. How would you describe the performance of national athletes at local, regional and international meets and competitions?

DG: British Virgin Islands athletes in 2009 enjoyed another successful season across the board. We have discovered new talent among our youth and juniors, attracted more persons to the sport and  from what we have seen, there's a lot we can build on in 2010.

 
Dean (Sportsman) Greenaway

CC: What do you think was the highlight performer and performance of the year?

DG: With a small talent pool, it's hard to single out one performer. Our top athlete Tahesia Harrigan won the 100 meters at the Caribbean and Central American Championships, then became our first IAAF World Championships semifinalist. She also came within .02 of her national record when she ran 11.15 at the Reebok meet in New York. Junior Chantel Malone, a University of Texas sophomore, had an outstanding year, improving on her national records in the Long and Triple Jumps 6.37/13.24; 400 meters, 53.46; National Jr. record 200 meters record, 24.01 and contributed to the 4 x 400 meter national record of 3:37.62 in our international debut.
 Omar Jones won the National Jr. College Javelin Throw title, improving on his own mark settling for 65.41 meters. Home based Jr. Samantha John, dropped her national record from 2:16.14 in 2008 to 2:06.64, with a fifth place finish in the Pan Am Jr. Championships.

 

CC: What do you think was responsible for the success of national athletes and teams?

DG: We had our Mondo track inaugurated in 2008 and we have seen improvement in overall performances. More of our athletes have gone on to college in the United States and have been exposed to stiffer competitions. Additionally, more of our coaches have also improved on their IAAF coaching qualifications which has helped in the development and identification of young talent.

 

CC: What were the goals of the BVI  association in 2009 and were these goals achieved?

DG: A new executive was elected on December 8, 2008, just 26 days before our first development meet on Jan 3, 2009. Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the transition was not as smooth as anticipated.  There's a lot we had to do because it was the first time in the association's history, there had been an election like we had and not just a rubber stamping exercise. In situations like these, there's always resistance to changes and new initiatives. However, we had no choice but to hit the ground running because the season was upon us. There were several new initiatives that were put in place and there was an improvement in the structure of the organization. In essence, we did achieve some of our goals. I would have liked to see the establishment of our Coaches Commission and that should come on stream in 2010.

 

CC:  What were some of the initiatives taken by the BVI  association in its thrust growth of the sport?

DG: We dropped "amateur" from our name, changed the association's logo and image so that the association could have its own identity, since the symbol before incorporated the Government's national symbol. We sought sponsorship and had our first partnership with Sol. We introduced an 'Athlete of the Week' program to highlight youth, junior and senior performances; we introduced a National Record Breakers Recognition program; A new format was introduced for our youth championships, with the top performers from the Inter-Primary Schools Championships, Under 15s from the Elmore Stoutt High, St. Georges and Bregado Flax Educational Center School Championships receiving personal invitations. This event attracted over 300 participants and went over very well. Additionally, in preparing for the Caribbean and Central American Age Group Championships, we introduced an Under 15 Pentathlon Championships that proved to be beneficial. We discovered several young male and female hurdlers, one of whom went on to win a bronze medal at the CAC Age Group Championships in the Bahamas, in his first international race. We also expanded the qualifying period for the annual Carifta Games, with the qualifying period starting on April 1, annually. We have also introduced a code of conduct for our young athletes as we try to raise the overall standard of the sport. 

CC: What are  the goals of your association for 2010?

DG: We will begin the year by having our first athlete's awards recognition gala on January 2, to recognize performances of our athletes during the 2009 season. This is the first time such and event will be organized in the 39 year history of the organization. By recognizing their performances, we hope this sets the tone for motivating others to greater performances in 2010.
 The year will be quite busy for the association. The association was founded on September 19, 1970 and will mark our 40th anniversary. We have plans to honor several persons who have contributed to the development of the sport prior to the formation of the association; we will produce and anniversary book incorporating past publications we have had highlighting our achievements over the last 40 years; we will honor all our national record breakers, international medalists over the last 40 years and others who have contributed to the organization on Sept 25, 2010; We are bidding to host the OECS Half Marathon on November 27, 2010, which would coincide with the 5th anniversary of the BVI Half Marathon; We have also bid to host the 2011 CAC Age Group Championships.  On a competitive level, while we already have two qualifiers, we would like to see more of our athletes qualifying for the IAAF World Jr. Championships; we would like to have more of our senior athletes qualifying for the Sr. World Championships as well as our 4 x 400 meters women's relay team. We will begin identifying youth and junior athletes for future meets. We need to see our men stepping back on to the scene in a big way.
 

CC: What are some of the major meets your association is looking forward to in 2010?

DG: The IAAF World Indoor Championships is one of the meets we are looking forward to as Tahesia Harrigan won a 60 meters bronze medal at the 2008 championships, as we became the smallest IAAF member to have a podium finish. We are looking at hosting a Leeward Islands vs Windward Islands meet, which will help in the development of the sport. We will be looking for good performances in the Central American and Caribbean Jr. Championships and the Central American and Caribbean Games as well as the Commonwealth Games. The lateness of the Commonwealth Games however, will pose a challenge for a small country like us as many of our best athletes would be in their fall semester in college. We will be looking for our junior athletes to perform well in the World Jr. Championships.

 

CC: If there is one thing you feel the BVI  association learnt from last year and what you think could do better, what would that be?

DG: There are a lot of things this new executive has been putting in place. Now its to see the functioning of the various subcommittees and getting more people to buy into our philosophy of development and improvement.

 

CC: You were in Berlin for the World Championships. What were some of the things that stood out for you?

 

 DG: It was the first time I was returning to the championships, since I compete in the inaugural one in 1983. The quality of performances were impressive, particularly the athletes from the smaller Caribbean islands. I was happy to see the overall improvement in performances. Besides Usain Bolt's performances, the performances of Barbados' Ryan Brathwaite in the 110 meters hurdles; the U.S. Virgin Islands Tabarie Henry in the 400 meters where he was fifth and Kennesia Bekele's double, in particular the 10,000 meters. What a fantastic performance.

 

CC: What you thought of the Caribbean performances, not just Jamaica, at the Games?

 

DG: On a whole, Caribbean athletes performed well as several countries had semifinalists and finalists. Many might have have even overlooked Anguilla's Shara Proctor's 6th place Long Jump finish in a national record leap of 6.71 meters.

 

CC: Which(Caribbean athlete) other than (Usain) Bolt, should out in terms of performance at the meet?

 

DG: The performances of Puerto Rico's Javier Culson who won their first medal running from lane eight in the 400 meters intermediate hurdles and also the performance of Trinidad and Tobago's 17 year old Jehue Gordon. Those were two gritty performances in the same race.

 

CC: Looking at the next World championships (in Daegu, Korea) in two years away. What you can we look forward to do in terms of planning that you would have gained from Berlin as we look forward to 2011 and 2012(London Olympics)?

 

DG: All our countries will be looking to have more athletes qualify for the championships and by extension having more of them reaching semifinals and finals while looking for medals. The Berlin experience will serve us well leading into 2011 and 2012. 

   BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION

   COMPETITION CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR 2010 (draft)

 

Year

Date(s)

Event

Venue

2009

 

 

 

DEC

Sat.  5 December

Top Notch Gimme de stick Relay Series

Road Town,

 

Wed. 16th December

Developmental Meet

A.O. Shirley

 

Sat 19 December

Top Notch Gimme de stick Relay Series

RoadTown, Tortola

2010

Wed. 30th December

Developmental Meet

A.O. Shirley

JAN

Wed. 6th January

Developmental Meet

A.O. Shirley

 

 Sat.  9  January

Top Notch Gimme de stick Relay Series

Road Town,

 

Sat. 23rd January

Developmental Meet

A.O. Shirley

FEB

Sat. 6th February

Developmental Meet

A.O. Shirley

 

Wed. 17th February

Developmental Meet

A.O. Shirley

 

Sat. 27th February

Developmental Meet

A.O. Shirley

MAR

10-11 March  

Inter-Primary Championships

A.O. Shirley

 

12-14 March

World Indoor Championships

Doha, Qatar

 

Sat. 13th  March

 

National Jr. Championships/Carifta Trials

A.O. Shirley

 

March

Community Spring 5k Race 1 - TOR

TBA

 

March 

Community Spring 5k Race 1 - VG

TBA

 

24-25 March  

ESHS Inter House Championships

A.O. Shirley

 

March

Carolina Classic

Puerto Rico

APR

 April

 

Community Spring 5k Race 2 - Tor

TBA

 

2-5 April

Carifta Games

Cayman Islands

 

 April

Community Spring 5k Race 2 - VG

TBA

SEE also May 8 option

17 April

National  Youth Championships

A.O. Shirley

 

23-24 April

Leeward Islands Jr. & Sr. Championships

 

MAY

2 May

Community Spring 5k Race 3 - TOR

 

 

8 May

National  Youth Championships/

World Athletics Day/CUT warm up

A.O. Shirley

 

22-23 May

Leeward Vs. Windward Meet

TBA

 

29 May

29 May

Community Spring 5k Race 3 – VG

Dekalb Prep Classic

 

Atlanta, Georgia

JUNE

12 June

Community Spring 5k Race 5 - Tor

TBA

 

19 June

Olympic Day Run

Tortola/VG

 

19 June

 CUT Trials

A.O. Shirley

 

2-4 July

CAC Jr. Championships

Santo Domingo

 

19-20 July

CUT Games

St. Kitts

 

19-25 July

World Junior Championships            

Montcon, Canada

 

22-27 July

CAC Games (17 July-1 Aug)

Mayaquez, Puerto Rico

 

 July

Ceres Juice 10K- Race 1

TBA

 

14-26 August

Olympic Youth Games

Singapore

 

3-14 October

Commonwealth Games

Delhi, India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 August

Ceres Juice 10K- Race 2

TBA

 

18 September

September

HLSCC Race Series – Race 1- VG

Ceres Juice 10K- Race 3

Valley, VG

TBA

 

September

HLSCC Race Series-  Race 1- Tor

Paraquita Bay, Tortola

 

October

HLSCC Race Series – Race 2- VG

Valley, VG

 

October

HLSCC Race Series-  Race 3- Tor

Paraquita Bay, Tortola

 

October

Ceres Juice 10K- Race 4

TBA

 

October

HLSCC Race Series-  Race 3- Tor

Paraquita Bay, Tortola

 

October

HLSCC Race Series – Race 3- VG

Valley, VG

 

 November

Ceres Juice 10K- Race 5

TBA

 

November

HLSCC Race Series-  Race 4- Tor

Paraquita Bay, Tortola

 

20 November

HLSCC Race Series-  Race 5- Tor

Paraquita Bay, Tortola

 

27 November

BVI Half Marathon

 

 

 4 December

Top Notch Gimme de stick Relay Series

Road Town, Tortola

 

 18 December

Top Notch Gimme de stick Relay Series

Road Town, Tortola

2011

  8  January

Top Notch Gimme de stick Relay Series

Road Town, Tortola

 

 

BLACK:  BVIAAA Track & Field Events

PURPLE: BVIAAA Road Racing Events

RED:  Primary and Secondary School Meets

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