BVI On A Roll

Javon Liburd, Staff Reporter | July 25, 2017 5:03 am MDT
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This seems to be the year for the British Virgin Islands in the sporting arena, as local athletes continue to record podium finishes, capture tournament titles, secure medals and document a number of individual personal best times.

Just last evening, July 24, at the Waterfront Ferry Terminal, persons of the community joined the Minister of Sports, Hon. Myron Walwyn and heads of various sporting organizations across the Territory, at a welcome ceremony for the return of the youth athletes who competed in this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas, July 19-23.

The British Virgin Islands managed to record two medals at the event---Dijimon Gumbs in the Discus competition (Bronze) and Beyonce Defraitas in the 200m (Silver).

These are the first ever medals in BVI history, to be won at the games.

Other members of the team were Arianna Hayde, who competed in the Long Jump and Javelin events; Rackeel Jack, 400m; Joshua Hill, 400m; Mikkel Bassue, 100m and 200m; Diamante Gumbs, Shot Put and Discus; and Adrian Baijnauth, Tennis.

In brief remarks, Hon. Walwyn said the success of the young athletes are timely in the Territory, as they lend to the social fabric of the community.

“We need something that can bring the community together and sports does that. We are here to celebrate them and let them know that we are proud of what they are doing.”

Gumbs and DeFraitus with their medals from the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas 2017
Photo Credit: Javon Liburd/BVI Platinum News
In words of encouragement, President of the BVI Athletic Association, Mr. Steve Augustine encouraged the athletes to reach for the top, without stopping.

He shared that apart from the medal winners, almost everyone on the team recorded a personal best at the event.

“A year ago, Kyron McMaster got a medal at World Juniors and is currently ranked #1 in the world. If he could’ve done it and advance where he is today, you have the ability to do the very same thing. You are showing to the world that you have the ability to achieve great things.”

BVI Platinum News also caught up with the medal winners, who both expressed their excitement, adding that they are proud of themselves for recording the first medal in BVI history at the event.

“It’s really special. At Carifta, I wanted a medal, but that didn’t happen. I worked really hard and here I am today. It’s pretty amazing to be the first,” Beyonce told BVI Platinum News.

She said, “My goal at the event was to execute my race properly and get a personal best. That didn’t happen, but I still came out with a medal.”

“I’m really happy and excited. Happy that I won this medal and made the BVI proud. It makes me feel very special and that I’ve accomplished something. It shows me that hard work pays off.”

Both athletes are looking forward to next season.