by Michael Bascombe
TORTOLA, BVI, July 1, 2016 – Two long-standing sports administrators in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will be honoured for their contributions to the development of sports in the sub-region.
The recognition will be bestowed on former OECS Sports Director Joseph “Reds” Perreira and General Secretary of the Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC) Veda Bruno-Victor at the OECS Track and Field Championships here this weekend.
The Most Outstanding Male and Female Athletes will be awarded the Joseph “Reds” Perreira and Veda Bruno-Victor awards respectively at the end of the two-day championships.
The OECS Track & Field Championships are among events adopted by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Eastern Caribbean States (ANOCES). The OECS Invitational Relays, the OECS Road Relay and the ANOCES Academy are the other activities hosted by ANOCES.
“New to ANOCES this year will be an individual women and men’s title. The Games’ Most Outstanding Male Athlete will walk off with the Joseph “Reds” Perreira Award, named in honour of the founder of the OECS Championships while the Female Athlete of the Games will take home the Veda Bruno-Victor award, in honour of the long-time regional administrator,” said Alphonso Bridgewater, President of the ANOCES.
At a general assembly in St Kitts in 2014, ANOCES members – NOCs and Commonwealth Games Associations agreed to field their best athletes for the respective competitions.
Bridgewater, in his remarks ahead of the opening of the championships on Saturday, described the championships as the sub-region’s equivalent of the ‘Olympic Games Track and Field discipline’.
He recognised the importance of the track and field championships as filling a gaping void in high level competition in the sub-region, while simultaneously showcasing the region’s elite athletes to admiring, adoring fans on home soil.
“The Games also offer an opportunity to athletes enroute to qualification for international, continental and other competitions including the Olympic, Central American & Caribbean and Pan American Games.”
With the July 11 window for qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro closing, the competition has become a last chance qualifier for Rio, with an anticipated two days of exciting track and field at the A. O. Shirley Grounds on Saturday and Sunday.
All nine OECS territories – Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and hosts BVI—will be joined by non-OECS Members, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, making the meet the biggest to ever be staged in the BVI.
The Grenada Olympic Committee (GOC) – a member of ANOCES – is providing assistance for the participation of Grenadian track and field athletes at the Championships.
The GOC’s assistance is extended to 11 of the 18 athletes participating including Kanika Beckles, Candesha Scott, Meleni Rodney, Payton Hazzard, Kurt Felix, Lindon Victor, Josh Boateng, Anderson Peters, Rondell Bartholomew, Junior Charles and Joel Redhead.
The other athletes participating in the OECS Championships are Amanda Crawford, Kenisha Pascal, Nichonier George, Emron Gibbs, Reon Radix, Tallan James and Nathan Hood.
Four athletes have already qualified for the Olympic Games including defending 400 metres champion Kirani James, Bralon Taplin and decathletes Felix and Victor.