Press Release

Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports
Department of Youth Affairs and Sports
Release Date:
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 - 2:54pm

Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley has said that the Government of the Virgin Islands will be making a serious commitment to sports development as it is an investment that has given very good returns.

Honourable Wheatley in remarks at the Recognition Ceremony held last Friday, April 26 to welcome home the Territory’s athletes from the 2019 CARIFTA Games said Government will not hesitate to make the contribution to the Territory’s athletes.  He also pledged his support, as Minister for Sports to assist financially to the different sports meets held in different parts of the world.

The Minister for Education highlighted the importance of sports as a source which has assisted in providing many scholarships to local athletes.

He said, “Sports is very important, it teaches us life lessons and also has been able to provide many scholarship to our young people.  As Minister for education I am appreciative of this, as I know that one of the more popular requests in the Ministry is for scholarships.  As such I will like to encourage our young athletes to make the best use of these opportunities.” 

Honourable Wheatley also congratulated gold medalist Jaleel Croal and athletes of the 2019 CARIFTA games for their outstanding performances.

Mr. Croal broke record by being the first athlete in the Territory to capture gold medal at the CARIFTA games. The team netted a total of seven medals, one gold, three silvers and three bronze medals.

Other local medalists include female sprinter Beyonce Defreitas who finished third in the Under 20 women’s 200 meters event in 23.79 seconds; Mr. Djimon Gumbs who made a throw of 54.76 meters in the finals of the Under 20 men’s Discus to place third; Mr. Khybah Dawson who made a leapt to a distance of 6.83 meters giving him a silver medal in the men’s Under 17 Long Jump, quarter-miler Akriss Eristee also was able to capture a  silver in the Under-17 women’s 400 meters race with a time of 54.10 seconds.  Ariyah Smith, Jahtivya Williams, Kaelyaa Liburd and Akriss Eristee also captured silver medals in the 4×400 meters with a time of 3 minutes 44.89 seconds.


Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740