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Krystal Eddy Earns Best Blocker Award at NORCECA Tournament



ISV U21 Women’s Volleyball Team at the NORCECA Tournament in Toronto (Photo by Peter Power / Volleyball Canada)

The United States Virgin Islands (ISV) U21 Women’s Volleyball Team, current champions of the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA), secured a place at the U21 Women North, Central America, and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Continental Championship. This championship serves as the second of three phases in the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) global tournament aimed at crowning the world’s top U21 women’s volleyball team. The tournament champion will earn an automatic bid to the U21 World Championship in 2025.

The ISV U21 team was one of eight NORCECA countries to advance to the continental phase of the FIVB tournament, competing alongside teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Suriname. The event took place in Toronto, Canada, from June 23 to July 1.

Head coach Isaac Raphael had high hopes that the two-week training camp in Orlando would prepare the team for the intense competition. “We have a young team, and we are looking forward to seeing them perform at this level. It’s going to be a tough competition, but I believe that is the way you improve,” Raphael stated in an interview during the event.

ISV faced a challenging start, losing their first-round matches against Mexico (25-13, 25-8, 25-15), Canada (25-18, 25-11, 25-7), and Costa Rica (25-21, 25-19, 25-20). Despite the losses, team captain Anna Gillens and player Mya Brown showed strong performances, with Gillens scoring 9 points against Mexico and Brown leading with 7 points against Canada.

After a rest day, ISV played a rematch against Mexico in the classification matches. Despite changes to the lineup, Mexico again won in straight sets (25-15, 25-14, 25-17). Gillens and Eddy were standout players, with Eddy continuing to excel in blocks. In their final match, ISV triumphed over Suriname, a familiar opponent, securing a 25-13, 25-19, 25-16 victory and finishing seventh in the tournament.

The USA team claimed the NORCECA title, securing an automatic spot in the 2025 U21 World Championship. Among the individual accolades, Krystal Eddy, a 2024 Ivanna Eudora Kean High School graduate, was honored as the top blocker of the tournament.

ISV Team Members and Staff at NORCECA Tournament:

  • Players:
    • Mya Brown
    • Sapphire Cruz
    • Jala Dixon
    • Krystal Eddy
    • Anna Gillens
    • Jayden Gorman
    • Sophie Hertz
    • Hailey Pierce
    • Sarai Simpson
    • Jahyra Thomas
    • Zyia Toussaint
    • Mya Vigilant
  • Coaching Staff:
    • Isaac Raphael – Head Coach
    • Myriam Rodney – Assistant Coach
    • Vanessa James – Statistician
    • Gisele Schjang – Team Manager

The team is set to continue their busy schedule, with both men’s and women’s teams from the U.S. Virgin Islands heading to the U19 CAZOVA Championship in Jamaica from July 26 to August 4.

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Registration Open for 2024 SPRD Governmental-Industrial Softball League



The Virgin Islands Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation (DSPR) has announced the opening of registrations for the 2024 St. Thomas-St. John Governmental and Industrial Softball League. This popular league, which fosters community spirit and physical activity, invites teams and individuals to sign up for the upcoming season.

To participate, teams must comprise between 15 and 25 players, with a registration fee of $45 per player. This fee covers the costs of league operations, including field maintenance, umpiring, and equipment.

Eligibility and Registration Process

Both governmental and industrial entities in the St. Thomas-St. John district are encouraged to form teams. The league aims to bring together employees from various sectors, promoting teamwork and camaraderie outside the workplace. Interested parties can register either as complete teams or as individual players looking to join a team.

Registrations can be completed online through the DSPR’s official website or in person at their office. Early registration is recommended, as spots are limited and the league has seen increasing popularity in recent years.

League Structure and Schedule

The league will feature a structured schedule, with games taking place on weekday evenings and weekends to accommodate working professionals. The exact schedule will be released closer to the start of the season, ensuring teams have ample time to prepare and organize practices.

Each team will play a series of games throughout the season, culminating in playoffs to determine the league champions. The league also emphasizes fair play and sportsmanship, with specific rules and regulations to ensure a positive experience for all participants.

Community Impact

DSPR Commissioner Calvert White emphasized the importance of such recreational activities in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle among residents. “The Governmental-Industrial Softball League is more than just a series of games; it’s an opportunity for our community to come together, stay active, and enjoy the spirit of friendly competition,” he said.

The league also serves as a platform for networking and strengthening bonds within the community. Participants have consistently praised the league for its organization and the sense of unity it fosters among different sectors.

Looking Ahead

As the league gears up for the 2024 season, DSPR is also planning additional community engagement activities, including clinics and workshops for players to improve their skills. These initiatives aim to enhance the overall experience for participants and ensure the league’s continued success.

For more information on registration and league details, interested parties can visit the DSPR website or contact their office directly. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this exciting community event and enjoy a season of fun, fitness, and friendly competition.

For further details, visit the DSPR website or contact the St. Thomas-St. John office at (340) 774-0255.

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Max Wilson: St. Thomas Native Heads to Paris for Olympic Dream



From the serene beaches of St. Thomas to the world stage of the Olympics, Max Wilson’s journey epitomizes dedication and passion. Starting his swimming career at the tender age of seven, Wilson has always harbored dreams of competing in the Olympics. This month, his dream transforms into reality as he represents the U.S. Virgin Islands at the Paris Summer Games.

Max Wilson’s early years were marked by a deep affinity for water. Encouraged by his parents and local coaches, he quickly rose through the ranks of competitive swimming. His determination and skill set him apart, earning him numerous accolades in regional and national competitions. However, it was his performance at the CARIFTA Games and subsequent international meets that solidified his reputation as a swimmer to watch.

Wilson’s selection for the U.S. Virgin Islands team is not just a personal triumph but also a moment of pride for the entire community of St. Thomas. The island has rallied behind him, with local businesses and organizations sponsoring his training and travel expenses. “Max has always been a beacon of hope and inspiration for our young athletes,” said one of his early coaches. “His journey to the Olympics is a testament to what hard work and community support can achieve.”

The road to Paris has been anything but smooth. Wilson faced rigorous training schedules, balancing school and practice, and overcoming injuries. His commitment, however, never wavered. His training regime intensified over the past year, focusing on improving his speed and endurance to compete against the world’s best.

Swimming events at the Paris Olympics are scheduled to run from July 27 to August 9, with Wilson participating in multiple categories, including the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly. The competition will be fierce, with swimmers from around the globe vying for Olympic glory. Yet, Wilson remains focused and optimistic. “Competing in the Olympics is a dream come true,” Wilson remarked in a recent interview. “I am ready to give it my all and make my country proud.”

The Olympic Games are not just about winning medals but also about showcasing the spirit of sportsmanship and unity. For Wilson, this opportunity is a chance to inspire the next generation of athletes from the U.S. Virgin Islands. His journey serves as a reminder that no dream is too big and no goal is unattainable with perseverance and community support.

As Wilson prepares to dive into the Olympic pool, the eyes of St. Thomas and the entire Virgin Islands will be on him, cheering for their hometown hero. His participation in the Paris Summer Games marks a significant milestone in his career and a proud moment for his homeland.

Wilson’s story is a beacon of hope and inspiration, embodying the Olympic spirit of determination, excellence, and international camaraderie. The entire Virgin Islands community eagerly anticipates his performance, confident that he will make waves on the global stage.

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Stephen Swanton Triumphs in Buddhoe & Beyond Road Race



St. Croix’s Stephen Swanton emerged victorious in the Virgin Islands Cycling Federation’s Buddhoe & Beyond Road Race, held Sunday morning to commemorate V.I. Emancipation Day. The event, a celebration of the historical significance of July 3, 1848, when General Buddhoe led thousands to demand freedom, started and finished at the iconic Buddhoe Park in Frederiksted.

Swanton’s achievement was in the event’s longest race, a 4.5-mile course that tested the cyclists’ endurance and skill. The route led riders from Buddhoe Park along Queen Mary Highway to Concordia Road, then through La Grange and back to Buddhoe Park via Emancipation Drive.

The Buddhoe & Beyond Road Race drew a diverse group of participants, from local enthusiasts to experienced athletes, all eager to honor the island’s rich heritage while challenging themselves physically. The race is more than just a competitive event; it is a poignant reminder of the resilience and courage of those who fought for freedom and justice on the island.

The atmosphere was charged with excitement as spectators lined the course, cheering on the cyclists. Families, history enthusiasts, and sports fans alike gathered to witness the event, which has become a staple in St. Croix’s annual calendar of activities celebrating Emancipation Day.

Buddhoe Park, the race’s central hub, holds historical significance as it was the site where General Buddhoe orchestrated the freedom march. Today, it serves as a place of reflection and celebration, hosting various events that commemorate the island’s journey to emancipation. The park’s shaded areas provided a welcoming respite for attendees who enjoyed live music, traditional African ceremonies, and speeches honoring the ancestors’ sacrifices.

The Virgin Islands Cycling Federation, the event’s organizer, has consistently promoted cycling as both a sport and a means to foster community spirit and historical awareness. This year’s Buddhoe & Beyond Road Race successfully continued that tradition, blending athleticism with a tribute to a pivotal moment in the island’s history.

Swanton’s victory is a testament to his dedication and training, reflecting the high level of competition that the Buddhoe & Beyond Road Race attracts. As the event grows in prominence, it continues to inspire a new generation of cyclists and history buffs, ensuring that the legacy of General Buddhoe and the quest for freedom remain at the forefront of St. Croix’s cultural consciousness.

For more details on the event and future races, visit the Virgin Islands Cycling Federation’s official website.

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