The British Virgin Islands has a population of approx 32,680, give or take. Nigeria is home to approximately 178 million, England to 56 million and Canada to 35 million.
So, for an athlete to come fourth in the Commonwealth Games in the long jump to stars from those three countries is no shame, in fact it is an amazing achievement.
This is what the BVI’s Chantel Malone achieved in July 2014 at the XXth edition of the ‘Friendly Games’ in Glasgow, Scotland.
It was not her only achievement in 2014. She went three better in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico where she won gold with a leap of 6.46m to cap a fantastic year.
The reigning BVI Female Athlete of the Year was celebrated by her fellow islanders and put her success down to all the assistance she has received over the years from family, friends and coaches.
She said: “”It takes parents who would get up at 5 a.m. to watch you run hills, coaches who would drive beside you as you do long runs, family and friends that give you pep talks when everything feels like it’s caving in and your dreams are at risk. It’s something simply as my grandmother Ruth Malone calling me Actspectation, my granny Ellen Skelton asking me every time we speak, ‘Which part of the world are you now?’ and seeing the smiles on their faces when I succeed that gives me reason to keep moving forward.”
Sports Minister Myron Walwyn added: “As a country, it was a proud moment for us because it shows that even though we are small in size, we continue to do magnificent things.”