Right in line with country pride and culture, the Minister with responsibility for sports, Hon. Myron Walwyn has declared that he is moving forward with plans to highlight the sport of softball as the National Sport of the British Virgin Islands.
While speaking at the official opening of this year’s 2017 Harriette Skelton Fastpitch Softball League on March 19 at the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park, the Minister disclosed his intentions to lay a resolution in the House of Assembly, which speaks to the addition to the country’s nationalistic facts.
“In the next sitting of the House of Assembly, I am going to bring a resolution to the House to make softball the national sport of this country.”
Harriette Skelton and family photoed with Hon. Myron Walwyn
Photo Credit: Javon Liburd/BVI Platinum News
Minister Walwyn continued, “A national sport is an intrinsic part of a culture of a nation and softball for us is in fact that sport.”
In preparation, the Minister disclosed that the Department of Youth and Sports has already been directed to rejuvenate the sport at the grassroots level.
Soliciting assistance from lovers of the sport, Hon. Walwyn said, “We need you to help us in planning games and leagues to bring back the sport to the prominence it had many years ago.”
He also said that government will continue to support the sport.
Just last year, persons of the community and the government were called upon for support, to prevent the game from dying in the Territory.
As previously reported, former legislator, Mr. E. Walwyn 'GM' Brewley, who has been at the forefront of the sport for many decades, said that softball is not like it used to be.
Brewley made a plea at the time for the sport to be placed back in the schools.
"Over the years we have done well in softball...At one time we were beating everybody in the region. Right now, softball is not where it should be...We need to put it back in the schools; we need to start in the primary schools, like what they do in soccer. Softball don't have the kind of money that others have," he said.
"We have a lot of ex players, who can help us in the schools because teachers in the schools can't teach the sport because they don't know the sport. Give us a hand to bring softball back to where it use to be; help us to keep the sport alive."
The event over the weekend also saw two stalwarts of the sport being awarded.
For her contribution to the sport in the capacities of star player, manager, coach and adviser over the last 40 years, the BVI Softball Association and the Minister honored Mrs. Harriette Skelton. The 2017 league is also named in her honor.
Roy ‘Pan-Handle’ Hill was also recognized by the association for his contribution and being the oldest player in the league.
This year’s league has a total of nine teams.
Games officially kicked off over the weekend and will conclude in mid-June.