Women’s Commission in Sports honours stalwarts
From left- Roxann Williams, Yoland London, Geshell Peters (Head of the SVGOC’s Women’s Commission in Sports), Joan Foster- Baynes, Jacintha Ballantyne.
March 22, 2024
Women’s Commission in Sports honours stalwarts

Four Vincentian women who have given years of service to sports in St Vincent and the Grenadines and beyond, were recently recognized by the Women’s Commission in Sports, an arm of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee.

The four, Jacintha Ballantyne, Joan Foster-Baynes, Yoland London, and Roxann Williams, were the guests of honour at a dinner on Saturday March 9, 2024, at the Beach Club of the La Vue Hotel, organised by the commission.

The dinner and ceremony was held one day following the commemoration of International Women’s Day, March 8.

With varying levels of contributions and sporting disciplines, the four honourees were rewarded with plaques as recognition for selfless efforts.

Jacintha Ballantyne:

From the age of nine Jacintha Ballantyne became involved in sports at the family home at Frenches where she was engaged in Table Tennis, Athletics and Weightlifting.

At the Girls’ High School, Ballantyne excelled in Athletics, captaining Staff House, notching up personal accolades in the process.

She was part of the local delegation to the inaugural Carifta Games in 1972 in Barbados, attaining bronze in the Under-17 Female 4 x 100m. The following year, Ballantyne took silver in the Under-17 100m in Trinidad and Tobago. She also attended the 1974 Carifta Games held in Jamaica.

The administrative side of Ballantyne has seen her serving multiple terms as treasurer of the SVG Netball Association; Team Athletics SVG; and the SVG Olympic Committee.

Joan Foster- Baynes:

A netball stalwart, Foster-Baynes began her long journey in sports in 1966 at the Bishop’s College, Kingstown, making it onto the school’s netball team while still in lower form.

Foster-Baynes has served as coach, manager, chaperone, and umpire delegate on several St.Vincent and the Grenadines netball teams at various levels, inclusive of the Windward Islands Schools Games.

Her expertise in umpiring has gone beyond St Vincent and the Grenadines, having officiated at the 1995 World Netball Tournament staged in Birmingham, England. In addition, Foster-Baynes was an umpire in the West Indies versus England series in 1995.

Retired from active duties as an Assistant Sports Officer in 2012, Foster-Baynes remains committed to netball, and is a fulcrum in the continued existence of the Maple Netball Club.

That club is the oldest netball unit in the OECS, dating its existence way back from July, 1,1951.

Yoland London:

London has been involved in sports administration for over two decades. She began showing her acumen in her community of Stubbs, before extending her wings, nationally and regionally.

London entered the national fray in 2011, when she was elected as a committee member of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.

That post allowed London to advocate for Women’s Football. She then became responsible for that gender’s football development, while adding managerial skills to the National Under-15 male teams, along with the National Under-20 male and female outfits.

A match commissioner with the CFU and Concacaf, London also headed the tournament’s committee of the South East Development Inc,s Football League for a few years.

Roxann Williams:

Williams can be considered a multi-talented official who lends her skills in Athletics and Tennis.

The latter sport is her forte. A former St Vincent and the Grenadines number one junior tennis player,Williams also represented her country at the OECS sub-regional level. Her highest accomplishment though has been her representation at the Commonwealth Games.

A certified coach, referee, and umpire, Williams has officiated at various International Tennis Federation(ITF) sanctioned tournaments at different levels.

She is currently the development coach with the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association and is responsible for junior players.