JAAA requests Gov’t approval to host Carifta

Jamaica Observer, PAUL A REID
Observer writer

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is awaiting approval from the Government after recently being asked “at short notice” to host the 2022 renewal of the Carifta Games.

The siuation arose after Guyana gave up hosting rights.

Garth Gayle, president of the JAAA, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the association’s executive had met and given its full blessings. He said the JAAA is awaiting the go-ahead from the government to host the three-day junior track and field championships over the Easter weekend, April 16-18.

“The JAAA executive has met, have fully discussed the matter and has given its blessing for us to take on the mandate offered by NACAC to host the Games,” Gayle said.

“We are now awaiting the Government’s approval and we are working assiduously with the Government and the government entities to make CARIFTA Games 2022 a reality in Jamaica.”

It will be the second time that Jamaica has been asked at short notice to host one of the world’s premier junior track and field championships as the Montego Bay Sports Complex hosted the 2011 staging after the original hosts withdrew.

The Games was scheduled to be held in Guyana next year after being postponed for the last two years when it was originally to be staged in Bermuda.

Bermuda had been set to host the 2020 staging, but it was called off after the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic and despite being moved twice in 2021 it was called off again as some of the country’s COVID-19 protocols could not be accommodated.

The Bermudian Government had mandated that everyone coming into the country had to be vaccinated and at the time, vaccines were not approved for children under the age of 17 years and, as such, the decision was again taken to pull the plug.

Yesterday, Gayle told the Observer that Mike Sands, president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Athletics Association, was expected in the island soon to meet with government officials and the JAAA, at which time details of the event would be ironed out.

“The NACAC Council in its wisdom is seeking Jamaica’s assistance, as short a time as it is, for the staging of the 2022 renewal of this regional junior event,” Gayle explained.

Jamaica has hosted the event six times, five times in Kingston (1974, 1979, 1988, 1990, 1996) and in Montego Bay in 2011.

The championships, which were started by Barbadian sports administrator Austin Sealy, had their first staging in 1972, and Jamaica has topped the medals table on 43 of the 48 times it has been held. Jamaica has led the medals count for the last 35 stagings.

Photo: GAYLE… we are working assiduously with the Government and the government entities to make CARIFTA Games 2022 a reality in Jamaica

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