This year’s Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games will not be held over the customary Easter weekend but rather from July 2-4 in Bermuda.
With the CARIFTA Games still on course for 2021, the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) will now anticipate their opportunity to host the games next year.
While it is welcomed by the AAG President Aubrey Hutson, there is some disappointment lingering over the athletes who will miss out owing to age constraints.
“We’ve had some great athletes who would have qualified last year but sadly, a lot of them would’ve passed the age. They would’ve either moved up in category of passed the age of 19 years old,” Hutson told this publication.
Hutson candidly shared with INews that the initial month being looked at was June but objections were made in order for student athletes to accommodate their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) exams.
On the other hand, in the interest of giving the Association, parents and athletes some peace of mind, it is Hutson’s hope that there will be some vaccine protocol in place by then.
“We’re really and truly being optimistic that either a vaccine or immunization of some sort takes places, so we can have athletes travelling just like they do with yellow fever and all the other ailments when we have to travel,” the AAG President explained.
The confirmation of the July event this year means that Guyana is up next to host the games. Being the 50th edition of the CARIFTA Games, the AAG is bent on executing perfectly.
The AAG Boss shared with this newscast, that the modifications will be made to the Leonora Track and Field facility at which the games are slated to be held in Guyana. In addition, Subject Minister for Sport Charles Ramson Jr is completely on board.
Hutson divulged to this publication, “He so far is on board with us in hosting this meet. I must say that he is very, very enthusiastic about CARIFTA Games coming to Guyana and he really and truly wants to play a major role in us putting on a good show for the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, Hutson informed that the AAG is working along with the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), in order to iron out the kinks in anticipation for 2022.
“Most of the subject areas covering the CARIFTA games have been submitted. There are still a few of them that we have to clear up with NACAC as to how we will go about getting this done.”
He continued saying, “We have to bear in mind that they are still the custodians of the meet but they’re asking us to execute the meet on their behalf so we’re looking at the different budgetary allocations and how the funding coming from them and the demands that they’re making, how do we balance that.
Guyana was initially supposed to host the games in 2021 but this was pushed back owing to the Coronavirus pandemic. As such, the regional meet for school aged athletes was called off in 2020 and Bermuda, who were supposed to play hosts in 2020, got the 2021 slot.
“It’s a work in progress but we’re very optimistic that we’ll be ready for it,” Hutson declared.