Guyana’s hosting of CARIFTA Games shifted to 2023

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Guyana has agreed to host the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships in 2023 instead of the initial scheduled of 2022.

Following the cancellation of the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamaica is in line to host the Games during the Easter Weekend in 2022, SportsMax reported this week.

The development comes as Garth Gayle, President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association, announced at the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Special Congress on Saturday, that Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange has given a green light to the Games.

AAG President Aubrey Hutson

News Room Sport reached out to the President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, on Wednesday, and he clarified they were still offered to host the event in 2022, but they took the decision to host one year later instead.

“In discussion with the Minister [Charles Ramson Jr.], it was decided that they prefer to have the 50th running of CARIFTA and they don’t have a problem waiting on another year, and that information was passed to NACAC.”

The CARIFTA Games were scheduled to be held in Bermuda earlier this year, but was eventually cancelled because of spikes in the spread of the COVID-19 virus in that country.

Usually held during the Easter weekend, the Games were first moved to July 2-4 and then to August 13-15 before it was eventually cancelled in May.

The AAG Head indicated the idea was floated of Guyana hosting both the 49th and 50th editions.

“After NACAC was having problems with Bermuda and hosting we were offered the 49th and if possible, the 50th too, but it was put to us by NACAC, seeing that you are in the planning stages for CARIFTA 2022 to have that or to go back one year, and host the 50th anniversary in 2023.”

“I am the person who said if we can do both, how would that be and they said NACAC won’t have a problem with that because a lot of the repeat costs a host would have, we would not have it in repeat hosting,” Hutson explained.

The CARIFTA Track and Field championship caters to Under-17 and Under-20 athletes, meaning it is considered a junior athletic event, and most countries have begun implementing vaccinations for persons 18 years and younger.

There is a strong possibility that vaccination will be a requirement for the Games next year, and Hutson said he believes “unvaccinated athletes should not be on the team.”

Initially, in 2021 the 50th edition of the Games was slated to be held, but the pandemic struck.

Hutson had pegged the budget at GY$120 million of which NACAC would usually contribute US$200,000 and the rest is left to the AAG, Government, and private sector.

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