By RENALDO DORSETT
THE 2013 BTC Carifta Games is anticipated to be one of the most populated Carifta Games in the history of the region’s top junior track and field meet and the local organising committee is intent on ensuring a strong Bahamian presence in our role as hosts.
The organising committee announced yesterday that morning sessions for the duration of the Games, set for March 29 to April 1, will be free of charge.
“It is our intention to fill the stadium as much as possible. This is our opportunity to see our future Olympians compete here at home on Bahamian soil, so we want as much Bahamians as possible to fill the stadium,” said Basil Christie, chairman of the local organising committee.
“Twenty-five of the twenty-six countries who participate in the Carifta Games have confirmed their participation this year. We believe this would be the largest number of countries ever to participate in the Games. We can say that the design of the new Thomas A Robinson National Stadium makes it the ‘jewel of the Caribbean’ and allows each seat to be a prime seat. With this in mind we encourage the public to continue to purchase their tickets for the Games and not wait until they are all sold out. We feel so confident that the public will get unbelievable value for their small investment in Bahamians and now regional track and field.
This will mark the first major event in the new 15,000-seat stadium as well as in the year-long celebration of the Bahamas’ 40th anniversary of independence.
The BAAA is slated to host the Carifta Trials March 15-16. Team Bahamas is expected to be announced on March 17.
Christie targeted the first morning session, March 30, as the opportunity for the Bahamian public to make an early statement of national pride not only to our competitors, but in support of our athletes.
“We have decided to have no charge for the morning sessions and recommend the public to fill the stadium on the first session of competition, Saturday morning, March 30. This will give an important signal to the Bahamians and all visiting teams,” he said. “I am also happy to announce that members of the local organising committee will be visiting churches in New Providence this weekend to promote the Games and ask for the prayers of the public for the athletes, the officials, and the competition.”
The promotion campaign for the games has also included “golden girl” Pauline Davis-Thompson who has schools throughout the capital and the Family Islands to ignite the Carifta spirit.
Davis-Thompson is a member of the local organising committee and was accompanied in her visits by SAY-NO, the Carifta mascot, a Bahamian potcake.
SAY-NO is also the mascot for the National Drug Council, with whom the local organising committee is partnering with to highlight “drug-free” sports.