By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
CORPORATE Bahamas who pledged their support to the 2018 Flow CARIFTA Games were officially recognised at yesterday's press conference, hosted by the event's Local Organising Committee.
Under the theme "Faster Further, Higher", the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletics Associations (NACAC) will stage the 47th edition of the meet March 30 to April 2 in honour of the late Dr Bernard Nottage.
BAAA President and CEO of Flow CARIFTA Bahamas 2018, Rosamunde Carey, thanked the total of 41 corporate sponsors at various levels for their contributions as the island nation prepares to host the region.
"The success of any venture of this magnitude is due to a partnership with our corporate citizens," she said. "In exactly three weeks, we will experience the pulsating rhythm of the goatskin drums, the sweet sounds of the brass horn and loud cheering fans as we see some of the region's best athletes compete right here in our backyard as they prepare to run faster, throw further and jump higher."
The meet is expected to host 26 countries, 500 athletes, 400 volunteers and some 150 local and international officials for what Carey called "the best edition of the CARIFTA games to date."
"Your sponsorship shows that you recognise the economic impact this event can have with the additional hotel room nights, transportation, restaurants and vendors which will all give a boost to the sports tourism product," she said. "With your assistance, our stars, our future world champions and Olympians will get to experience firsthand what is achievable."
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard said as the country continues to rally behind the organising efforts, the financial support of corporate Bahamas cannot be underscored.
"The BAAA has done a wonderful job in terms of generating excitement throughout the community. This has certainly been one of the most remarkable public relations exercises to draw attention to this historic event being held in the Bahamas. The games will bring the best out of the athletes and the country at large. Caribbean people are very nationalistic and they are going to bring a tremendous amount of energy. Everybody is coming with their game face on," he said, "Events like these would not be possible without significant financial support. While it is important to have international events in the Bahamas, it is as important to make sure there is a complete buy in from the private sector and the various federations to make sure that their particular discipline is self-sustaining. We are grateful for the investment you have made. Government resources are insufficient to host events of this magnitude and so without these sponsors, events like this would not be possible."
The Bahamas last hosted the meet in 2002 and has claimed the title four times - 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1984.
With the National High School Track and Field Championships underway, Pintard said it was a fitting exhibition for the sponsors to see that they are buying into more than just CARIFTA.
"We have commenced the high school nationals, featuring some 67 schools and about 1600 athletes. That is an incredible feeder system for the country," he said, "When you invest in CARIFTA, you are investing in an inspirational event that inspires all of these athletes at these institutions and essentially inspiring a country."
Tickets for the event are currently on sale ranging from gold - $20, silver - $15, bronze - $10 and general tickets $5. To purchase or reserve tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call /WhatsApp the LOC at (242) 427-2580. For more information, you can also log on to cariftabahamas2018.com.
Flow has partnered with NACAC for the third year to host CARIFTA. As the official broadcast partner of the event, the meet will receive substantive viewership across the region.