SHOWN (l-r) are Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard, BAAA President Rosamunde Carey, Island Luck CFO Dirk Simmons, LOC CFO Natasha Adderley and LOC Co-Chair Tonique Williams.
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
The final opportunity for aspiring athletes to qualify for the 2018 Flow CARIFTA Track and Field Championships will take place this weekend and a new corporate partner came on board to sponsor the trials and next month’s main event.
The BAAAs/Island Luck CARIFTA Trials will be hosted Friday and Saturday at the Thomas A Robinson as the organisation prepares to ratify the roster for the meet which is now approximately two weeks away.
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.
The IL Cares Foundation presented the CARIFTA Local Organising Committee with a $50,000 cheque for both events.
Island Luck CFO, Dirk Simmons, said the decision to sponsor the trials and support the LOC as a national supplier was in line with his organisation’s effort to inspire the youth of the country.
“We are happy to support the BAAAs and partner with you in both the trials and the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships. It is said quite often that our youth are our future and for many years, CARIFTA has embodied inspiration and aspiration necessary to keep our youth engaged in activities that will help them realise, not only their full potential, but also realise their dreams of a better future for both themselves and for the Bahamas,” he said.
“Today our country is at somewhat of a crossroads and we at the IL Cares foundation believe that one of the greatest challenges facing our youth today is the loss of inspiration, the loss of hope, the loss of aspiration and the absence of positive role models and positive organised activities like CARIFTA. We are prepared and we are committed to partnering with the BAAAs in future endeavours to ensure that our youth continue to be a promising future for our country.”
BAAA President and CEO of Flow CARIFTA Bahamas 2018, Rosamunde Carey, said corporate Bahamas has set the tone for the public to follow.
“My mantra has always been and I will reiterate that the success of any event of this magnitude is dependent on the generosity of good corporate citizens. I am pleased to announce that Island Luck, through its IL Cares foundation, has agreed to assist the CARIFTA committee with a huge financial contribution to underwrite the cost of the BAAAs and with our CARIFTA trials.
“In addition to this partnership, they have now become a national supplier to the Flow CARIFTA Track and Field Championships 2018. Once clarity in our vision was received by the managers and executives at Island Luck, they did not hesitate in seeing the value in supporting the positive activities of our youth through this event and other national events that they will be sponsoring,” she said.
“The trials are an essential component to the selection process for a coveted spot on Team Bahamas. I can emphatically state that the results from this trial are the most important criteria for the selection of our team. It is important for this opportunity that all potential team members get to faceoff with their opponents to see who will run faster, jump higher and throw further. The excitement is building to the extent that we have over 350 athletes who have registered for the trials. Everyone wants that opportunity to be able to represent the Bahamas. The only thing that is left is for the Bahamian public to come out in large numbers to show their support for our athletes.”
At CARIFTA, the Bahamas 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.”
Former Olympians Tim Munnings (Director of Sports) and Tonique Williams (Co-Chair of the LOC) both recalled their CARIFTA experiences and underscored the impact the meet continues to have.
“Youth development is very important to the country and the BAAAs has a strong youth development programme. We are proud of our athletes and we are encouraging everybody to attend CARIFTA,” Munnings said, “We have a very big task, aiming at dethroinging Jamaica. We know that with everyones support our athletes will do our very best to make us all proud.”
The Bahamas last hosted the meet in 2002 and has claimed the title four times - 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1984.
“This is so impactful for every athlete that will be apart of these games whether they are from the region or right here in the Bahamas. This is the type of inspiration that propels them into their athletic career and makes them achieve success,” Williams said, “None of this is possible without the help of our partners so we do want to thank Island Luck and all of our partners that have come on board because the work you have put into this is not possible without your assistance and it really goes a long way toward inspiring a nation. Our athletes are out there on the world stage and everywhere I go in the Bahamas I have young people that say ‘thank you, I want to be like you’ so we want to continue to leave that legacy.”
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 email@example.com or call /WhatsApp the LOC at (242) 427-2580. For more information, you can also log on to cariftabahamas2018.com.
“This is a transformative event in our country, to the extent that corporate sponsors see the need to invest in our people. The government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas is grateful,” Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard said, “We ask you to take a page out of all of those sponsors who have sponsored this event and in this carse, the CARIFTA trials, I want to say a special thank you and we believe it will pay great dividends for our country.”
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.