CARIFTA well on track

Preparations for Cayman to host the
CARIFTA Games are well ahead of plan.

The Games are being held at the
Truman Bodden Sports Complex over the Easter weekend on April 3-5.

At a press conference held last
Friday at the Complex in attendance was Alain Jean-Pierre, CARIFTA’s
organisational delegate.

The meeting was chaired by Rayle
Roberts, president of the Cayman Islands Athletics Association and Delroy
Murray, the previous president and now a committee member.

Also present was Minister of Sport,
Mark Scotland, committee member Evelyn Rockett, Truman Bodden who is the patron
and national hero Sybil McLaughlin.

The Games are for track and field
athletes aged 14-19. There will be hundreds of competitors from all over the
Caribbean and Cayman have plenty of potential medallists.

Jean-Pierre, a Haitian
administrator, said: “I came to give advice but it seems everything is already
in place,” Jean-Pierre said. “Mr Murray and Mr Roberts have already done a good
job. There will be a lot of coaches coming down from the US and they will be
impressed.”

Rockett said: “We’re bringing over
a timing team here to monitor the inter-primary games as a trial run for
CARIFTA.”

The main village will be the
Comfort Suites. Gold medallists will also be presented with a watch with the
CARIFTA logo on it.

So far the main sponsors are the
government which has committed $100,000, LIME, CUC, Sagicor and Paramount
Carpets. Truman Bodden urged more sponsors to come forward.

He said: “I’d like sponsors to
please support this event. From a national standpoint it is very important. I
will be going to various associations for support.”

Scotland said: “We expect a total
of 800 visitors in the form of athletes, family and friends. Easter is normally
a slow period here anyway so this will boost the tourism revenue. We will
welcome them all and already know that there will be many supporters from the
Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Bermuda.

“Local volunteers are training
virtually on a nightly basis but we still need more to come forward.”

Roberts said: “Our supporters need
practice as well as the athletes. We urge them to learn to start cheering our
athletes on. We have plenty of build up meets that they can attend.

“There will be 26 countries
competing here and we still need more volunteers. You can never have too many
volunteers. It’s pleasing to know that we are very much on our way. We have a
check list that is firmly in place.”

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