CARIFTA flag relay for Team Haiti

The CARIFTA Games brings youth
athletes from across the Caribbean region together for three days of

The event, set to take place in
Grand Cayman from 3 to 5 April, has drawn entries from 25 countries in the
region. However, none of the teams have faced the same challenges as the team
from Haiti.

In spite of the devastation the
country suffered due to the massive earthquake that struck there, the team is
still intent on participating at CARIFTA.

“[The Haitian team is] still going
to be here in the Cayman Islands and we are very thankful for that. To help
with their expenses we are going to be staging the CARIFTA flag and baton
relay,” said Evelyn Rockett, co-chairperson of the CARIFTA local organising

“We’re inviting all companies,
schools, churches, families, individuals to sign up,” she said.

The event will start in Cayman Brac
on Friday 26 March. From there the flag and baton will travel by plain to Grand

“We’re hoping that the president
[of the Cayman Islands Athletic Association, Rayle Roberts] will do that duty
and bring it over in the plane and he’ll walk a few steps and then hand it
off,” said Rockett.

The Grand Cayman leg of the relay
will officially start at the Smith Road Oval, a venue that has a special place
in the history of Cayman’s CARIFTA participation.

“It was the only field that we
could train on in 1979,” recalled Rockett. That was the first year Cayman sent
a team to the CARIFTA Games.

From there the flag will travel
through the districts, travelling east to Rum Point, with every group running
one leg, which will be approximately one mile.

“When [the flag] reaches Rum Point
it will cross the ocean via sailboat which is another cultural part of Cayman’s
history,” said Rockett.

After reaching land again, the flag
will travel through West Bay and to the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

“The baton and flag will not enter
the stadium. That will be done on the opening ceremonies, so it will be brought
to the outskirts of the stadium,” said Rockett.

News of the relay is the latest
happening in the build-up to the Games as this month has seen a number of track

One recent event was the Maples
Interscholastic Meet last Friday at the Truman Bodden stadium featuring
hundreds of students from the various secondary schools.

The relay event looks to build
excitement for the Games and Rockett promises it will be well worth
participating in.

“We’re all excited about this, we
know it’s going to be a success, and we’re just asking the public to come out
and really support us on this,” she said.

Rockett also promised a surprise
climax to the event, to which not even Rayle Roberts, the athletics association
president, is privy.

“It’s a secret, it’s going to be
fantastic so please come out and support this event,” said Rockett.

To take part in the event, visit
the CARIFTA 2010 website at Entry forms will be available as of
tomorrow, with entry fees set at CI$2 for students and CI$5 for adults.


There has been lots of action on the track recently.
Photo: Matthew Yates