Crowd’s vibes added the fun

Part of the enjoyment of the
CARIFTA Games was the music and percussion provided by various sections of the

The announcers stirred up patriotic
pride by calling out various countries and the appropriate sections would raise
the roof.

Jamaica had their Jarifta band,
Cayman had pockets of entertainers but it was the Bahamas that provided the
most entertainment.

The music on the sound system was
excellent too, so there was always a constant stream of entertainment.

Wayne Thompson is leader of the
Bahamas CARIFTA Congo Band. They have been cheering Bahamian athletes at
CARIFTAs for six years and have become a welcome and accepted part of each
Games. This year they drafted in a big man to play a big tuba, maybe to ensure
the Jamaicans didn’t have the deepest bassline!

There are around 15 who pay their
own way every year and play trumpets, horns, drums and whatever comes to hand
to make a loud, percussive sound. They actually play tunes too so it’s not all
senseless noise.

Thompson said: “We like to come out
to support the athletes and help them find motivation to achieve. Everywhere we
go we are well received.

“We love young people and it is
very important in the Caribbean region to help this generation receive
excellence. Not only in track and field but in their lives. And we want to give
them positive, helpful motivation. We cheer for the other countries when they win
as well.”

Thompson is a preacher in Nassau
and also a clinical psychologist.

He added: “The Cayman Islands is a
wonderful place. This is my second time here and the landscape of the island is
really, really beautiful. I am very proud of the manner that the Caymanians
have kept the island. I’m deeply proud of that.”