The future of the CARIFTA Games track and field tournament is safe after LIME, the Caribbean’s leading full service telecommunications provider, announced a US$400,000 investment in regional athletics with a two year sponsorship of the Games.
During a colourful ceremony held at the Cuddy’z Restaurant in Kingston, Jamaica, LIME’s Grace Silvera said: “We are extremely pleased to continue our investment with the North America Central America & Caribbean Athletics Association in sponsoring the annual CARIFTA Games, which is instrumental in talent discovery and the development of outstanding young athletes across the Caribbean.
“Sport is dear to the hearts of the Caribbean and our athletic prowess greatly defines who we are as a people. This is more than a sponsorship, it’s an investment. LIME is therefore, very proud be sponsors of the games and to facilitate the regional broadcast of this exciting event to athletic fans and supporters across the region.”
Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s sports minister, said: “Jamaica welcomes the opportunity to stage the prestigious championships as we continue to position the island as a premier location for major sporting events.”
Grange lauded LIME for their commitment, noting that the contribution will assist in the execution of the meet being held in Jamaica for the first time in over a decade.
Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, president of NACAC also thanked LIME for their long standing contribution to sport. He said: “CARIFTA is a breeding ground for the world stage and from these Games many stars are born, and world recognition is given to Caribbean nations, so LIME’s investment will help to develop young athletic talent across the region.”
The 2011 CARIFTA Games will be held in Montego Bay from 22-24 April and will attract over 800 athletes, their families, coaches and supporters to the island. During the three-day event more than 150 events will be staged including sprints, distance races, relays and field events.
The Games have produced several world record holders and world and Olympic champions, including Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kim Collins, Pauline Davis-Thompson, and Obadele Thompson.
Top Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, who is a LIME ambassador, was also at the ceremony.
LIME’s generous input into the CARIFTA programme is much appreciated by Cayman’s track and field technical director Kenrick Williams. He said: “It is a great gesture by LIME since track and field, along with cricket, has done the most of all sports to highlight the Caribbean region. “It is very reassuring that for the next two years CARIFTA will not have the financial worry of being staged.
“Most of Cayman’s kids who could make the CARIFTA team are working hard. I’ve seen a lot of potential and we just need to harness it and turn them into medals. After us staging CARIFTA last year I don’t just want to win one or two, I want to see many more.
“By staging the Games here it was a definite plus and a lot of kids are coming to train and want to emulate Chantelle Morrison (who won 100 metres gold).
“After a hamstring injury she is training real nice and only yesterday was working well on her relay exchange. She looked fit and is in good shape.”