The 2020 CARIFTA Games, scheduled to take place in Bermuda this April, has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Bermuda National Athletics Association issued a press release on Friday, 13 March, addressing the postponement.
The released stated: “On behalf of the Bermuda National Athletics Association, the CARIFTA Local Organizing Committee, the NACAC Executive Board and the CARIFTA member countries, we would like to advise that following long discussions and consultation, it has been mutually agreed to postpone the CARIFTA Games that were scheduled to take place in Bermuda April 10-13, 2020.”
The press release from the association was issued hours after the Cayman Islands joined Antigua and Barbuda, and the Bahamas in withdrawing from the competition.
“The Cayman Islands will not participate in the 2020 CARIFTA Games in Bermuda,” said Cayman Islands Athletic Association president Lance Barnes on Friday.
“This decision wasn’t easy from a personal perspective, nevertheless I want to emphasise that the CIAA’s highest priorities are to sustain the health of our athletes and ensure their future development. As the coronavirus situation further advances, we will continue to work with the Cayman Islands Government and the local health authorities as we evaluate our operations and adjust our direction over time,” he said.
The Bermuda National Athletics Association added in its release, “We would have never predicted an occurrence of this magnitude a week ago. We were deep in preparations making our final adjustments. We were ready to host the 2020 CARIFTA Games and ready to welcome the 27 countries to our shores.
“We also did not want to take away the opportunity for the athletes who have trained hard and prepared themselves for these games. This is a yearly event and etched deep in the history of Bermuda and the Caribbean countries.”
The association said it has not confirmed a new date to hold the CARIFTA Games “as there are still too many unknowns regarding this virus”. It added, “Fortunately for us, this is an Olympic year and there are not many events scheduled on the NACAC calendar, therefore affording us the opportunity to re-schedule the games. To the spectators who were looking forward to this event as much as we were, please note that all tickets will be honoured for the re-scheduled date.”
In addition, the Cayman Islands Athletic Association has confirmed to the Cayman Compass that all local track meets will not be held until further notice.