Jamaica eager to host Carifta Games but final decision subject to "sign-offs, approvals" and funding

By Sports Desk November 11, 2021

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports says she supports the country’s intention to host the 2022 Carifta Games but warns that that will only happen once the necessary approvals and required funding are achieved.

President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) had announced that his association had been given the green light to host the Games next Easter during a Special Congress of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association on Saturday.

Jamaica’s move came after Guyana, which was supposed to host in 2022, indicated that it would be unable to fulfil its obligation.

On Wednesday, Minister Grange appeared to back Gayle saying it would be a timely venture considering that Jamaica celebrates 60 years of independence in 2022.

“I am in full support of Jamaica hosting the 2022 Carifta Games as a part of the country’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with the National Stadium in Kingston being the venue,” she said about the competition that would take place between April 16 – 18.

“When news came that the selected host for 2022, Guyana, was unable to fulfil the obligation, it was felt that the only country which could step up to the plate at such short notice would be Jamaica. Not just because of the ongoing dominance of our athletes, but because of our experience in staging similar events with athletes in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Following the cancellation of the 110-year-old ISSA Boys and Girls Championships because of the pandemic in March 2020, Jamaica successfully staged the championships in May and then the National Athletic Championships in June. The island also hosted several track meets including the Jamaica Olympic Association-backed Olympic Destiny Series leading up to the national championships.

“We are very proud of the successful staging of the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships (CHAMPS) earlier this year. We have no doubt that we are equal to the task of staging the Carifta Games next year,” Minister Grange said.

“With the cancellation of this important event (Carifta) for 2020 and 2021, junior athletes have missed out on the opportunity to gauge where they are at this critical stage of their development. Therefore, I feel that no effort should be spared in us trying to host the 2022 event.

“I have indicated to the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) that as Minister I would do my best to assist in making it possible. Carifta is of course the premier event for junior athletes across the CARICOM region with athletes competing in two age categories: under-17 and under-20.”

However, the minister was quick to indicate that all the necessary elements needed to be in place before the government would be able to give its full blessing.

“I must say, however, that although Jamaica is interested in hosting the event, it is subject to several approvals and sign-offs as well as the requisite funding. The Ministry is therefore working very closely with the JAAA and NCACAC to satisfy all the requirements in order for me to make an official announcement,” she said.

 “It is in our best interest to do everything to have the Games held here.  Among all the other good reasons, our tourism, hotels in Kingston in particular, will definitely benefit.”  

 

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