The 37th Carifta Swimming Championships has come and gone, but the experience of representing one's country on one of the biggest stages in the region has left an indelible mark on the younger participants, in particular, to the point where they continue to revel in their accomplishments.

Jamaica's Kia Alert and Noland Barrett are two such swimmers, who though not new to national representation, basked in the fact that they rose to the occasion and displayed their immense potential with standout performances that assisted the country to its 45-medal tally, including 18 gold, 12 silver and 15 bronze.

The 27-member Jamaican team also placed fourth on the points standing with combined total of 559 points, behind host The Bahamas (1,096.50 points), who secured an unprecedented sixth-straight Carifta Swimming Championship victory. Cayman Islands (660 points), Trinidad and Tobago (639 points), and Barbados (486.50 points) were the other top five teams.

Alert, who competed in the girls’ 11-12 division, relished her second outing at the championship, as she earned most points for Jamaica. She copped gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, the 50m and 100m freestyle, as well as in the 50m butterfly, and those were complemented by silver in the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley (IM).

“I really felt like I was prepared enough to do really well, and I was excited just to put the hours of hard work on display, so I was really happy and proud hearing the National anthem after I won, knowing that all the hard work paid off,” Alert said.

“I also felt good about my other performances because I know I tried my hardest even on the third day when I had the 200m IM, 100m breast and 50m free, I tried my hardest and succeeded so I am really grateful that I came out healthy,” she added.

While delighted with her personal haul, Alert praised her teammates, Christanya Shirley and others, who in a consistent show of spirit and talent, also contributed significantly to Jamaica’s medal haul. That togetherness and pride she said is what swimmers count on to keep going, especially when things don’t go as expected in the pool.

“Team Jamaica’s performances deserve tremendous commendation. After a slow start, each member of the team gave their best and everyone contributed to our total points tally. For each day of the competitions there were several personal best performances seen, so even if swimmers did not medal, they did well enough to achieve PBs and that’s enough to be proud of,” Alert reasoned.

Meanwhile, the overseas-based Barrett, who had a credible outing at CCCAN last year, was making his debut at the Carifta Swimming Championships and contested finals in most of his events in the boys’ 13-14 category. He won gold in the 100m, 200m and the 400m freestyle events.

“Going into the Carifta Games I was excited to not only see my teammates I haven't seen in a while, but more importantly, to perform very well. I had a lot of fun being there and also dropping a lot of times and securing personal best, and while hearing the national anthem, I was proud that I was representing my country,” Barrett shared.

“So, I was really satisfied with my performances, I am more excited about the 400m free where I ended up dropping 11 seconds and I was really proud of how much I was able to accomplish on my first year and knowing that I have next year to do even better,” he noted.

Barrett contested the 13-14 age group alongside, Matthew Kennedy, Kai Radcliffe and others, who also produced credible performances.

Kennedy mined bronze in the 100m and 200m freestyle to go with his other top eight finishes, while Radcliffe, known for his breaststroke prowess, secured gold in the 50m and 100m breaststroke, and silver in the 200m breaststroke.

Radcliffe also flirted with the 50m breaststroke national age group record of 30.94s held by Kito Campbell, with his 30.98s-clocking.

Like Alert, Barrett, 14, pointed out that the team spirit was based on pride, passion and performance.

“I am proud of the team's performance, and I believe every athlete should be celebrated for their effort. All the coaches who prepared the swimmers for qualification and the championship should be proud of how they performed. We all stood strong, performed strong and gave out best to achieve what we did for Jamaica,” Barrett ended.

While celebrating their fairly successful outing at the recently concluded Carifta Swimming Championships, Barbados Head coach Dave Farmer believes there is still much more to be done to improve their aquatic prowess.

Farmer, who admitted that the 23-member team which travelled to the Bahamas was undersized, lauded their efforts, as they bagged 37 medals, inclusive of 15 gold, 15 silver and seven bronze. Though their tally was two medals better than it was last year, they finished one spot lower in fifth position behind powerhouses The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

“I thought we did a very good job. The team really performed well. We exceeded our medal count from previous years, we had 37 medals in total which is a good achievement for us, so the team performed very well, and everyone gave of their best,” Farmer told journalists moments after the team arrived home on Thursday.

“They did quite well last year, they just had two more medals this year, but the team has been working hard. Some of our swimmers have been training for this event since September, October last year. Obviously, they had competitions in between but their main goal was to perform well at Carifta.

“This means we could have a bright future but obviously it means a lot of our age group swimmers need to step up to the plate because there is a lot of work that needs to be done. We had a 23-member squad, but a full team is in excess of 36, so we are still lacking in some categories, and we need to get those gaps filled,” he added.

Barbados was led by the impressive Heidi Stoute, who broke four CARIFTA records in the girls’ 13-14 division on her way to amassing six individual gold medals, along with three relay golds and one silver. Her performance earned her the Federation international de natation (FINA) High Point Award.

Stoute said she was pleased with her accomplishments at the Championships.

“I’m very happy with my performance to bring home these medals for Barbados, not just for myself. I would like to thank everybody who is involved in getting us there…I really do appreciate it and I’m sure the whole team does. We did very well and I’m very happy with what we brought home. The competition was good, it definitely pushed me, but it was fun, and I definitely enjoyed it," Stoute shared.

The outstanding swimmer's next assignment will be the CCCAN, scheduled for June in Mexico.

 

In the heart of Nassau, at the Betty Kelly-Henning Swim Complex, history was etched into the aquamarine waters as the Bahamas achieved a feat unparalleled in the annals of CARIFTA Swimming Championships. With resounding cheers echoing through the stands, the Bahamian swimmers surged to victory, clinching their sixth consecutive title..

The stage was set for a showdown of aquatic prowess, with 25 nations from across the Caribbean vying for supremacy. Yet, from the outset, it was clear that the Bahamian team was on a mission — a mission to etch their names into the record books once more.

Led by the indomitable spirit of Head Coach Travano McPhee, the Bahamian contingent unleashed their full potential. With each stroke, each turn, they surged ahead, leaving their competitors trailing in their wake.

Day after day, the Bahamas increased its lead, leaving no doubt in anyone's mind of their dominance in the pool. From the precision of their starts to the power of their finishes, every swimmer embodied the essence of excellence, pushing themselves to their limits and beyond.

As the final day of competition dawned, the tension was palpable. Yet, amidst the nerves, there was an air of confidence among the Bahamian swimmers. They knew that this was their moment, their chance to make history once more.

And make history they did.

With a final surge of speed and determination, the Bahamas clinched their sixth consecutive CARIFTA Aquatics Championship title, sending shockwaves of celebration throughout the nation. Tears of joy mingled with the waters of the pool as the triumphant swimmers embraced, their hearts filled with pride for what they had accomplished.

In the medal standings, the Bahamas reigned supreme, topping the table with 34 gold, 39 silver, and 28 bronze for a total of 101 medals. Trinidad & Tobago followed with 24 gold, 15 silver, and 17 bronze for 56 total medals, securing second place. The Cayman Islands claimed the third spot with 18 gold, 13 silver, and 19 bronze, accumulating 50 total medals. Jamaica, with 18 gold, 12 silver, and 15 bronze, earned a total of 45 medals, securing the fourth position. Barbados rounded out the top five teams with 15 gold, 15 silver, and 7 bronze, totaling 47 medals.

Speaking to the Nassau Guardian in the aftermath of their historic win, Coach McPhee expressed his gratitude to his team and the Bahamian people. "This is our house, and we were able to hold it down," he declared, his voice ringing with emotion. "I'm proud to be a part of this team, and I'm very proud of everyone who contributed to this sixth straight win. We're not done yet... next year, we're going for seven straight."

And with that vow hanging in the air, the Bahamian swimmers basked in the glory of their triumph, knowing that they had not only made history but had also etched their names into the hearts of a nation. For in the waters of the Betty Kelly-Henning Swim Complex, the spirit of the Bahamas soared to new heights, a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the unbreakable bond of a team united in pursuit of greatness.

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago's Jaenae De Gannes was named winner of the prestigious Austin Sealey Award after three days of pulsating competition at the 51st edition of the Carifta Games at the Kirani James Athletics in Grenda.

The 17-year-old smashed the girls’ Under-20 long jump record during the morning session of Monday’s final day, and later returned to anchor the twin island republic to a silver medal in the girls’ Under-20 4x400m relay.

Named in honour of Sir Austin Sealy, who started the Carifta Games in 1972, the award is given to the most outstanding athlete of the three-day spectacle.

While there were a number of breathtaking performances, De Gannes topped the pile when she measured 6.50 metres to win gold and establish a new record in the girls’ Under-20 long jump. The effort erased the old mark of 6.48 metres – ironically set in Grenada eight years ago – and positioned her third in the world in the Under-20 category.

She returned later in the evening to partner with Kaori Robley, Saana Frederick and Kaziah Peters to finish second in the girls’ Under-20 4X400m in 3:47.51. The event was won by Jamaica in 3:34.69, with Barbados (3:48.21) in third.

By virtue of winning the Austin Sealy Award, De Gannes joins a long list of outstanding athletes to have won the award, including Usain Bolt, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Yohan Blake, and Kirani James.

Jehue Gordon and Darrel Brown are among the Trinidad and Tobago athletes to have won the award previously.

Meanwhile, Jamaica topped the medal standings with 83 medals comprising 44 gold, 23 silver and 16 bronze, while the Bahamas ended with 34 – nine gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze. Trinidad and Tobago picked up four gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze to finish the championship with 28 medals overall.

Hosts Grenada were the only other team in double digits with 14 medals, logging one gold, six silver and seven bronze.

 

Jamaica asserted its dominance on the track as the curtains closed on the 51st Carifta Games at the Kirani James Athletics Stadium in Grenada, clinching victory in all four 4x400m relays on Monday. With commanding performances reminiscent of their sprint hurdles dominance earlier in the final session, the Jamaican teams showcased their class, bringing the Games to a thrilling conclusion.

However, the final race of the night, the Under 20 Boys 4x400m relay, was not without its share of drama. As Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and Grenada set off in the race, they halted unexpectedly, anticipating a recall that never came. They were allowed to re-run for time during which Trinidad and Tobago ultimately emerged victorious, with the Bahamas crossing the line second.

However, neither team were able to eclipse Jamaica's winning time of 3:10.58 from the original race. Trinidad were eventually awarded silver having run a time of 3:11.10. Guyana was third in a time of 3:14.05. Bahamas were disqualified.

In the Under 17 Girls 4x400m relay, Jamaica's team, led by Britannia Bailey, Nastassia Fletcher, Kevongaye Fowler, and Tresha Lee Sutherland, surged to victory in 3:41.84. The Bahamas secured silver in a time of 3:47.13 while Trinidad and Tobago claimed bronze in 3:54.49.

Similarly, in the Under 20 Girls 4x400m relay, Jamaica's formidable quartet of Abigail Campbell, Shanique Williams, Kitania Headley, and Shanoya Douglas clocked a time of 3:34.69, securing another gold medal for the nation. Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas clinched silver and bronze, in times of 3:47.51 and 3:49.82, respectively.

Jamaica’s U17 Boys executed flawlessly to win in dominant fashion in a time of 3:18.43. Trinidad and Tobago won the silver running 3:21.24 with the bronze medal going to Grenada who ran 3:21.92.

With an impressive medal haul of 45 gold, 23 silver, and 16 bronze medals, Jamaica emerged as the overall victor of the Carifta Games.

The Bahamas finished second overall with 35 medals; nine gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze medals with Trinidad and Tobago third with 27 medals, four gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals.

Guyana won eight medals; four gold, three silver and a bronze medal while Guadeloupe finished fifth with five medals, two gold, a silver and two bronze medals. Hosts Grenada had an outstanding Carifta Games winning one gold, six silver and six bronze medals which placed them seventh in the standings.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Janae De Gannes won the prestigious Austin Sealy Award for her record-breaking jump of 6.50m in the U20 Girls Long Jump.

 

 

 

The Bahamas had an excellent start to Monday's day three of the 51st Carifta Games at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada thanks to a dominant showing in the Under-17 Girls javelin throw.

Dior-Rae Scott, who won gold in Kingston in 2022 and silver last year in Nassau, returned to the top of the podium with an excellent new personal best and Carifta record 52.53m with her third-round effort.

Her teammate, Kamera Strachan, had a best throw of 47.61m for silver while Jamaica’s Zoelle Jamel was third with 45.00m.

The Girls Under-20 high jump also saw a quinella, with Jamaica enjoying their own 1-2 finish this time around.

Rasheda Samuels secured gold with a third-time clearance of 1.78m while her teammate Dejanea Bruce took silver with a best clearance of 1.76m.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Keneisha Shelbourne was third with 1.70m.

In the Under-20 Girls long jump, Trinidad & Tobago’s reigning NACAC U-18 champion Janae De Gannes produced one of the performances of the meet with a massive personal best 6.50m to win gold.

De Gannes only produced two legal jumps throughout her series, 6.50m in the first round and 6.40m in the second round.

Her mark also broke the Carifta U-20 record of 6.48m done in 2016 by Guadeloupe’s Yanis David.

Jamaica’s Rohanna Sudlow was second with 6.30m while Bahamian Lanaisha Lubin was third with 5.90m.

Brenden Vanderpool of Bahamas and Guadeloupe’s Jackie Henrianne Hyman were in record-breaking form in the boys’ pole vault open and girls’ Under-20 discus finals respectively, as they topped the field event performers on the evening session of the 51st Carifta Games at Kirani James Athletics Stadium in Grenada on Saturday.

Vanderpool, who was always favoured to retain the title, needed only three jumps to confirm his championship status, as he entered the competition at 4.70m and later cleared 5.10m and the record height of 5.30m –all on his first attempts.

He attempted to go higher at 5.49m but failed. Tyler Cash (4.45m) also of Bahamas was second, with Martinique’s Lucas Ledoux (4.10m) in third.

Meanwhile, Hyman became the first Under-20 girl to go over 55.00 metres in the history of the Games, as she had a winning heave of 55.06m, which bettered the previous record of 54.19m set by Jamaica’s Fiona Richards in 2017.

In fact, Hyman had earlier erased the previous record with her third throw of 54.24m, but she went further on the following attempt to stamp her class on the field. Jamaica’s Dionjah Shaw (50.26m) and Najhada Seymoure (48.82m), were second and third respectively.

Elsewhere in the field, Jamaica’s Shaiquan Dunn and Chad Hendricks produced a one-two finish in the boys’ Under-20 discus final to add to the country’s tally.

The Jamaicans were positioned first and second from the very first throw, with Hendricks leading up to the fifth attempt, which is where Dunn took over the gold medal position.

Dunn’s winning heave of 61.47m came on his sixth and final attempt, but prior to that, he had a 59.66m, which would have also secured the top spot.

Hendricks for his part, had his best throw of 58.73m on the fifth attempt, as he fouled on his final throw, while the bronze went to Antwon Walkin (52.77m) of Turks and Caicos Island.

Another Jamaican duo Richelle Stanley and Dejanae Bruce finished first and third in the girls’ Under-20 triple jump final. Stanley, who missed out on the gold medal at the recently-concluded ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championship, viewed this Carifta Games as a shot at redemption and she duly capitalised.

The St Elizabeth Technical standout achieved the winning leap of 12.58m from her very first jump and was never to be denied from there. Trinidad and Tobago’s Keneisha Shelbourne was second at 12.49m, with Bruce’s 12.20m on her third attempt, good enough for bronze.

The Carifta Games can be seen live on SportsMax and the SportsMax App.

Jamaica’s Jamelia Young copped the country’s second medal of the 51st edition of the Carifta Games, as she topped rivals in the girls’ Under-17 shot put final at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada on Saturday.

Young, who is more known for her discus prowess, achieved a winning heave of 14.25m on her fourth attempt, which represents a significant improvement on the 13.33m she threw when winning at the trials.

The 16-year-old Clarendon College standout won ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Peyton Winter (14.21m) and Terrell McCoy (14.11m) of the Bahamas.

Jamaica heads the medal standing with two gold medals so far, as Zavien Bernard also topped the girls’ Under-17 high jump final.

Antigua and Barbuda have one gold courtesy of Maleik Francis’s record-breaking win in the boys’ Under-17 javelin throw, while Trinidad and Tobago (one silver and one bronze), Bahamas (one silver and one bronze), St Kitts and Nevis (one silver) and Grenada (one bronze), also secured medals in the opening session.

The evening session is scheduled to begin with the Opening Ceremony at 1:30pm Jamaica time.

The Carifta Games are being broadcast live on SportsMax and the SportsMax App.

While it was not her most fluent series of jumps, Zavien Bernard held her composure well enough to cop Jamaica’s first gold medal of the 51st Carifta Games, as she topped the Under-17 girls’ high jump at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada on Saturday.

Bernard, who entered the Games in superb form after clearing 1.83m to win gold at the recently-concluded ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, couldn’t replicate that clearance, but did enough to finish tops in the end.

After failing first time at 1.55m, the 15-year-old Bernard got into rhythm and had first time clearance at 1.60m, 1.65m, 1.68m, with the winning leap coming first time at 1.71m. She later failed in her attempt at 1.74m.

“I am extremely happy because this is my first time representing the national team. It’s a bit disappointing that I didn’t go higher, but I had to pull myself together because I knew my team needed this. The other competitors pushed me a little, but I am used to this, and I actually expected myself to win this event,” Bernard, who attends Hydel High said after the victory.

The Jamaican faced stiffed competition from silver medallist Alexandria Komolafe (1.71m), who cleared all the heights on her first attempt and seemed well on her way to victory, before she clipped the bar first time at 1.71m, which opened the door for Bernard to snatch victory.

Tenique Vincent of Trinidad and Tobago was third with a clearance at 1.68m.

The Carifta Games are being broadcast live on SportsMax and the SportsMax App.

After missing out on their Copa America dream, Trinidad and Tobago’s Shannon Gomez is hoping they will have better fortunes in bringing their 2026 FIFA World Cup vision to fruition. However, he quickly pointed out that it will require players maintaining their work rate and never-say-die attitude to make it possible.

Gomez’s views came as he reflected on the tremendous work rate and commitment the Soca Warriors displayed throughout the 2023/24 Concacaf Nations League A campaign, which recently ended in a 0-2 play-in defeat to Canada in Frisco, Texas.

Though that loss denied them a coveted spot in the prestigious CONMEBOL Copa America tournament, Gomez, a defender, took heart from the overall Nations League outing and views it as a solid platform on which they can build heading into the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers in June.

“We need to stay focused on what’s next for T&T football. (We have to) think about the things we (dreamt) of as kids, and being able to qualify for a World Cup will be a massive achievement. There are no words to describe what that will mean for T&T and what it will mean for us as well,” Gomez said in a video interview with Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) media.

“Nobody goes out onto the field thinking that they are not going to win the game. We went to win the game and we had the opportunity to win the game. But overall, it’s about reflecting and taking the positives out of the game to push forward and continue producing great results for T&T,” he added as he reflected on the Canada defeat.

The Angus Eve-coached Soca Warriors are drawn in Group B for the second round of World Cup qualifiers, alongside Bahamas, Costa Rica, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis. The top two teams in the group will advance to the final round where 12 teams will be split into three groups of four.

The teams will play six matches on a home-and-away basis, with the three group winners gaining automatic qualification for the 2026 World Cup to be co-hosted by Concacaf powerhouses Canada, Mexico and United States. The two best second-placed teams will then advance to an intercontinental playoff to fight for two World Cup spots.

Qualification would be the twin island republic’s second appearance at the global showpiece and Gomez is optimistic that the Soca Warriors will continue to improve both technically and tactically to accomplish the feat.

“For me personally, it’s about strengthening our strengths and working on our weaknesses to strengthen them as well,” the 27-year-old San Antonio FC player said.

“I think just focusing on that and keeping that as the focal point of the camp and from the top come down with TTFA and the continued support from the T&T fans. That will be the best thing moving forward and to be able to pick up some massive results coming up in the World Cup qualifiers,” he ended.

 

Jamaican athletes Wayne Pinnock and Romaine Beckford, alongside Bahamian Terrence Jones, made their mark on the March 21 Bowerman Watch List, showcasing their exceptional talent on the collegiate track and field stage.

Pinnock, a Kingston native, concluded an impressive indoor season by remaining undefeated in the long jump. Representing the University of Arkansas, he clinched victory at the NCAA Championships with a remarkable leap of 8.40m, equaling the Jamaican national record set by former teammate Carey McLeod. Pinnock's performance not only secured him the NCAA title but also positioned him at No. 5 on the all-time collegiate chart, tying with McLeod.

Meanwhile, Romaine Beckford, hailing from Portland, Jamaica, demonstrated his prowess in the high jump. Competing for the University of Arkansas, Beckford enjoyed an undefeated indoor season and successfully defended his indoor high jump title. He cleared a height of 2.27m to secure victory at the NCAA Championships in Boston, matching his personal record set earlier in the season.

Bahamian sprinter Terrence Jones, representing Texas Tech University, showcased his speed and versatility on the track. Jones emerged as a double sprint champion at the NCAA Championships in Boston, clinching victory in both the 60m and 200m events. His impressive performances included a winning time of 20.23 seconds in the 200m, just shy of his personal record of 20.21 seconds set at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.

The next Bowerman Watch List will be released on April 11, providing further insight into the standout performers in collegiate track and field.

The Bahamas Athletic Associations named a 76-member team for this year's 51st edition of the Carifta Games, scheduled for March 30 to April 1, in Grenada.

Headlining the team are Kamera Strachan and Brenden Vanderpool, both of whom will be aiming to defend their javelin and pole vault titles respectively. The team was selected following three days of fierce competition at the trials at the Thomas A. Robinson track and field stadium last week.

Caudell McNabb will serve as head coach to the team, with James Rolle, Laquel Harrris, Alexis Roberts, Branson Rolle and Kenny Moxey, his assistants at the Easter weekend showpiece.

The under-17 girls are Alexis Roberts (200m, 400m), Keyezra Thomas (200m, 400m, high jump), Jade Knowles (800m, 1500m), Madison Moss (100m hurdles), Darvinique Dean (100m hurdles, 400m hurdles), Jasmine Thompson (400m hurdles), J’Kaiyah Rolle (long Jump), Zoé Adderley (triple Jump), Alexandria Komolafe (high jump), Terrell McCoy (discus, shot putt), Dior-Rae Scott (javelin), Kamera Strachan (javelin), Khylee Wallace (relay pool), Kianna Henchell (relay pool) and Rizpah Thompson (relay pool).

The under-17 boys are Ishmael Rolle (100m, 200m), Everette Fraser (100m, 200m), Eagan Neely (400m — pending fitness), Jayden Moss (800m), Jahcario Wilson (110m hurdles, 400m hurdles), Tieano Ferguson (400m hurdles), Terrin Beckles (long jump), Devon Davis (triple jump), Carlin Archer (triple jump), Joshua Williams (long jump, high jump), Claudius Burrows (high jump), Perry McPhee (discus), Jaylen Stuart (shot putt), Wyatt Cartwright (javelin), Ethan North (javelin), Kion Burrows (relay pool), Shavano Nixon (relay pool), Branden Mackey (relay pool) and Lamorn Moxey (relay pool).

The under-20 girls consists of Shayann Demeritte (100m), Shatalya Dorsett (100m), Nya Wright (200m), Nia Richards (200m, 100m hurdles), Jasmine Mackey (800m), Erin Barr (1500m), Akaree Roberts (800m, 1500m), Koi Adderley (long jump, high jump), Kaielle Gray (high jump), Bayli Major (triple jump), Lanaisha Lubin (long jump, triple jump), Annae Mackey (discus, shot putt), Cailyn Johnson (discus, shot putt), Taysha Stubbs (javelin), Vanessa Sawyer (javelin), Anaiah Rolle (pole vault), Jade Ferguson (pole vault), Aaliyah Evans (heptathlon), Tamia Taylor (relay pool) and Shania Adderley (relay pool).

The under-20 boys will be represented by Carlos Brown (100m), Jeremiah Adderley (100m), Zion Shepherd (400m), Tahj Brown (110m hurdles), Robert Stuart (110m hurdles), Morgan Moss (400m hurdles), Berkeley Munnings (400m hurdles), Rollie Hanna (triple jump), William McKinney (triple jump), Shamar Davis (high jump), Bernard Kemp (high jump), Robert Deal III (discus), Kaden Cartwright (javelin), Brenden Vanderpool (pole vault), Tyler Cash (pole vault), Kenny Moxey Jr. (octathlon), Marco Carey (octathlon), Jonathan Harris (relay pool), Nijae McBride (relay pool), Zion Miller (relay pool), Javano Bridgewater (relay pool) and Aiden Kelly (relay pool).

NB: The Carifta Games will be live on SportsMax and the SportsMax App. 

Raising an elite athlete is a financial challenge. That is something Jamaica’s swim parents know more than most, as they are stuck with the age-old burden of footing the cost to have their children represent the country.

Aside from occasional assistance from the ministry of sport and the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica’s (ASAJ), which covers a percentage of funding to some regional meets, or even when reimbursements are to come from World Aquatics, formerly FINA, for participation at some international meets, the task of covering travel expenses often leaves parents on edge to the point where they have to choose and refuse invitations to certain events.

The idea of not competing at certain events also takes a toll on the athletes, who at different levels of their respective careers, would be eager to rub shoulders with others from across the region or elsewhere around the world as part of their development.

In fact, while all swimmers at their respective levels are talented and focused, the hard truth is that it is those with the superior training and resources –hefty financial resources –who pull away from the pack.

It is with this in mind that Annelies Denny has reiterated the call for corporate Jamaica to partner with the ASAJ and parents to ensure that the country’s next Olympian doesn’t get left behind.

Denny, who will serve as Jamaica’s team manager to the Carifta Aquatics Championships, made the appeal as parents stare down a $400,000 budget to have their child participate at this year’s 37th edition of the event in The Bahamas from March 28 to April 7.

“We know swimming is not track and field as yet. We don't have that breakout star. Alia Atkinson has now retired and so I understand that corporate Jamaica may feel where is your Olympic medal or where is your world championship medal. I do understand that, but we would really welcome the opportunity to partner with you,” Denny said in a heartfelt plea.

“Some of these kids really have the potential to not just go to the Olympics or World Championship, but to actually do really well at the (age-group) level. But it's going to take a corporation to partner with us to make that happen. What you find is because they start competing at this young age group level, what happens is by the time the swimmers are physically matured and are ready to take it to that next level, the parents are kind of all tapped out because we bear the bulk of the cost,” she told SportsMax.TV.

While declaring that parents are happy to make the financial sacrifices in certain regards, it is during the build up to, and for participation at regional and international competitions that they require assistance to offset expenses.

Denny explained that partnering with the ASAJ also presents the opportunity for exposure to the company’s brand.

“Obviously, there's a lot of nutrition to think about, there's healthcare as well as your coaching fees. A technical suit which they have to race in, it can run up to US$500 or US$600, including the goggles, equipment, all of those things. So we bear those costs on a daily and ongoing basis. It is when it comes down to competitions where you're representing your country, you're looking for that partnership because these are age group swimmers,” Denny noted.

She continued: “So after a while it becomes a great burden, and you just can't do it anymore. And so, this is where we really need some partnerships because I think there's a lot of opportunity not just for the swimmers to do well, but also to, there's opportunity for branding and publicity that is unrivaled.

“When I think of the swimmers' deck T-shirts, those that they wear on the deck or the track suits, every time they're on the podium, you see the brand. It's a source of pride for them to wear the team T-shirt and bag and if a company’s brand is on those, it means their brand is being seen several times a week by hundreds of people all the time. So that’s one avenue and we're really ramping up our social media presence so there's a lot of opportunity there and I would just love for somebody to call and say they are on board.”

That said, Denny pointed out that the parent body under the guidance of the ASAJ’s sponsorship committee used initiatives, such as a bake sale to raise funds, which is a mere drop in the bucket when the overall figure of the team is taken into account.