Local Athletes To Compete After 14 Months In Limbo

LOCAL track and field athletes have something to smile about as the Saint Lucia Athletics Association (SLAA) has been granted permission by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George to host its first event in 14 months. 

The event will take place Sunday, 2 May, 2021at the George Odlum Stadium (GOS) at 10.30 a.m.

Image: Local Athletes To Compete After 14 Months In Limbo
Local Athletes To Compete After 14 Months In Limbo

The last event held by the SLAA was the National Junior track and field championship dubbed ‘Carifta Trials’ in March 2020.

The SLAA Public Relations Officer, Makeba Alcide said, “Sunday’s event is a scale down one and only athletes 16 years and over will compete in the following events. High Jump and Long Jump boys/ girls, 100 metres, 400 meters and 1500 metres boys / girls”.

The following clubs have indicated their willingness to participate: Morne Stars, Gros Islet Athletics, Elite, Speed Printing Survivors, Rockets, Night Riders, Pace Setters, Mercury, Road Busters, Mon Repos and Choiseul.

In terms of Carifta hopefuls participating: “We cannot say for sure since we haven’t had a meet in over a year, some clubs have only recently resumed face to face, one and one training, but the likes of Miguel Charlery and NebiaMontroupe represented Saint Lucia at the Carifta Games in 2019 and are both competing on Sunday.

According to Alcide, “Spectators will not be allowed at the GOS to view the meet as all protocols will be in place”.

Meanwhile, local track and field athletes likewise their counterparts from the region will be keeping a close eye on the latest development coming from the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC).

This year’s edition of the Carifta Games is scheduled for August 13th-15th, in Bermuda. The championship was not held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NACAC had chosen July 2nd, 2021 to July 4th, 2021 as the new dates, but was forced to postpone again because of the scheduling of Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) external exams. There are indications that the August dates are now under threat, as Bermuda is currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The Carifta 2021 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) was given until Friday, 30th April to report to the NACAC Council on the latest issues raised at the information session. The LOC is expected to meet with Bermuda Government officials before the month end deadline.

Following receipt of the Bermuda LOC report, the NACAC Council will make a decision and communicate it to member federations at the soonest.

Anthony De Beauville is The VOICE Publishing Company’s multi-award winning sports journalist. He works closely with a number of sports federations including the Department of Youth Development and Sports, the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee and other organizations.

He covers and contributes articles highlighting the areas of international, regional, national, community based clubs and schools sporting activities. There is never an off day as he stays busy... Read full bio...

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