FOLLOWING on the heels of the 2021 Carifta Swimming Championship cancellation last week in Barbados, comes more sad news for the region’s junior athletes.
The 49th edition of the Carifta Games, dubbed the ‘Caribbean Mini Olympics’ has been cancelled. The announcement was made by the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) General Secretary Vincentian, Keith Joseph on Monday, 10th May, 2021.
“The NACAC understands the impact that another cancellation of our premier annual junior competition will have on our young athletes. Unfortunately, we have carefully taken all factors into consideration and are left with no option but to cancel the Carifta Games 2021,” Joseph said.
President of the Saint Lucia Athletic Association (SLAA), Cornelius Breen is not pleased with the cancellation.
“We are disappointed about the turn of events which has led to the cancellation of the games for a second time,” he said.
Breen added, “For us it would be a matter of finance, as the Bermuda authorities are saying there is a mandatory two weeks quarantine period before competition and that this will be at our expense.”
“This decision didn’t come lightly and we were not surprised. In the final analysis, the better decision was made. When you look at the logistics involved it would be a huge task,” Breen said.
Regarding local athletes hoping to have been part of the games Breen admitted that their spirits will be dampened therefore administrators would have to do a lot to motivate them and keep them in the sport.
“It is a big blow for junior athletes not only in Saint Lucia but the region who were hoping to attend these games and be spotted by the various scouts who normally attend,” Breen said.
Following on the heels of a successful League meet held on Sunday 2nd May, after a 14 month hiatus, the SLAA has already sought approval from The CMOs Office to stage another meet, scheduled for Saturday 29th May at the George Odlum Stadium (GOS) in Vieux Fort.
With 71 days to go before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, to date no track and field athlete from Saint Lucia has attained qualification.
Saint Lucia last participated at the games in 2016 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, with the following athletes. Jahvid Best (athletes), Jeanelle Scheper (athletes), Levern Spencer (athletes), Jordan Augier (swimming) and Stephanie Devaux – Lovell (sailing).