The off-again, on-again Carifta Games are officially off

THE news that young athletes around the Caribbean, and in particular in Bermuda, have dreaded was confirmed by governing body the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC). 

Image of NACAC General Secretary, Keith Joseph (SL)
NACAC General Secretary, Keith Joseph (SL)

Keith Joseph, the organization’s general secretary said in a statement:

“Following on from the information session with the Carifta family held on Saturday 17th April, subsequent e-mails and other communication with the leadership of the member federations of Bermuda (BNAA), the Local Organizing Committee of Carifta 2021, the Bermuda Government and the NACAC Council, NACAC officially regrets to inform you that the Carifta Games for 2021 is cancelled.

“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.

“The Bermuda authorities have made it clear that the 14-day mandatory quarantine for unvaccinated athletes is non-negotiable. While Bermuda allows athletes from 16 years to be vaccinated, the majority of our Carifta family members are in countries where the authorities only allow vaccinations for persons 18 years and older.

“We cannot host the event without the under-17s, who, from our vantage point, are as integral to the event as the under-20s. We are not agreed to having an edition of the Carifta Games that does not engage the traditional categories and which disenfranchise a significant number of athletes.

“NACAC, while understanding the changing circumstances an attendant protocol in Bermuda, necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic is also cognizant that accommodation agreements made thus far have been well below the required number of rooms for the traditional Carifta Games, and that is unlikely to change. This suggests that for much of the planning since the postponement from the traditional Easter weekend accommodation has been a problem for the LOC.

Finally, we are also aware that the Government is not prepared to facilitate any additional funding to the Local Organizing Committee at this stage for the realization of the Games. This therefore leaves individual member federations and NACAC in a very precarious position relative to the Carifta Games 2021 being of an order consistent with its long history.

’NACAC apologises to the membership for the cancellation of this year’s edition of the Carifta Games.’

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