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Founder’s faith

Justin Marville

Founder’s faith

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THE MAN who conceptualised CARIFTA can’t fathom the thought of its abandonment.
Barbados International Olympic Committee member Austin Sealy still believes that the region’s premier track and field junior meet will come off as scheduled this year even though a host country is yet to step forward.
Sealy expressed his faith in the games’ eventual execution during Saturday night’s National Sports Awards Ceremony, saying he was optimistic after a conversation he had with North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) president Neville “Teddy” McCook.
“A week ago he assured me that there would be an announcement around this time [and] he was pretty confident that the games will take place,” Sealy told NATIONSPORT.
“What I’ve said to Teddy is that nobody [would] like to see them discontinued for a year and I gave him the precedent that in Barbados in 1975 we actually had to postpone CARIFTA from the Easter weekend until about three weeks after.
“So that, too, is a possibility, but if the time is too tight they might make some sort of adjustment on the days in order to ensure that the event takes place.”
This follows weeks of speculation that the CARIFTA Games would have to be abandoned for the first time since its inception in 1972 after The Bahamas pulled out of hosting the meet at the last minute.
St Kitts were slated as the original hosts before they withdrew, while Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago have already stated they are not in a position to hold the junior event.
And although Sealy said he knew of no new developments, the seasoned athletics official reasoned it wasn’t likely that the region was going to allow CARIFTA to be forsaken, even if only for a year.
“We certainly should leave no stone unturned to keep the event on the programme,” he said.
“Athletes thrive on competition and you don’t want to be a one-eye king in a blind land.
“You want to know at least what is going on in the region and CARIFTA certainly builds the enthusiasm and the interest, gives the youngsters something to aspire to.”
Two weeks ago, an article carried on the trackalerts website stated that The Bahamas had withdrawn as hosts due to a lack of support from NACAC.
Ironically, McCook was the featured guest speaker during last year’s award ceremony at the Frank Collymore Hall.