CARIFTA organisers get thumbs up
CATHERINE HALL, St James — Despite the lateness in awarding the championships to Montego Bay and the inherent problems that went along with that, CARIFTA 2011 was a success, according to top technical delegate Barbadian Esther Maynard.
The well-respected track and field official gave the recent staging of the event in Montego Bay an "eight-and-half out of 10" grade, and added another point for the short timeframe in which the organisers had to get everything in place.
Montego Bay was named as the venue of the 40th staging of the Lime sponsored event after a number of countries had turned down the chance to host it.
St Kitts, who was to host it this year, had given up the rights and several other countries who were named to possibly take up the offer, also declined. Jamaica was then named in late February to pick up the baton.
On the final day of the event, Maynard told the Observer that despite several hiccups on the first day, the organisers were able to produce a first-class event.
"We faced some challenges due to the late start of the preparations, but the organisers pulled things together... given the timeframe they had to go with, the basic things that had to be put in place and work on finetuning them, the competition has been good," Maynard added.
Given the short time for preparation, she said some things had to be given priority and that resulted in some problems on the first day. "The first day had its fair share of problems; some kinks behind the scenes but none of it affected the competition as the athletes were very comfortable with their food, accommodation and transport and the organisation of the Games," she said.
There were a lot of things going on out of sight of the spectators and the athletes to ensure the smooth running of the event. "Obviously behind the scenes we had to be doing some serious pulling together of minor things that could not be allowed to go through to the front, so all things being equal, I think an excellent job has been done," Maynard told the Observer.
One of the headaches, she said, was getting all the equipment in place. "We all had to double up and push hard... but better could not be done in the situation and we all did the best we could."
Taking the championships to Montego Bay was a good idea, Maynard said. "The facility is nice and it has a lot of working room," she noted.