JAAA confident of hosting 2022 Carifta GamesSunday, October 17, 2021
PAUL A REID
The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is confident of getting approval to host the 2022 Carifta Games set for April, the Sunday Observer has been told by reliable sources.
Jamaica was asked at short notice by the Carifta Congress to take over hosting duties after Guyana, the original hosts, informed the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Athletics Association they would not be able to carry out their responsibilities.
When contacted yesterday, president of JAAA Garth Gayle declined to comment on whether there was a meeting between NACAC, the Jamaican track and field federation, and the Government, saying only that there would be an announcement after a decision is made.
Sunday Observer sources said Mike Sands, the president of NACAC, was due to arrive in the island last week to discuss the championships, rated as one of the best in the world.
This newspaper has learnt that both the JAAA and the Government were eager to host the event but there were “ends still to be tied up”, especially as it would be held under COVID-19 protocols.
Gayle had recently confirmed that the JAAA executive had accepted the offer to host the meet for the first time since 2011, when it was held at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, and was awaiting approval from the Government.
“The JAAA executive has met, and we have fully discussed the matter and has given its blessing for us to take on the mandate offered by NACAC to host the Games,” Gayle said about two weeks ago.
“We are now awaiting the Government's approval, and we are working assiduously with the Government and the government entities to make Carifta Games 2022 a reality in Jamaica.”
It is the second time that Jamaica has been asked at short notice to host one of the world's premier junior track and field championships, as the Montego Bay Sports Complex hosted the 2011 staging after the original hosts withdrew.
The Games were scheduled to Guyana next year after being cancelled for the last two years.
Bermuda was well set to host the 2020 staging but it was called off after the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic and, despite the dates being moved twice in 2021, it was called off a second time as some of the country's COVID-19 protocols could not be accommodated.
The Bermudian Government had mandated that everyone coming into the country had to be vaccinated and, at the time, vaccines were not approved for children under the age of 17 years and, as such, the decision was again taken to pull the plug.
Jamaica has hosted the event six times, five times in Kingston – 1974, 1979, 1988, 1990, 1996 and in Montego Bay in 2011.
The championships, which were started by Barbadian sports administrator Austin Sealy, had its first staging in 1972 and Jamaica has topped the medals tables on 43 of the 48 times it has been held. Jamaica has topped the tables the last 35 stagings.