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BNAA hosts another track event to ‛get cobwebs out’

Still optimistic: Donna Raynor, the president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association and chairwoman of the 2021 Carifta Games, has endured a lot of chops and changes in the past year (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Bermuda National Athletics Association will stage another track meet this afternoon at the National Sports Centre, with competition rather than meeting Carifta standards the main objective ahead of the rescheduled Games in July.

“It’s just about getting the cobwebs out,” said Donna Raynor, the BNAA president, after a challenging year for athletics and other sport.

Last year’s Carifta Games were postponed because of Covid-19 and put back to this year, with Bermuda remaining as the host country.

Recently, the Games were rescheduled from April 2 to 5 to July 2 to 4, a move that gives the local organising committee, chaired by Raynor, more time to prepare for the popular event, which will be held in Bermuda for a fifth time.

Raynor admits Carifta will undergo cosmetic change, depending on where the Bermuda and the region are with regard to the global pandemic.

“More than likely Carifta will look different than it has ever looked before, but we’re cautiously optimistic it will happen,” she said. “Of course, things change.

“We have the support of NACAC [North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association], who are assisting us. This is not Bermuda’s event, but NACAC’s event — we’re just hosting it in Bermuda.”

Athletics meets are limited to the number of athletes and no spectators. Today’s events will include the 100 metres, 400 metres and 1,500 metres, along with the shot putt and javelin throw.

“It’s just to see where the athletes are,” Raynor explained. “It’s early days and since we’ve got until July, we don’t need them to be peaking this early anyway.

“It’s just about them getting back into some sort of competition. Each week we don’t have all the events, we have to keep the numbers down so we only have a few events per week.

“We’ll look at starting the jumps — high jump, long jump and triple jump — at the next meet or the meet after that.”

Raynor says the BNAA is adhering to whatever restrictions are put in place by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport. “Fortunately we’re not a contact sport, but we do take the temperatures of the athletes when they arrive, and they have to keep their masks on unless they are competing,” she said. “All the officials have to keep their masks on also.”

The BNAA is keeping close tabs on the Covid developments while trying to prepare for the Games in four months’ time.

“The minister of sport and the PS [permanent secretary] have asked us for a protocol document, which we have to send to the other islands as well,” Raynor explained.

“We have to put in the Covid restrictions and how the events will be run. We’re trying to get that document sorted out so we can send it to the minister and PS and get them to review it as well as the health minister and the Minister of National Security.

“We then have to send it to the Caribbean because they need to know what are the protocols of arriving on the island. This is going to be a document that may be ever-changing based on what’s happening, but we have to start somewhere.”

She added: “I’ve even been asked to speak for Barbados, just to give them an update on what the protocols are going to look like so they can start preparing as well. I live on Zoom and MS Teams these days … my husband and my son call me the meeting lady!”

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Published March 06, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 05, 2021 at 7:45 pm)

BNAA hosts another track event to ‛get cobwebs out’

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