Carifta Games handed Budget boost of $400,000
The Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation has seen its budget rise by five percent to help cover the costs of the hosting the upcoming Carifta Games.
The ministry received $12, 053,000 in yesterday’s Budget, an increase of $536,000 on last year’s $11,517,000.
It’s understood hosting the Games, which will be held on the Island between April 6 and 9, will set Bermuda back some $700,000.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference Glenn Blakeney, Minister of Youth, Families and Sport, said around $400,000 had been allocated to the Games to “ensure the Island put on a first class event.”
“We are committed the supporting the 40th Lime Carifta Games,” said Blakeney. “This will be the fourth time that we have hosted these prestigious youth games.
“We have the honour to welcome athletes from approximately 28 different countries here in Bermuda to compete against the best we have in Bermuda between the 6th and 9th of April.
“We’re very excited about that as it will give us an opportunity to showcase our beautiful Island to our neighbours to the south and compete at the highest level at the under-17 and under-20 categories at the National Sports Centre”
The Island’s two national sports, football and cricket, are still waiting to learn whether their annual grants have been cut.
Last year saw the Bermuda Cricket Board’s $1m grant slashed by $800,000 to just $200,000, while the Bermuda Football Association’s money was also cut, although by far less, with a drop of $250,000 leaving them with $750,000.
As for the other sports, sailing and swimming both received $25,000 the same amount as last year, while Elite Athlete Assistance saw their allocation of $100,000 remain in tact for another 12 months. More than 500 athletes from 26 Caribbean countries, including at least 50 from Bermuda, will compete in the annual Carifta Games to be held on the Island for the first time in seven years.
The competition has been running since 1972 and are considered by many as the top youth track and field competition in the world. When Bermuda last staged the event in 2004, current world record holder Usain Bolt, of Jamaica, became the first junior athlete to break 20 seconds in the 200 metres in a time of 19.3 seconds.
A total of 23 Bermuda athletes have now qualified for the Games.