Cash boost for Carifta squad
The Bermuda National Athletics Association has announced a team of 18 athletes to compete at the Carifta Games in Cayman Islands next month.
The BNAA selected the team on Wednesday, naming 11 under-17 division athletes and seven in the under-20 division.
Most of the participants will compete in running events, from the 100 to 5,000 metres where Ryan Outerbridge and Johndell Cumberbatch will compete in the under-20s.
Isabelle Dutranoit, the only under-20 female, will compete in the 1,500 and 3,000 race
Bermuda will also compete in 4x100 and 4x400 metres relay races, as well as long jump and high jump.
“These Games have produced, over several decades, many world record holders,” “said BNAA president Donna Raynor, referring to Usain Bolt, of Jamaica, who competed in Bermuda in 2004, and Keshorn Walcott, of Trinidad and Tobago, who stunned the world at the London Olympics in 2012 by winning the gold medal in the javelin after claiming the Carifta Games gold medal in Bermuda in 2012.
“Bermuda has its own champions who participated in Carifta, such as Debbie Jones, Candy Ford, Brian Wellman, Clarance “Nicky” Saunders, Sonya Smith, who still holds the record in javelin, and Raneika Bean, who still holds the record in the 100 metres which was set in 1998.
“I am pleased to say that Bermuda is the only country to have beaten Jamaica in the medals table, in 1975, and I was a part of that team. Also, through the Carifta Games, many of our athletes have received athletic scholarships and continue to do so yearly.”
The BNAA also announced yesterday that Aecon have come on board to sponsor the team to the tune of $40,000, which will assist them with travel and accommodation expenses.
“This is a great and historic moment for the BNAA to be receiving sponsorship from Aecon to assist in the cost of sending our team of 18 athletes and five officials to these Games, which will be held from April 20 to 22,” Raynor added.
“I have no doubt that our athletes are very appreciative of this financial boost and this will make them compete even harder and stronger.
“Again, we say a huge thank you to Aecon for believing in our young athletes and our programme by awarding this sponsorship for the 2019 Carifta Bermuda team. We look forward to the relationship continuing in the years to come.”
Steve Nackan, president of Aecon Concessions and chairman of Skyport, said his company is pleased to give back to the community in such an important way.
“I'm delighted and honoured to be here today to announce our sponsorship of the team that will represent Bermuda at the Carifta Games,” Nackan said.
“Aecon, and by extension Skyport, have developed a robust social investment platform to complement the investments we're making in delivering Bermuda's state-of-the-art new airport terminal, scheduled to open next year. In other words to ensure that we're not only investing in infrastructure but also in the community.
“Our programme is focused on the development, education and overall betterment of Bermuda's young people, including investment in schools and the performing arts, as well as through sports.
“We're really thrilled to support this wonderful and important initiative and we'll be rooting for Team Bermuda every step of the way.”
Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, who will also be attending the Games, praised Aecon for coming on board to assist the Carifta team.
“The Bermuda Government is always pleased when we have entities that stand behind and support our young athletes, indeed they are Bermuda's future and Bermuda's ambassadors,” she said. “I know that this support that has been given to the Bermuda National Athletics Association will go a long way in helping them to perform at the levels that we all know they are capable of.
“We do expect our athletes to come back with medals. After all they are sporting the blue and pink and they are winning colours!”