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Stellar athletes confirmed for Bermuda’s first USATF Games

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The Bermuda Tourism Authority has announced a partnership with USA Track and Field, the Bermuda National Athletics Association and main sponsor Athene to bring the best track and field athletes from around the world to compete in the inaugural USATF Bermuda Games on April 9 at the Flora Duffy National Stadium (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

American track and field stars Sha’Carri Richardson, Athing Mu, Noah Lyles, Grant Holloway will be joined by Bermuda’s breakout competitors Jah-Nhai Perinchief and Caitlyn Bobb at the inaugural USATF Bermuda Games on April 9.

In a massive boost for Bermuda’s athletics and sports tourism programmes, the Bermuda Tourism Authority announced a partnership with USA Track and Field, the Bermuda National Athletics Association and main local sponsor Athene to bring some of the best names in the sport from around the world to compete at the Flora Duffy National Stadium.

Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake, the 2011 world 100 metres champion, is also expected to feature with several others to be confirmed over the coming days for the event, which will be broadcast live, in a two-hour special by NBC Sports and simulcast throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.

“Having recently announced an easing of Bermuda’s Covid-19 protocols effective March 7, BTA is pleased to welcome our first big event to the island” said Charles Jeffers II, the BTA chief executive.

“Hundreds of athletes and fans are expected to travel to Bermuda from around the world to participate in this world-class competition, in addition to millions of viewers from around the world who will tune in for the live two-hour international broadcast on NBC showcasing Bermuda as the world-class sports destination it is.”

American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson

USATF Bermuda Games will be a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold Label event the highest level outside of the World Athletics Diamond League. The event is a new addition to the prestigious World Athletics Tour.

“We are very excited to bring the USATF Bermuda Games to this spectacular new locale on the World Athletics Tour,” said Max Siegel, CEO of USATF. “Expanding to venues in the NACAC [North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association] region is important to the growth of our sport, and we look forward to impressive marks on this fast, newly surfaced track.”

Bermuda was previously the setting for a sizeable moment in track history as Usain Bolt set his junior world record.

The Bermudian athletics tradition continues to build with Perinchief, the world leader in the triple jump, taking the baton from compatriot, four-times Olympian and world champion Brian Wellman. “This global event will serve as the first stop on the newly created USATF Journey to Gold Tour, a robust indoor and outdoor domestic circuit that shines a spotlight globally on our athletes, brand, sport and culture,” added Siegel.

“The 2022 Tour will also feature the USATF Golden Games at the Mount Sac Relays on April 16 and USATF NYC Grand Prix on June 12, in addition to our regularly scheduled outdoor events, including the Nike Prefontaine Classic on May 28 and the 2022 Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships taking place from June 23 to 26.”

USATF also will engage with youth from across the island with its “RunJumpThrow” programme, a hands-on learning exercise that gets kids excited about physical activity by introducing them to the basic running, jumping, and throwing skills through track and field.

The event will take place at Flora Duffy National Stadium on April 9, from 9am to noon.

USATF has teamed up with The Hershey Company to create RunJumpThrow. The programme offers a selection of twenty learning stations for organisers to choose from, including dynamic warm-up, running form and technique, standing broad jump, softball throw, and one-legged hop.

Designed to be a turnkey curriculum that is easily adaptable for any group, RunJumpThrow is a non-competitive programme that can be conducted as a field-day event lasting two to four hours, or as a six-week programme.

Hazel Clarke, Bermuda Travel Authority Director of Global Sales and Business Development makes a point during the announcement of the USATF Bermuda Games at the Flora Duffy National Sports Centre yesterday. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Hazel Clark, the BTA director of global sales and business development, and six-times American national champion, three-times US Olympian and USATF member said, “I am delighted to have found a meaningful way to connect my two passions, Bermuda and USATF.

“We look forward to introducing members of the USA Track and Field team and the global track and field community to our island.

“We’re honoured that USATF has chosen Bermuda for this premier athletics event that deepens our destination’s sports credibility. It is a testament to our island’s robust infrastructure, world-class facilities and the on-island resources to bring this Gold Label event to life.”

Natasha Courcy, senior vice-president, general counsel and chief operating officer of Athene Life Re, sponsors of the first annual USATF Bermuda Games, which takes place on April 9 at the Flora Duffy National Sports Centre, makes a point during yesterday’s launch event. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“We are excited to be the main sponsor for the first-ever USATF Bermuda Games,” said Natasha Scotland Courcy, senior vice-president, general counsel and chief operating officer of Athene Life Re.

“We take immense pride in our role in helping to bring this prestigious event to Bermuda to showcase world-class talent and to support Bermuda’s local track athletes, including the exposure that the youth will have on an elite stage.”

President of the Bermuda National Athletics Association Freddie Evans welcomes the USATF Bermuda Games during yesterday’s annoouncement at the Flora Duffa National Sports Centre. Also pictured are Natasha Courcy (rear left), from sponsors Athene Life Re, Bermuda Tourism Authority chief executive Charles H. Jeffers II, and Hazel Clark, BTA Director of Global Sales and Business Development . (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“The Bermuda National Athletic Association is proud to partner with BTA and USATF to hold a competition of this magnitude on our shores,” said Freddie Evans, the BNAA president.

“Hosting a meet of this calibre will pay long-term dividends for the local track and field community as it will energise and inspire our athletes to reach for great achievements.

“Bermuda’s beauty, hospitality and athletic enthusiasm will be on full display at the Flora Duffy Stadium. BNAA is excited to help facilitate the delivery of the ‘Fastest Kid on de Rock’ race, a special addition to this outstanding meet.”

Tickets are available now at bdatix.bm.

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Published March 18, 2022 at 8:07 am (Updated March 18, 2022 at 11:33 am)

Stellar athletes confirmed for Bermuda’s first USATF Games

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