As the President of the BTFA and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 2012 LIME CARIFTA Games, it is indeed a pleasure to extend to all our visiting friends, dignitaries and of course, athletes, a very warm Bermudian welcome to the 41st Lime CARIFTA Games.
For all of those visiting the island my hope is that you will be able to take the time out from attendance at the games and enjoy the warmth, friendly hospitality and the beauty of our island.
We hope that your stay will be pleasant and memorable.
Bermuda has competed in the CARIFTA Games since its inception and has successfully hosted the games three previous times, in 1975, 1980 and 2004.
The CARIFTA Games is arguably the most competitive and important regional junior athletics track and field championships outside of the World Youth and Junior Championships, held by the IAAF.
We are excited to be hosting this prestigious international sporting event and are looking forward to great competition.
Our hosting of the games is an honour for me personally as I was a competitor for several years and am now serving as President of the BTFA and chairing the Local Organizing Committee.
Several of the committee members have also been past competitors in the CARIFTA Games.
As our slogan states, ‘Sports Bring People Together’. We are looking forward to these games reflecting the positive spirit of the Caribbean community by using sport as a vehicle for positive personal and social development.
These games are meant to develop new relationships between the countries and the development of our athletes, so that they may be able to reach new and greater heights in the sport of track and field.
There are more than 30 Olympic athletes who can trace their origins back to the CARIFTA Games.
This includes none other than Usain Bolt, who broke the World Junior Record in the 200m at the 2004 CARIFTA Games in Bermuda (19.93 seconds).
Locally Bermuda has had many medallists in the CARIFTA Games — too many to mention.
Most are still involved in the sport of track and field in one way or another, and have gone on to excel at the international level in this sport.
These athletes have personally gone on to become great citizens and mentors for our young athletes coming up behind them.
We hope for the same success for all of the athletes and that they will compete with honour and instill that national pride in them that will stay with them throughout their athletics career and life.
I would like to acknowledge my appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the LOC and acknowledge the support from the Government of Bermuda.
The success of this event would not be possible if it were not for the backing from the BTFA Executive Board taking on this challenging project.
What would the games be without the hard work and support of the sponsors, volunteers and officials.
I would like to wish good luck to all of the athletes who will put their God-given talents on display over the three days of intense but friendly rivalry.
The crowds will cheer you on in appreciation of all of the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that you have put in to reach this goal of competing in the 41st LIME CARIFTA Games.
Best wishes to all.
• The CARIFTA Games will be held at the National Sports Centre, Devonshire, from April 7-9. For more information go to http://carifta2012.com/ Tickets are also available at http://bermudatix.com/