I am delighted to send my warmest greetings to the organizers, athletes, coaches, officials, media, and of course spectators, who are involved in the 41st edition of the LIME CARIFTA Games.
The Caribbean nations have played a central role in the development of our sport, and their athletes’ success in the wider World and Olympic sphere has been developed from, and entrenched by, the success of regional competitions such as the CARIFTA Games.
On three previous occasions the CARIFTA Games have been held in Bermuda and, following the success of the 4th, 9th and 33rd editions of this world-renowned youth and junior athletics festival, respectively held in Hamilton in 1975, 1980, and 2004, this annual celebration of regional athletics is returning to Bermuda.
Despite a population of only just over 64,000, Bermuda has played a prominent role in CARIFTA Games history.
The oldest record belongs to a Bermudian, Sonya Smith, whose Women’s Under-20 javelin throw of 53.98 m was set in 1979, and the current Girls’ Under-17 100m record of 11.28 seconds set in 1998 is also held by an islander, Raneika Bean.
I am certain that these games which over the years have thrown up such world-beaters as Usain Bolt, Kim Collins and Pauline Davis-Thompson to name but a few, will again play host to a wealth of new athletics talent.
Therefore, I offer my best wishes to the organizers for a very successful games.