Jamaica considers hosting Carifta Games after Guyana opts out

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has been asked to host the 2022 edition of the Carifta Games, the region’s premier junior track and field championships.

Garth Gayle, president of the JAAA, confirmed with OBSERVER ONLINE on Thursday that the association had been approached by the CARIFTA Congress and asked to host the Games that were last held in 2019 but have been on a hiatus since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The JAAA executive met… fully discussed the matter and has given its blessing for us to take on the mandate offered by NACAC to host the Games,” Gayle said, adding “we are now awaiting the government’s approval and we are working assiduously with the government and their agencies to make Carifta Games 2022 a reality in Jamaica.”

Guyana had been booked to host the event in 2022 but asked to be instead considered for 2023 after encountering “difficulties”, Gayle said.

The three-day Games had been booked for Bermuda in 2020, when it was cancelled due to the onset of the pandemic. It was also scheduled for Bermuda in 2021 but was again shelved after strict COVID-19 protocols including mandatory vaccines were imposed for everyone going into the island. At the time, vaccines were not approved for children under the age of 17 years and as such the decision was again taken to pull the plug.

Jamaica has hosted the event six times, five times in Kingston (1974, 1979, 1988, 1990, 1996) and once in Montego Bay (2011).