Bahamas to Host 2018 CARIFTA Games for 8th Time

SPIRIT OF CARIFTA – BAAA’s President Rosamunde Carey (left), Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Hon. Michael Pintard (Center) and Pauline Davis-Thompson IAAF Council Member dance to the sounds of the CARIFTA Congoes at the launch of the Flow CARIFTA Games Bahamas 2018 press conference.

The 47th annual CARIFTA Games will be held in Nassau, Bahamas over the Easter holiday this year, March 30 to April 2.

This will be the eighth time the Bahamas will be hosting the event since 1976, 1978, 1981, 1984, 1992, 2002 and 2013. The 2017 edition was staged in Curacao.

Held under the aegis of NACAC, the CARIFTA Games is an annual athletics competition founded by the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA). In 1972, Austin Sealy, then president of the Amateur Athletic Association of Barbados, inaugurated the CARIFTA Games to mark the transition from the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

CARIFTA was meant to enhance relations between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean after the dissolution of the West Indies Federation, but the CARIFTA Games took that idea a step further, including the French and Dutch Antilles in an annual junior track and field championship competition.

Victor Lopez, president of NACAC, noted that, “CARIFTA is unique. It’s not just about the running, jumping and throwing. It’s about culture, heritage, friendship and unity of this entire region.”

This year the event will host 26 countries, 500 athletes, 400 volunteers and approximately 150 local and international officials. It is the premier track and field junior competition in the region. Many Olympic and World Champions from around the Caribbean competed in the CARIFTA Games including Usain Bolt of Jamaica, Kim Collins of St. Kitts, Ato Bolden of Trinidad and Tobago, Karani James of Grenada, the Golden Girls and Golden Knights sprint and mile relay teams of The Bahamas.

Title sponsor Flow will be the official broadcast partner of the Games, which will be in honor of the late Bernard Nottage, under whose tenure as president of the BAAA the CARIFTA Ball was first organized. The Games organizing committee plans to re-establish the Ball.      – BAAA press release