Turks & Caicos seen as last frontier to host CARIFTA Games

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC) – Regional officials are making a last-ditch effort to save this year’s CARIFTA Games from being cancelled for the first time in its 40-year history. An official source has informed the CMC Sports Wire that the Turks & Caicos Islands were being strongly considered to stage the region’s marquee junior track & field meet from April 22 to 24.
“A formal announcement to confirm the CARIFTA 2011 host should be imminent,” said the official source.
No further details were furnished, although there have been suggestions from senior regional officials that the Games may be scaled down to ensure it takes place.
Turks & Caicos is being seen as the last frontier, and if officials cannot reach an agreement, it places the Games in further jeopardy.
The staging of the Games had been thrown into chaos, when St. Kitts withdrew from their commitment to host the event because of financial and logistical reasons.
The North American, Central American & Caribbean Track & Field Association (NACAC), under whose auspices the Games are staged, have been frantically trying to find a replacement over the last three months.
Jamaica turned down the request to stage the event because of its proximity to the Jamaica International Invitational, which officials in Kingston stated would have stretched its human and financial resources.
Bahamas was also a strong contender, but they also side-stepped the Games because of the failure to get a financial guarantee from NACAC.
Trinidad & Tobago was also being considered, but Ephraim Serrette, president of track & field body in the two-island republic, indicated they would have needed more notice to successfully stage the Games.
Last week, Grenada Minister of Sport Patrick Simmons urged regional governments to grant assistance where possible to ensure the staging of the Games, a key event on the development calendar of the sport in the region.