The 2021 Carifta Games scheduled for Bermuda has been pushed back to August 13-15, 2021, Mike Sands, President of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) announced today during a virtual press conference.

The regional junior track and field championship, which will celebrate its 49th edition, was to have taken place from April 3-5 but was moved to July 2-4 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, according to the NACAC president, the decision to push the dates to August stems from the move by the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to have external examinations between June 14 and July 16, dates which overlap the previously scheduled dates for the Carifta Games. CXC's decision was forced by adjusted school times across the region caused by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Donna Raynor, President of the Bermuda Athletics Association and Bermuda’s Carifta Games Local Organizing Committee (LOC) said she was ‘floored’ by the decision to move the games to August but indicated that there are several upsides to hosting the games then.

She indicated that by then, member countries should have been able to bring infections under control and that most, if not all, would have had access to the vaccines. The athletes will also have more time to prepare, she said.

Raynor also advised that hotels in the country have also indicated that they will have rooms available to accommodate the visiting teams.

That said, she indicated the safety protocols were being prepared that will be forwarded to the Bermudan government for approval. Those protocols would include that athletes are tested three days prior to arriving in Bermuda. Of course, that could change, depending on what the state of the pandemic is in the weeks leading up to the games, she said.

At this point, she said, no fans would be allowed into the stadium hosting the games but said that also could change depending on the prevailing conditions in the weeks leading up to the Games.

Raynor also indicated that the delay would not necessarily significantly add to the costs of hosting the games, indicating that she only envisions additional expenses in the form of enhanced medical facilities and personnel.

With that in mind, there will either be no opening ceremony or a significantly scaled-down one, in an effort to contain spending.

Sands said that NACAC would lend financial support to offset additional costs associated with the delays.

The president said work was ongoing behind the scenes to help member nations minimize costs associated with travelling to Bermuda. He said NACAC was considering having athletes travel to a centralized location from where they would be flown directly to Bermuda.

 

 

 

 

 

The 2021 Carifta Games will not be staged on the traditional Easter weekend. Instead, the regional junior track and field championships will take place between July 2 and 4, in Bermuda.

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