Early numbers are in for teams participating in the Flow CARIFTA Games Bahamas 2018. The deadline for early entries expired on February 8, 2018 with teams declaring early numbers for athletes and officials.
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.
Participation is expected from some twenty (26) countries including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and US Virgin Islands.
Combined contingents are estimated to total some 500 athletes. Early numbers indicate countries will send the usual number of participants with smaller contingents coming from Aruba, French Guiana, and St. Maarten. Teams like Trinidad and Tobago and St. Kitts have declared larger contingents between 40-60 team members and officials. Despite failure to declare early numbers, team Jamaica is expected to have one of the largest contingents.
Home team Bahamas is also expected to name some 60 plus members. So far early club competitions have yielded 11 qualifiers: Denvaughn Whymns posting a qualifying mark in the under 20 boys long, Acacia Astwood qualifying in the under 20 girls discus, Shaunece Miller in the under 17 girls high jump, collegiate athlete Tiffany Hanna in the under 20 girls shot put, Anthaya Charlton and Jaida Knowles in the under 17 girls 100m, Jasmine Knowles in the under 17 girls 800m, Raymond Oriakhi in the under 17 boys 110m hurdles, Tarajh Hudson in the under 17 boys discus, Gabrielle Gibson in the under 20 girls 100m hurdles and Megan Moss in the under 17 girls 400m.
Numbers are expected to grow significantly in the coming weeks with major high school championships being held: The Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools (BAISS) track meet scheduled for February 14th -16th, Grand Bahama High School Track and Field Championships February 14th – 19th, the Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) track meet February 27th- March 2nd, and the National High School Championships scheduled for March 8th – 10th. The final qualifying date for Team Bahamas will be March 16th and 17th at the official CARIFTA Trials.
Final entry deadline for all teams is March 10th at which time all teams must be registered to be eligible to compete at the Flow CARIFTA Games Bahamas 2018 scheduled for March 30th – April 2nd, 2018. Morning sessions are scheduled from 9am until 12 noon and evening sessions from 4pm until 9pm. These 47th CARIFTA Games are being hosted in honour of the Late Dr. Bernard Nottage.