The 2017 CARIFTA Games, Curacao is just over two weeks away and it’s that time for The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) to field the best talent available.
Before the teams travel down to Curacao April 15-17, athletes will look to cement their spot on this year’s team at the CARIFTA Trials in New Providence.
The trials take place March 31-April 1 and athletes out of Grand Bahama are expected to fly into the Nation’s Capital today.
It’s no secret that Grand Bahama plays an intricate part in the success of Team Bahamas at one of the biggest Caribbean track and field events. The Grand Bahama Amateur Athletic Association (GBAAA) is confident that trend would continue and expect the local athletes to put their best foot forward.
“I know we do have full representation this weekend in Nassau,” GBAAA President Iram Lewis expressed, “We’ve sent Pharez (Cooper) along as the executive representative. After the event, of course the ratification of the team will be done based on qualification. However, he will be the executive as our statistician representing Grand Bahama.
“We wish our athletes the best. We do expect that Grand Bahama will play the role that it has been playing and a more significant role this year, than ever.”
Lewis admitted that the Grand Bahama contingent may have lost a few athletes due to age, but he holds a gleaming optimism about the up-and-coming athletes.
“We may have lost one or two but we still have some up-and-coming athletes and I think Grand Bahama is going to do well.”
GBAAA Secretary General Dion Britton went down the list and named a few athletes out of the Second City to be featured this weekend.
“We have our national record breaker Holland Martin, we have national record breaker Javan Martin and we also have CARIFTA athletes Johnathan Smith, Shaquille Higgs, Quanisha Marshall. Nationals were held about a week ago and we had some excellent performances from these athletes.
“We have up-and-coming athletes like Destiny Huyler, we have Kennedy Culmer – we have a lot of performers. We’re hoping this year that Grand Bahama will put more on the team.”
The sprints have been of strong emphasis for the Grand Bahamian athletes. Britton also noted that she’s confident the Under 18 and Under 20 boys will put on a strong show at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.
“Grand Bahama is strong. We’ll be strongly represented at this coming CARIFTA. We’re looking for great performances, record-breaking performances from these athletes.
“We are ready. The kids have put a lot of time and extra time and sacrifices. We also have a young man that is going to be dynamic. His name is Correy Sherrod, (he runs) the 400m for the Under 18 boys.
“So we have a strong team headed into Nassau. The kids leave on Thursday and they will return Sunday. So we’re asking the support of the public to encourage our athletes. This is something that we need to do. These are our future Olympians from Grand Bahama.”
Britton concluded that it’s all about the children and pushing them to higher heights.
Last year, Team Bahamas came away with a third place finish in the standings. BAAA president Rosamunde Carey disclosed in an earlier interview that she was confident the best team would be ratified and hopefully build positively on last year’s performances.
Published Thursday, March 30, 2017