• ― will allow for more athletes to participate
  • ― will impact the tourism industry
  • ― Synthetic tracks in Regions 6 and 10 will be a boost

For the first time in 50 years, Guyana will host the CARIFTA Games; the Caribbean’s largest sporting event for young athletes. This comes on the heels of the administrative’s impressive performance at the recently concluded games in the Cayman Islands, copping a record of 10 medals.

President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson during an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), said that the hosting of the games in Guyana is long overdue. Guyana was one of the founders of the games which was first held in 1972.

“To have this meet go on for 50 years and us not hosting, I think it was a travesty, and it is one of the main points that I raised with the whole CARIFTA congress that they need to come to Guyana, and that was the selling point,” Hutson said.

President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson.

The games coming to Guyana will also present massive opportunities for local athletes to shine, as they did when Guyana hosted the South American Junior Championships in 2017. Hutson said this would afford the country to garner more medals.

“With us hosting at home, we will be able to put two athletes in every event. So, starting now we have two years to prepare to have two athletes in every event at CARIFTA, and I think that we will really and truly rival Jamaica who has been running away with this event every year” he noted.

Hutson is optimistic that the games will see significant competition among the various participating countries. Given the magnitude of the games, Guyana’s sport tourism industry is also set to benefit tremendously from the event.

“Organisers need to understand that we need to be aware that nearly 600 athletes are coming here to compete at one meet and then there are the home fans that follow them. There are Jamaicans and Trinidadians and Bahamians who basically save their money whole year round just to go to CARIFTA Games.”

Hutson underscored that the construction of the two synthetic tracks in Regions 6 and 10 will be a major boost for athletes. The tracks are slated to be completed by the end of this year.

Isaiah Braithwaite.DPI