The 49th edition of the CARIFTA Games, postponed last year because of COVID-19, has been rescheduled for Bermuda’s National Sports Center from July 2-4, organizers have announced.
Normally held over the Easter weekend, it is the latest the annual regional junior athletic showpiece has been held.
Last year marked the first postponement in the Games’ history.
The local organizing committee decided last April to reschedule the Games for April 2-5 this year. But there were recent concerns the new date might be too soon in light of a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in Bermuda here in November and December.
The North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) made the decision to push the date back to July 2-4 at a council meeting last week.
NACAC general secretary Keith Joseph said the new dates had been unanimously approved.
In a letter to Donna Raymor, president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association and head of the local organizing committee, Joseph said: “We are mindful of the challenges with which your country, organization and all of our Caribbean member federations and their athletes are confronted, but are confident of our collective resolve to overcome them as we have so often done in the past with other obstacles.”
Raynor confirmed she favored pushing the Games back to give the organizers more time to prepare.
More than 600 athletes and officials from 27 Caribbean countries are expected to arrive in Bermuda for the games which represent the region’s premier amateur track and field showpiece.
The Carifta Games, first held in 1972, are being staged in Bermuda for the fifth time.
During the 2004 renewal in Bermuda, Jamaican Usain Bolt signaled his future greatness at just 17, when he became the first junior athlete to break the 20-second mark over 200 meters in 19.3 seconds.