History of Carifta

HISTORY OF CARIFTA

The CARIFTA Games is an annual junior athletics competition founded by Barbadian Austin Sealy in 1972. The Games has its origins in the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA), which was made up primarily of countries from the English-speaking Caribbean.

In 1972, when the CARIFTA was expanded to include non-English speaking countries of the Caribbean --- the French and Dutch-speaking nations -- and became known as CARICOM, Sealy inaugurated the CARIFTA Games.

The Games, run under IAAF Rules, are traditionally staged over the Easter weekend in one of the member states of CARICOM. The hosting of the Games at that time is to facilitate the school calendar of the young athletes.

There are two Carifta age-group categories -- Under 17 and Under 20 -- for both male and female and is comprised of most of the track & field disciplines -- running, jumping and throwing.

Meant to enhance relationships between the countries and impress upon all, the commonality of purpose shared between Caribbean Island states, the Games also includes participants from the non-Island nations of Guyana and Belize. To date there are no Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations participating in the Games

The Games have grown from strength to strength and has been described by IAAF President, Lamine Diack (himself an annual spectator at these Games) as being on par with the World Championships. The Carifta Games are arguably the most important regional junior athletic championships outside of the World Youth or World Junior Championships.

A plethora of world record holders and world track & field champions and stars over the years inclusive of Usain Bolt, Kim Collins, Darrel Brown, Pauline Davis-Thompson, Merlene Ottey, Aleen Bailey, Obadele Thompson, Debbie Ferguson, Cydonie Mothersill, Kareem Streete-Thompson, Alleyne Francique, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Marie Jose-Perec, Melaine Walker to name a few, had the starts at these Games. Indeed over 30 Olympic Games medalists can trace their origins to the Carifta Games.


SPONSORS

Regional companies including the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Ltd and Guardian Holdings and LIME are sponsors of the CARIFTA Games. The Games are hosted under the auspices of the North and Central American and Caribbean Confederation (NACAC) and the IAAF.

The CARIFTA Games is an annual junior athletics competition founded by Barbadian Austin Sealy in 1972. The Games has its origins in the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA), which was made up primarily of countries from the English-speaking Caribbean.

In 1972, when the CARIFTA was expanded to include non-English speaking countries of the Caribbean --- the French and Dutch-speaking nations -- and became known as CARICOM, Sealy inaugurated the CARIFTA Games.

The Games, run under IAAF Rules, are traditionally staged over the Easter weekend in one of the member states of CARICOM. The hosting of the Games at that time is to facilitate the school calendar of the young athletes.

There are two Carifta age-group categories -- Under 17 and Under 20 -- for both male and female and is comprised of most of the track & field disciplines -- running, jumping and throwing.

Meant to enhance relationships between the countries and impress upon all, the commonality of purpose shared between Caribbean Island states, the Games also includes participants from the non-Island nations of Guyana and Belize. To date there are no Spanish-speaking Caribbean nations participating in the Games

The Games have grown from strength to strength and has been described by IAAF President, Lamine Diack (himself an annual spectator at these Games) as being on par with the World Championships. The Carifta Games are arguably the most important regional junior athletic championships outside of the World Youth or World Junior Championships.

A plethora of world record holders and world track & field champions and stars over the years inclusive of Usain Bolt, Kim Collins, Darrel Brown, Pauline Davis-Thompson, Merlene Ottey, Aleen Bailey, Obadele Thompson, Debbie Ferguson, Cydonie Mothersill, Kareem Streete-Thompson, Alleyne Francique, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Marie Jose-Perec, Melaine Walker to name a few, had the starts at these Games. Indeed over 30 Olympic Games medalists can trace their origins to the Carifta Games.