With less than a week before the start of the 47th edition of the Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) Track and Field Championships in New Providence, Bahamas Association of Athletic Association (BAAA) officials hosted a pep rally at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium over the weekend, to build momentum ahead of the regional meet.
Scores of parents, coaches and fans of the sport turned up to celebrate the 80 athletes who will represent The Bahamas over the Easter Holiday weekend.
The 2018 CARIFTA Track and Field Championships take place March 8 – April 2.
“The committee thought that it would be a good idea to get the athletes together for them to hear from the veterans,” said BAAA Public Relations officer Philip Gray.
“We also had motivational speaker Lester Cox come in and inspire these kids to excel and run faster, jump higher and throw further. The rally was well attended by the athletes, but also supported by parents and the community at large.
“It was a really good, fun-filled evening. We brought out the smoke machine and had the athletes run through it when their names were called. We also treated them to a great meal after. Little things like this are what you have to do to show your support for the team and the athletes that will be competing.”
BAAA President Rosamunde Carey, following the announcement of the team said, she feels the team is loaded with talent in all four divisions, and that it is in prime position to close the gap between itself and longtime rival Jamaica.
Team Bahamas finished third last year at the games in Willemstad, Curacao, behind Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
“It is safe to say that we are putting together an awesome team,” Carey said.
“With this team, we expect to be really competitive for the fact that all of the athletes that didn’t qualify outright were really, really close to the qualification standards.”
Over 500 athletes from 30 countries are expected to compete in this year’s event.