The Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) has confirmed that Jamaica will host the 49th Junior Carifta Track and Field Games in Kingston from April 16 – 18, 2022 at a cost of just under US$1 million.
The event has also been sanctioned by the Government of Jamaica, through the office of the Minister of Sport. The event is expected to attract close to 650 athletes competing in U17 and U20 categories as well as 150 officials from 27 countries.
Jamaica also has the blessing of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) which has oversight for track and field in this region. NACAC President Mike Sands is expected to visit the island early next year for a venue inspection.
Meanwhile, the Games will be managed by a local organizing committee, already in place and will be chaired by the President of the Pan Am Games Technical Commission and immediate past president of the Jamaica Olympic Association Mike Fennell. JAAA’s Honorary Secretary Marie Tavares will act as General Manager.
A team of expert sports officials in key areas has been assembled to manage the event. That team has already met and plans are well underway. Chairman Fennell is confident that they can successfully host the games despite having many setbacks due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several milestones are to be celebrated next year. These include The Games 50th year, Jamaica’s 60th year of independence and the host federation, JAAA, 90 years in operation.
“The opportunity to host under these kinds of milestones is a tremendous opportunity for Jamaica to host some of the best sporting talents from the region to the world. This event will also offer some insight on what competition from this region could look like at the 18th World Athletics Championships, scheduled for Eugene, Oregon in July 2022,” said JAAA President Garth Gayle.
“The number of other international events which will follow allows the Carifta Games to signal that the youth from the region are ready for competition; that sport is ready and open for business and Jamaica will host the 800+ people from all over in a safe and secure environment.”
This is the eighth time that Jamaica will host the Carifta Games since its inception in 1972. Of the 48 editions held so far, Jamaica has topped the medal table on 43 occasions.