After renovations to the Truman Bodden Sports Complex derailed the local track season, the Cayman Islands Athletics Association (CIAA) has be given a financial lift to assist athletes in the interim.
The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) has agreed to give the association $25,000 USD for athlete development. The Athletics Association used a portion of it to acquire the coaching services of Grenadian Paul Phillip, with the remainder going towards travel for 27 athletes and a coaching staff to compete in Jamaica starting Saturday (9 February).
“The CIOC is an athlete focused sporting organization and as such we strive to assist athletes in the best way possible,” said CIOC President Donald McLean.
Athletics Association President Lance Barnes says 23 athletes will compete at this weekend’s Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium, while four throwers will head to Excelsior High School for the ‘King of the Ring’.
“The first meet we had recently, some of the coaches were quite pleased based on the times,” said Barnes. “The Jamaican meets are an avenue to get exposed to competition. Not just to prepare in terms of conditioning, but to support the mental aspect.”
After renovations to the Truman Bodden Sports Complex fell behind schedule, the local track season was put on hold. Barnes says the association is thankful for the much-needed funding boost, at this, a crucial time in the athletics season.
“We want to thank Mr. McLean and his team for coming on board,” said Barnes. “We really appreciate what they’ve done for us.”
The Association will also send athletes to both the S.W. Isaac-Henry Invitational 16th February, and the Gibson McCook Relays Saturday 24th February. Barnes says both trips will be funded by a Pan Am Sports Organisation (PASO) grant. The amount of the grant is unknown at this time.
Barnes says he is hopeful the added competition, combined with the eventual continuation of the local season, will have Cayman’s top athletes ready for the 48th CARIFTA Games 20-22 April.
“We have the Inter Primary, and the Secondary Championships, plus both CARIFTA Trials, and the CUC Meet. We should have enough meet for all athletes to qualify.”
To view all the athletes and coaches competing for the Cayman Islands in Jamaica 9th February click here.