Corporate Grenada is giving tremendous financial support to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Flow CARIFTA 2016 track and field games to help meet the $3 million dollar cost for hosting of the games at the National Athletic Stadium.
In a handing over ceremony at the Ministry of Works conference room on Monday, several local companies made huge financial donations to the committee.
The list of donors included Grenada General Insurance Company, Nagico Insurance, Bryden and Minors, KFC/Subway/Pizza Hut, Fast Cash, Caribbean Agro Industries, St. George’s University (SGU), Duty Free Caribbean, Geo. F Huggins and the Grenada National Lotteries Association (GNLA).
The games, which will be held in just three weeks from March 26-28, will see just over 800 athletes from all over the Caribbean competing to be CARIFTA champions 2016.
Chairman of the Sponsoring Committee, Aaron Moses told the handing over ceremony that a number of stakeholders are needed to ensure the island held a successful CARIFTA games, as it is not just for rivalry but also for the development of all athletes.
He said the games must be seen in the context of “a developmental event as we seek to provide opportunities for young people throughout the region in sports and in this case athletics”.
“You may also know that the region can now boast of having possibly the highest per capita medals (in the world) given our size and the impact we are having on the international athletic stage”.
Moses told the private sector entities that their monetary support to the games is invaluable.
“…Your support and collaboration in this context assumes greater significance and importance because your contribution will play a significant role in the growth and development of our region’s junior athletes”, he said.
“We seek to ensure that we provide opportunities for healthy competition, opportunities for them to display their talents, their capacities and their dedication and commitment to excellence in the sports of athletics and so today we are extremely happy that you have responded to our invitation,” he added.
Chairman of the LOC, Veda Bruno-Victor said that everything is being put in place to ensure that every area is covered in order to execute a successful event.
However, she admitted that one area “that we have had a little problem with is that of ticketing” although some sections at the stadium have already been sold out.
Bruno-Victor made an impassionate plea to locals to attend the games in order to see some of the future regional track and field stars showcase their talents.
“…It is an important time for you to come and see the foundation of the athletes of the Caribbean. We have been working extremely hard to make sure that we put all our instruments in place for the hosting of these games and I know that we are going to be supported by our people because people do love track and field in Grenada”, she said.
Operations Director for the games, former national athlete, Conrad Francis said the 52-strong Grenadian contingent of athletes for CARIFTA 2016 has set a target of 26 medals in the games.
Francis is optimistic that the target is achievable provided the athletes get heavy support from the public.
“We have set a target of 26 medals…we are working towards … it is very important both for the media and public to support our athletes”, he said.
“…There are two sessions per day and I know some people are only planning to come in the evening sessions but I want to warn you that if you really want to support our athletes, you must come out in the morning time because you have to support them so they can reach the finals,” he added.
The games will be held at the newly refurbished multi-million dollar athletic and football stadium built for Grenada by the People’s Republic of China.