by Linda Straker
More than 200 regional athletes have committed to participate in the 2017 Whitsuntide Games which will be held the weekend of 3 to 4 June at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium.
Aaron Moses, 1st Vice President Grenada Athletic Association (GAA) said that the games which were once the most looked-forward to in the region since the 1950s, began a downward spiral after other islands saw the potential and then engaged in building synthetic tracks.
“Grenada still had grass tracks while these other islands were improving themselves. This resulted in less participation but, when we got the first synthetic track stadium, new energies were thrown behind the games — but unfortunately, Hurricane Ivan came in 2004 and damaged the stadium. Since then we have not hosted the games, so 2017 is the rebirth of the Whitsuntide Games,” said Moses.
“It’s a development meet, aimed at bringing quality and at the same time exposure for our athletes in Grenada and the regional,” he added.
The categories in the games will be under 12, under 14, under 16, under 18, under 20 and international. The meet is organised and hosted by the GAA. Technical director will be Conrad Francis.
Regional affiliates of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) who have given commitments so far are Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Moses said that besides the commitment from the affiliates, schools and clubs from some of the islands have also given assurance to send some of their members. Clubs and schools in Grenada will also be participating in the meet.
The Grenadian by Rex Resorts will be the hotel of choice for athletes.