Georgetown, Guyana – A representative delegation from the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) and the Local Organising Committee for the Inaugural 2009 Caribbean Games delivered a presentation on the state of the preparations for the big event to the Third Meeting of Regional Directors of Sport convened at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana on Oct. 17-18, 2007. The meeting reiterated the call made by CARICOM Sports Ministers to support the Games and the commitment made by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to host the Inaugural Games, which will feature athletes competing in the disciplines of boxing, netball, volleyball, swimming and track and field during the period 13 – 19 July 2009.
An outline of the plan for the Games was presented to Regional Sport Directors, who were asked to use their influence to ensure that marquis athletes participate in the Games and so guarantee their success, setting a high bar for hosting future Games in the region.The meeting Chairman, Mr. Erskine King of Barbados, asked that CARICOM be represented on the Local Organizing Committee to ensure that regional concerns are addressed and make certain that CARICOM members are constantly apprised of developments related to the Games. This would also help to mitigate the costs of hosting the Games by identifying in-kind contributions that National Olympic Committees might be able to make. The Directors urged the organizers to build on the expertise and technical capacity honed in the region, which has recently hosted the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Under-19 Football World Cup.
The delegation agreed to take on board the recommendations of the CARICOM Sport Directors and stated its desire to present an overview of the Games to CARICOM Heads of Government at their next Summit or Inter-Sessional Meeting. They noted that while CANOC was organizing the Games, their success would depend on the active support of CARICOM Governments, through their respective National Olympic Committees’ ensuring their teams’ and star athletes’ participation.
Even more significant however, is the transcendental aim of the Games to inculcate a culture of healthy life styles, consistent with the outcomes of the recent Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases and the role of physical activity in promoting wellness. Sportsmanship, team-work and the positive role models of athletes working hard to achieve success are essential for the youth of the region to foster dignity, pride, fair play and unity.
The 2009 Games delegation consisted of:
∑ Mr. Keith Joseph of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, representing the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC);
∑ Mr. Douglas Camacho, Immediate Past President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and Member of the Board of Directors of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2009 Games; and
∑ Mr. Felipe Noguera, newly-appointed CEO of the 2009 Caribbean Games