IAAF and development
While the Jamaicans continue to dominate the Carifta Games however the other Caribbean countries have begun to do better.
We may glean a better understanding of the progress being made by the other nations at the Carifta Games if we were to engage in an analysis of performances based on the number of athletes to the population size.
Much of the changes that are taking place, however gradually, are a direct result of the changing role of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The IAAF has shown a very high level of commitment to the development of track and field athletics across the globe.
Where once the entire budget of the IAAF totalled a measly $1m USD the organisations allocation to its Development Department to be used in facilitating progress among affiliates now runs in the millions.
There are several Regional Development Centres (RDC) spread across the different Continental or Area Associations of the IAAF. In addition, the IAAF has also established a number of High Performance Training Centres (HPTC) across the same regions. These initiatives of the international governing body for the sport aims at facilitating a levelling of the competitive playing field by ensuring greater access to what is required to guarantee improved performances at all levels of the sport around the world.
The IAAF is the single largest world sporting body and is considered the crème de la crème of the sports at the Summer Olympics. It is for this reason that the IAAF supports the development of the sport and of coaches, technical officials and administrators among its membership.
Many ask whether Jamaica will continue to dominate the future of the Carifta Games as has become something of a norm over the 25 years of the event.
Clearly given the culture of track and field athletics in Jamaica and given the size of the population from which athletes can be drawn, it seems inevitable that we are likely to see a continuance of its dominance in the sport in the region but there are also some inevitable changes that are already being signalled.