Govt to spend $35m on Caribbean games

Gail Alexander | 10:00 pm
Published: May 1, 2009
Fresh from the Summit of the Americas, Government is ploughing $35 million into staging the first Caribbean Games over July 12 to 19, which Sports Minister Gary Hunt says will “leave a lasting legacy.”
“It will be a landmark event for sport in the Caribbean and will leave a lasting legacy for us,” Hunt said at yesterday’s post-cabinet media briefing. The first ever regional sporting event of its kind—involving 22 nations— is the second of three large-scale events being held in T&T this year.
The first was the Americas Summit in April. The Commonwealth leaders conference takes place in November. Prime Minister Patrick Manning said last week he expected that costs of the summit and the Commonwealth leaders conference would be less than the $632 million allocated for the two events. Manning estimated the summit costs at $350 million. Yesterday, Hunt told the Guardian that the Caribbean Games’ budgeted cost was $35 million.
He told reporters that the Caribbean Olympic committee had decided several years ago to stage the games to showcase the prowess of regional athletes. Caricom had accepted a recommendation for T&T to host the event and this country had accepted the proposal. Hunt said more than 1,200 people were expected to be involved in the games in a series of multi disciplinary events. The Games will focus on athletics, basketball, volleyball, netball and boxing.
The venue for the games will be sporting stadiums at Tobago, Chaguanas, Woodbrook, Jean Pierre complex and the Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Hunt said infrastructure work was taking place and was on schedule and within budget to bring the various facilities up to world standard. Inspection teams were expected in T&T soon to monitor the progress of preparations of venues for the games.