NACAC president remembers Carmen Clarke friendship
Excited about Jamaican example, Bahamas job as Carifta hosts
CARMEN CLARKE had many friends in track and field circles, and many gathered on Saturday as she was laid to rest. They included Mike Sands, the president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Athletic Association, who...
CARMEN CLARKE had many friends in track and field circles, and many gathered on Saturday as she was laid to rest. They included Mike Sands, the president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Athletic Association, who described the late public relations maven as a dear friend.
“This trip was sort of a bitter one to the extent to which our dear, dear friend Carmen was laid to rest, and I had to come to show my final respects to her,” said the Bahamian.
“So that is the main purpose for my being here, but of course, I can’t come to Jamaica and a track meet is going on and not be a part of that.
“Having completed his main mission, the 1972 and 1976 Olympian attended the Douglas Forrest Invitational at the GC Foster College for Physical Education & Sport in Spanish Town in the company of Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association president Garth Gayle.
“So, I’m also happy to be here to observe the kids in action,” said Sands.
Sands pinpointed Jamaica’s expected readiness for the Carifta Games in April.
“I always, as they say, pick Garth’s brain at the success of Jamaica’s programme and the fact that Carifta is less than what 85 days away, give or take, and you’re in full swing, not just for Carifta, but your programme is flourishing and Garth said, there’s no empty weekends, it says a lot for the programme’s consistency in competition.”
He was aware that the Fuller Memorial field events meet and the Anderson/Fuller Development meet were in progress at Manchester High School and Kirkvine, Williamsfield, respectively.
“When there is a competition that’s happening all over the island and they have an opportunity to choose or refuse, and the competition is always good. That helps the programme to continue to the level that it has been performing.”
The 1975 CAC 400-metre champion is pleased that his home country will host the 50th staging of the Games.
“It was not my doing singularly, but I’m also proud because we have a council and the Bahamas presented its proposal along with one or two others, but in the final analysis, the others withdrew, and it worked well in the Bahamas’ favour,” he recounted.
It’s a big year for the Bahamas. The country celebrates its 50th anniversary of Independence, with its Prime Minister, Philip Davis, serving as chairman of CARICOM in its 50th year. Sands was excited.
“All the ducks are lining up and their planning is going extremely well. There’s a lot of work going on, including the stadium, the LOC (local organising committee), and all the planning is going on.”
Jamaica hosted the Games last year at the National Stadium and Sands is predicting another grand time as the Bahamas hosts the meet from April 7 to 10. “It’s going to be a very, very exciting Carifta Games. I’m looking forward to it.”