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Grand Bahama athletes will come down for CARIFTA Trials

It was confirmed yesterday that Grand Bahama-based athletes will compete in the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’Caribbean Free Trade Association(CARIFTA)Trials. Freeport native, Wayne Smith was one of the coaches who was suspended by the BAAA last year, said the interested athletes from Grand Bahama will be in New Providence for the April 8-9 trials.

Smith is an executive in the Grand Bahama Secondary Schools Sports Association(GBSSSA)and coaches at the Bishop Michael Eldon School. While confirming the athletes participation, he also stated that no coach nor the GBSSSA will hold an athlete hostage.

“Grand Bahama has always maintained that they will come and partake in the CARIFTA Trials,” said Smith.”Any national team that the kids have an opportunity to make, Grand Bahama athletes will be here. Anything that was sanctioned by the BAAA pertaining to schools, Grand Bahama will not be there.

“We want the country to understand one thing, and I must even go on record so that the minister understands, the BAAA does not have any jurisdiction over schools. Nor does the BAAA has the ability to interfere with schools. The schools just give the BAAA their blessings in hosting events like the national high school relays or other track and field meets. Anything to deal with other meets, they do not have jurisdiction. I would use this as an example, the IAAF which is the governing body for track and field internationally and worldwide, they do not have any jurisdiction over high schools in this country.”

The CARIFTA Games will be held in Kingston, Jamaica during the Easter Holiday weekend, April 23-25. So far, some 15 athletes have qualified.

In other related track and field news, the Bahamas Association of Independent Schools Sports(BAISS) will host their annual meet this Wednesday-Friday at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium. The Government Secondary School Sporting Association(GSSSA)and the GBSSSA meets will follow March 8-11. The BAAA High School Nationals is set for March 24-26.

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