Members of the Barbados CARIFTA team listening to Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith, following their last training session. (F. Belgrave/BGIS)

The Barbados CARIFTA team is in Jamaica and ready to compete at the 49th CARIFTA games, scheduled from April 16 to 18.

The 17-member team, which left the island on Tuesday, is led by head coach Ramon Armstrong and manager Angela Jackson, and includes 12 new members.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith, who attended the last training session with the national squad, gave words of encouragement to the team about representing their country, themselves and their community.

He urged the team to hear and use the war cries that came from external and internal sources. “You hear it when your parents are in the stands and cheering you when you’re on track….

“You have a whole country that is asking you to pull on that war cry.  It will come from your parents as well, when you’re on the track and you hear your name, that is the war cry I’m talking about,” Mr. Griffith stated.

The Minister reminded the athletes that even though they were on the track by themselves, they should remember that they were representing their team and nation and should do their best.

“It is about the whole team and it’s for country, and if you do that we will be satisfied at the end of the day that you would have done all that you can to make our country proud. This is about 13 degrees north.”

Under twenty javelin athlete, Vivica Addison, who is expected to medal, noted that “the team seemed very confident and everyone had a chance to place in their events.  Mentally they’re excited, even though they really didn’t have enough time to prepare. But I think the excitement will give them the victory that they are expecting.”

Ms. Addison also highlighted the fact that the management team was doing an excellent job giving great mental support to the athletes, even beyond the track.

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