by Clayton Clarke
23/06/09: Swine flu concerns over Pan American Juniors following the cancellation of Caribbean Games
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Following the cancellation of the Caribbean Games due to fear of the spread of the H1NI virus in the country, concerns are now being raised over the staging of the Pan Am Junior Track and Field Championships in Port of Spain (July 31 to August2).
The local governing track and field body, the National Association of Athletic Administration, says it will continue to consult with the Ministries of Health and Sports on the status of the virus in the country.
Public Relations Officer of the NAAA, Peter Samuel said with over forty-five countries expected to participate the hemispheric meet, the NAAA will continue to monitor the situation.
The First Caribbean Games were carded for July 12 to 19 with track and track competition due to held on July 13-15. The regional games were called over the increase in the number of infections of the virus, also known as swine flu. In making the announcement of the cancellation Sport Minister Gary Hunte said the Games were called off over the fear of persons attending the games could be additional source of infections and the games village could be an environment for the spread of the virus.
19/06/09: Cancellation of Caribbean Games in best interest of nation’s health
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Sports and Youth Affairs Gary Hunte says the cancellation of the Caribbean Games was in the best interest of the nation’s health.
On Friday, Minister Hunte announced that because of the concerns over increase in the swine flu infections in the country the organisers cancelled the inaugural Games.
Mr. Hunte said “the participants, officials and guests of other countries could be a source additional infection to the population of Trinidad and Tobago. In addition the housing of athletes and officials could create an ideal environment for the transmission of the H1N1 virus”.
Mr. Hunte said the calling off of the multi-sport competition “was a major disappointment”.
The announcement of the cancellation was made today by Minister Hunte and Health Minister Jerace Narace at a press conference of Friday.
The inaugural games were scheduled from July 12 to 19 and athletes were expected to compete in five disciplines, track and field, tennis, volley ball, netball and boxing.
Upgrade and construction works were done on the venues. At the Jean Pierre complex the site for the netball competition, the new playing surface was put down. The Sports and Physical Education Centre at the University of the West Indies campus in St. Augustine was carded to host the indoor volleyball. The venue passed an inspection following the hosting of the second round qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup tournament in May.
Beach volleyball, was to have been played at Saith Park in Chaguanas which is undergoing an upgrade to meet the demands of the competition.
The Boxing ring at the Woodbrook Youth Facility is being refurbished ahead of the boxing competition
Construction of tennis courts in Shaw Park, Tobago were underway ahead the scheduled test event for the end of June.
The track and field competition as well at the opening and closing ceremonies were due to be held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Trinidad and Tobago National Track and Field Championships were set to be used the test event of the track and field competition.