lillian boyce
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The Turks and Caicos Islands hosted the 36th Annual Carifta Games under the theme: “Capturing the Spirit, Fulfilling the dream, We are all One.” The Games were scheduled for April 5-9, 2007 was held at the brand-new, state-of-the-art track facility, The Turks and Caicos National Stadium, rated among one of the top fifty in the world with the capability to host the Olympic Games.

Work on the site (The National Stadium) began in June 2006 and was completed by March- just in time for the prestigious event.

The facility features a seating capacity for approximately 3,000 persons with an additional 300 seating for VIP guests. Flood lights to accommodate late night games were installed as well. To make the journey from the Leeward Highway to the site an easy one, Edwards said EMS paved the road from the facility to the busy thoroughfare of Leeward Highway.

The hosting of the Carifta games was a source of pride for the small island nation of the Turks and Caicos. It also affirmed the investment in sports and Turks and Caicos athletes.

In 1972 Mr. Austin Sealy of Barbados, the late Randy Benjamin, President of Bermuda Track and Field Association and other leaders in the region, launched the CARIFTA Games in Barbados.

The Games began with 250 participants from ten countries, which were Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda.

Today there are over twenty-six countries in the English and French speaking Caribbean participating in the prestigious CARIFTA games. Each year over 500 athletes from CARICOM member states participate in the CARIFTA games.

The Games are held annually, over the Easter weekend; cater to Junior athletes in the Under 20 and Under 17 age categories. The 36th Games were the first ever held in The Turks and Caicos Islands at the National Stadium in Providenciales.

“My Ministry, Ministerial Colleagues and the LOC worked assiduously to ensure that all aspects and requirements of the Games are facilitated and in place.” “Carifta,” she said, “is not about me, or the Government or any individual, but rather about ALL of us in the TCI. Hosting Carifta is an event that should create and stimulate our national pride. Let us come together, create history, strengthen bonds and infuse this year’s games with camaraderie and support thus catapulting us to success and a level of achievement second to none.”
- Lillian Boyce (2007)