400 athletes of 35 countries expected for NACAC Track and Field Championships

During an official press conference to announce the hosting of the 2022 North America, Central America and Caribbean Area track and field championships, officials of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the BAAAs and NACAC posed for a photo on the field at the GB Sports Complex on Tuesday, August 16, 2022. From left to right are Perez Cooper, president of the Grand Bahama Amateur Athletics Association; Norris Bain, Deputy Director of Sports (Northern Division); Chevonia McBride, Ministry of Grand Bahama and Michael Serralta, of Puerto Rico, NACAC Delegate. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

Grand Bahama’s hosting of the fourth edition of the North America, Central America and Caribbean Area Championships (NACAC) is expected to be a shot in the economic arm in a number of areas, including tourism.

Chevonia McBride, of the Ministry of Grand Bahama, said the 2022 Anita Doherty NACAC Championships will benefit Grand Bahama in a big way.

“On behalf of the Hon. Ginger Moxey, the Minister for Grand Bahama, we would like to congratulate all of the athletes who will be participating in the 2022 Anita Doherty NACAC Open Championships here on the island of Grand Bahama,” McBride said during an official press conference on Tuesday morning at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex.

“We are so excited to be in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, led by Minister Mario Bowleg for this event. We are delighted to host all of the athletes. We are also delighted for the trickledown effect that will happen on Grand Bahama, including our hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, shops, transportation tours, straw vendors. It is not only a track event, it is an experience, and it’s a cultural experience that we would like to see all of these athletes participate in while they’re here.”

There are expected to be over 400 athletes from 35 countries within the North America, Central America and Caribbean areas in Grand Bahama. The event is set to take place August 19-21 at the Grand Bahama Sports Complex. The United States is expected to have the largest team, with some 80 athletes, followed by Canada, which is expected to bring 60 athletes to this year’s event.

The Bahamas will enter a 40-member team.

Some of the other participating nations expected to compete include Jamaica, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. McBride, who represented Minister Ginger Moxey at the press conference, noted that the hosting of the event could not be made possible without corporate Grand Bahama, which, in addition to the government of The Bahamas, has pumped in significant funding to pull off the international meet.

“We want to thank all of corporate Grand Bahama for stepping up to sponsor this event, including Aliv, Cable Bahamas, Freeport Harbor Company, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Container Port, FOCOL, Sawyer’s Fresh Market, City of Freeport Council, Curly Tails and other businesses here in Grand Bahama,” said McBride.

“So, we want to encourage all of Grand Bahama to come out and support this event, which is a major international track and field meet.”

Perez Cooper, Grand Bahama Amateur Athletic Association President and Co- Chair of the NACAC LOC said NACAC’s being held in Grand Bahama has major significance for the island. He noted that the magnitude of this meet boasts of attracting some of the best track and field athletes in the world.

“This region has been dubbed the best region for track and field and we’re excited to be able to host the area champions and world champions in Grand Bahama,” said Cooper.

Because the NACAC serves as an automatic qualifier, top athletes are expected to participate in hopes of qualifying for world championships in Budapest and the Pan American Games in Chile this year. Shaunae Miller-Uibo is expected to be a part of the meet, including Sharika Jackson of Jamaica.

Box office for the 2022 NACAC Open Championships is opened at the GB Sports Complex. Tickets start at $15 and $25. Children $7. There will be a special three- day package, and VIP seating tickets are available.