Bermuda’s athletics chief Donna Raynor has hit out at governing body North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) over the way she was informed of the coronavirus pandemic-driven cancellation of the CARIFTA Games due to be held here later this year.

Raynor, president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association (BNAA), told the Royal Gazette newspaper that she appreciated how uncertain the situation had become because of the pandemic but, as a ranking member within NACAC, she did not expect to be informed of a cancellation through a group email.

“I found out when everybody else found out, which is very disrespectful,” she said.

“A decision did not have to be made at the beginning of May. It could have been made at the end of May.”

Raynor said communication between the local organising committee and NACAC, which was always good, broke down when the decision was taken to call off CARIFTA, and she claimed there was no discussion with BNAA to seek its input.

“It wasn’t how our discussion was going,” she said. “The discussion was we recognised that it was not going to be the same, but then when it came down to it, they were like ’it’s all or nothing’.

“Then they sent out an e-mail to everybody saying CARIFTA is cancelled. There was no discussion and no process. The interesting thing is that every time (NACAC president) Mike Sands and I talked, it was, ‘We don’t want to say that word ‘cancelled’, we’re going to make it work, even if it is not what it used to be’.

“All of a sudden this word ‘cancelled’ comes into play without any discussion with us.”

Raynor said the BNAA had been looking forward to hosting the Games, the region’s annual junior athletics showpiece, for the fifth time after winning the bid in April 2018 and was disappointed over the cancellation, coming as it did three weeks after both of her parents died within four days of each other.

“We’ve been planning for two-and-a-half years, arranging volunteers and having meetings every single week,” she added.

Keith Joseph, the NCAC general secretary, said in Monday’s statement: “NACAC understands the impact that another cancellation of our premier annual junior competition will have on our young athletes.

“Unfortunately, we have carefully taken all factors into consideration and are left with no option but to cancel the CARIFTA Games 2021.”

Raynor admitted the final straw which led to the cancellation of the Games was the new regulation by the Bermuda government that all unvaccinated travellers be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense.

With more than half of CARIFTA athletes aged under 16, many coming from countries where vaccination at that age is not an option, NACAC took the unpopular decision to cancel the Games.

The Games, first staged in 1972, were due to be held here last year but were called off because of the pandemic.

Guyana, who stepped aside for the first postponement last year, will host the Games in 2022.

The scheduling of the Games has been beset by problems since the original postponement from April 2020 not long after the outset of the pandemic.

A spike in Covid-19 cases in Bermuda from mid-December into the turn of this year, which has seen 31 deaths among more than 2,000 cases, led to new dates around Easter weekend being scrapped.

This was followed by a move to the first week of July, which was then changed because of an unforeseen clash with school examination dates in the Caribbean.

NACAC and the local organising committee finally settled on August 13-15.


Trinidad and Tobago senior women’s hockey players are scheduled to open their Pan American Cup campaign today in Santiago, Chile. They might just about make it.

Up to yesterday, players and technical staff from both the women’s and men’s teams were still making their way to Chile for the January 19-30 tournament.

West Indies Under-19 head coach Floyd Reifer praised the character shown by his players in their seven-wicket win over Scotland on Monday and said they want to keep on improving as they get ready to face Sri Lanka in St Kitts, on Friday.

England only needed to chase down 98 to win their opening game against Bangladesh but could flex their batting muscles when inserted by Canada at Warner Park, yesterday.

Jacob Bethell (7) was bowled in the seventh over, bringing together George Thomas and captain Tom Prest who immediately took the game to the Canadian bowling attack.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons said the batters didn’t assess the situation of the game well against Ireland and wants to see an improvement in that and other areas as the team gears up to face England.

Simmons also noted that he is not concerned about his own job but rather doing what he can to ensure the team’s success on the field.

South Africa’s youths bounced back from their opening Group B loss to India by beating Uganda by 121 runs in Group C ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup action at the Queen’s Park Oval, yesterday.

A century from Dewald Brevis — 104 (110 balls, 11 fours, one six) — set up South Africa’s total of 231 for nine.

Five years and five long sets later, five-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray finally has won another match at the season-opening Grand Slam tournament.

The former No. 1-ranked Murray, playing thanks to a wild-card invitation as he continues his career comeback from hip operations and thoughts of retirement, beat 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the second round at Melbourne Park.