LIME pumps $20m into Carifta Games

Published: Thursday | October 22, 2009

Anthony Foster, Gleaner Writer

They all have a good laugh as former world 100m record holder, Asafa Powell (left), pretends he is going to sign the $20m LIME deal with the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC). The contract was actually signed by Errol K. Miller (second left), LIME's regional vice-president, corporate communications, and Neville 'Teddy' McCook (third left), president of NACAC, at Cuddy'z, New Kingston, yesterday. Powell and Sports Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange (right) were witnesses to the signing. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

For the first time in seven years, West Indians will have the opportunity to watch and listen to live action from the Carifta Games, thanks to LIME.

LIME, the Caribbean's leading telecommunications company, which provides landline, Internet, mobile and in some areas subscriber TV, has teamed up with the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Athletics Association in a one-year deal worth $20 million, which will allow track and field fans to keep track of the region's future stars.

A major feature of the sponsorship arrangement is its broadcast privileges, which allows the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) to provide the feed for media entities across the region which, apart from live action, includes features such as the 'Road to Carifta' and previews leading up to and during the three-day competition.

Support for athletes

The 2010 edition of the games, scheduled for next year's Easter weekend in the Cayman Islands - one of 13 regional territories serviced by LIME - will also see LIME supporting the athletes in other ways.

The sponsors said they will be working with NACAC to stage motivational and educational sessions, as well as providing sports kits for athletes participating at the Games.

Errol K. Miller, LIME's regional vice-president, corporate communications, pointed to his company's track record as sponsors of major sporting events across the region, noting they "... are happy to be on board" for the Carifta Games.

Miller, who also said negotiations are already under way for an extension of sponsorship for the 2011 edition and beyond, said LIME is investing in an event that is instrumental in the development of young athletes across the Caribbean.

"LIME's support will put these games and the budding superstars we have in the Caribbean where they belong, right in the living rooms of Caribbean homes," Miller said.

"Our support will provide a professionally produced sports package that will excite and educate the viewers," he promised.

Meanwhile, Neville 'Teddy' McCook, president of NACAC, thanked the communications company for what he described as "a happy moment in track and field".

McCook noted: "It will ensure that the development of the sport across the region will not only be on the track, but before, as far as the preparations are concerned ... We therefore are extremely happy to receive this support."

Asafa Powell, the former world 100m record holder, and Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, minister of sports, both witnessed the signing of the agreement.

Jamaica, for the past 20 years, have dominated the Carifta Games, which involves more than 150 events in Under-17 and Under-20 categories.

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