The 54th edition of the Southern Games is on again on 18 March 2018, at the famous Guaracara Park, thanks in part to an infusion of funds from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA). The Honourable Darryl Smith, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, today presented a cheque in the sum of $150,000.00 to Carol Grandison, Event Coordinator of the Southern Games, to assist in the staging of the event. On hand for the presentation was Olympic gold medalist and Sport Ambassador, Mr. Hasely Crawford, himself a former participant and victor at multiple editions of the Games.
Last month, the Southern Games Organising Committee announced that the annual athletics and cycling meet was cancelled due to the existing state of the economy and the financial constraints experienced in raising funds. The Southern Games is an annual athletics and cycling meet that is considered the Olympics of the Caribbean. This year’s staging of the Games however, will see only local athletes competing at the prestigious event.
In reminiscing on the history of the Games, Mr. Crawford said, “I am a product of the Southern Games and these Games are the warm-up for the CARIFTA Games, taking place at the end of March.” Mr. Crawford recounted a number of world renowned and locally well-known athletes whose sporting careers would have included participating in the Games events: international athletes such as Bob Hayes, Bruce Jenner and locals including Roger Gibbon, Edwin Roberts and Hilton Mitchell, among others. Mr. Crawford expressed his gratitude to the MSYA and looks forward to continuing to work with the Ministry towards sport development in Trinidad and Tobago and the promotion of Trinidad and Tobago in sport regionally and internationally.
Speaking at the cheque presentation ceremony at the Ministry’s Head Office at St. Clair, the Honourable Darryl Smith, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, said, “The MSYA is thankful for working closely with Mr. Crawford and the Southern Games Committee. This is a national, iconic event, and the Ministry therefore could not allow these Games to be cancelled this year”. Minister Smith pledged his continuous support and looks forward to many more editions of the Southern Games.
Now, with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs’ intervention, the Southern Games will be able to shine and showcase the skills and talents of the many local athletes who participate at the illustrious games yearly.
The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA), stands committed to working with all stakeholders to promote youth development, total participation and excellence in sport.