Barbados set to host XXXV CARIFTA Swimming Championships

AFTER two years of cancellations, the XXXV CARIFTA Swimming Championships are set to go ahead tomorrow.
This was announced by 2022 host Barbados with 18 countries set to contest the games at the Wildey Aquatic Centre.
According to the president of the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association, Lady Cheryl Forde, there will be “just over 300 athletes from across the region, from Bermuda in the north to Suriname in the south. We also have officials from the territories and expect a very exciting competition.
Barbados, which was due to host the championships when the first cancellation was announced, is ready now as the region’s sports and championships kick off after the 2020 and 2021 editions were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the pandemic edition, we had the ashfall which created another situation for the pool and the facilities. However, we were able to maintain a certain level of training for swimming but the other two sports we would have at Carifta, water polo and artistic swimming, being team sports and contact sports, they were in a difficult situation and unable to train until recently.
The last two years without championships sees some swimmers who entered an age group also leave the age group unable to compete there.
This is a situation that prevailed not only in Barbados, but throughout the region. We couldn’t line up enough teams to compete. This year we have the swimming which will start on Saturday and will continue until April 19 on Tuesday, then we will have the 5km open water event which will take place in Carlisle Bay on Wednesday. Lady Forde said they had followed the protocol sent by the Covid-19 monitoring unit and by meeting all the requirements they were able to achieve so far as well as the regulations of
Second Vice President Wayne Beckles said that as this is likely to be one of the first games in the Caribbean where teams travel from the region to participate in sporting activity in the midst of a pandemic, this is the more important that we maintain with protocols like the government of Barbados and in conjunction with the FINA COVID-19 regulations. All athletes, coaches, officials, support staff and volunteers must be tested tomorrow (Friday) April 15, 2022. Thereafter unvaccinated 48 hours and vaccinated every 72 hours.
Also in protocols, bubbles and social distancing, hand washing, throughout swimming championships.
For spectators, the maximum capacity of the facility is allowed and vaccinated people are not required to present a COVID-19 test, while unvaccinated people must present a negative antigen test which must be repeated every 48 hours.
Isolation rooms will be available at the hotel as well as a Covid-19 liaison officer. If someone tests positive, it will be difficult for the athlete to resume swimming as a PCR will be done afterwards.
Beckles said that according to FINA rules and regulations, if more than three people from a federation test positive, that federation can be removed from competition.
“However, this is in consultation with the medical team, so it is not an automatic withdrawal from competition. Risk analysis will have to take place to determine what the best course of action is.