The athletes were feted and celebrated at the VIP lounge of the Argyle International Airport (AIA), for their performances at the Games, where St. Vincent and the Grenadines secured five medals – two silver and three bronze.
In fact, the five medals represent the most the country has ever attained at an edition of the Games, going past the four medals achieved at the 1987 Games in Trinidad and Tobago, hence, more the reason to celebrate the 2022 team.
Organised by the Ministry of the Public Service, Consumer Affairs and Sports, the athletes were met on arrival by Minister with responsibility for those portfolios, Frederick Stephenson, and his fellow ministers Saboto Caesar (Agriculture), Curtis King (Education), as well as Permanent Secretary Raymond Ryan.
In lauding the athletes’ performance, Stephenson noted: “I want to say how proud I am for you, all the athletes… I want to say a special congratulations to the athletes who won the silver and the bronze medals.”
Copping the silver medals were Keo Davis and Uroy Ryan, in the Under-17 Boys 200m and the Under-20 Boys Long Jump. Davis also got a bronze in the 100m, along with Verrol Sam in the Under-20 Boys High Jump and Amal Glasgow in the Under-20 Boys 400m.
Looking ahead to the 2023 Carifta Games slated for the Bahamas, Stephenson projected, “Next Carifta Games I would see more gold and silver than bronze.”
Stephenson’s wishes may be fulfilled, should the proper systems be put in place, as according to Technical Director of Team Athletics SVG- Chester Morgan, most of the athletes who attended the Games in Jamaica, are eligible for the next edition.
“The good news is that only three persons from the team will be missing from next year, which will be Verrol Sam, Kirk Hamblett and Grenisha Thomas…We have a good bunch going forward and we have a lot of athletes in training,” Morgan assessed.
Morgan, who was one of two coaches who travelled to Jamaica with the Vincentian team, underscored, “Travelling to Carifta before, we never used to make the finals… We used to go one day and finish… We are competing; our names are being called on the live stream and that is something that we have to tap into… Over the weekend our flag was flown high.”
Apart from the four who medalled, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was represented at the 49th Junior Carifta Games by Under-17 athletes: Kodi Grant, Sacri Sobers, Jahieme Harry, AJ Delpesche and Shonte Matthias, while the other Under-20 athletes included Nellie Ambriton, Kyle Lawrence, Devonric Mac and Gailann John. Sam, Glasgow, Ryan and Ambriton, are based in Jamaica.
The management team also included Chantel Legair and Michael Ollivierre.