Local multi-sports athletes will take centre stage in June when the inaugural North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics (NACAC) Association’s Age Group A and B (Heptathlon/Pentathlon) Championships, will unfold at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo.
The was revealed at the launch of the event, which is being held under the auspice of the International Associations of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and NACAC, at the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) Corporate Box at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair, yesterday.
Ephraim Serrette, President NAAA
President of the National Association for Athletics Administrations (NAAA), Ephraim Serrette, singled out javelin thrower Tyriq Horsford, the three-time Carifta champion, as one of the successful by-products of the combined events sport.
He said, “Tyriq Horsford from Tobago, who is our national junior javelin champion (and) Carifta record-holder, he was one who was sighted from this programme, out of the boy throw, one of the events so we recognised from that competition that he was going to be a thrower. So this is an event where we really identify our young athletes and try to place them in the areas that we think they are best suited.”
This international Championships is set to come off from June 17-18 and will display heptathlon infantile A ages 13-14 years and pentathlon infantile B ages 11-12 . The event will host some 20 member nations from Anguilla to United States of America and all the top athletes within the previously stated age groups are expected to participate.
Serrette said, “I am not too sure that people understand the importance of such an event. This caters for 11 and 12 year olds, 13 and 14 year olds competing in pentathlon and heptathlon so the 11 year olds take part in five events and 13 and 14 year olds take part in seven events over the two days.
“This event is very crictical to our sport because at this age, this is where we allow our young athletes to participate in run, jump and throw and it is at these events we recognise the strength of some of our athletes.”
Serrette went on to thank the sponsors including NLCB, Sagicor, Blue Waters, for partnering with the NAAA’s over the years and also the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Security, who the local organising committee which is being chaired by Serrette, is working with to cater for the large number of foreign competitors expected to enter the country.
“This is an event that is dear to us (NAAA). It is one where we recognise our athletes and there development,” said Serrette.
The scoring is similar for both versions. In each event, the athlete scores points for his/her performance in each event for their respective teams according to scoring tables issued. The teams accumulating the highest number of points wins the competition.
On the weekend of April 22-23, the NACAC age-group trials was held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from which the four teams will be picked in conjunction to their participation in this weekend’s Combined Events Championships being hosted by the NAAA.
“There were trials held a couple of weeks ago in the categories of 11-12 male, four athletes have been shortlisted as well as in the female and in the 13-14 age group as well. I don’t have the names off hand right now but this coming weekend we have our Combined Events Championships, we will be looking at those athletes. The intention is to keep all four in training and a final two will be selected to be the team. It’s two athletes per team, per country, per events (in each category).”