THE Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations has selected a 51-member team that will represent the Bahamas at the 2015 Carifta Games in St Kitts and Nevis from April 2-7.
The team was announced on Sunday night following the BAAA CARIFTA Trials over the weekend at the original Thomas A. Robinson Stadium and a lengthy selection process, including the ratification by the coaches. While the BAAA stuck to its commitment to only carry athletes who would have made the qualifying standards, asset by the BAAA, the argument came up with the addition of athletes who didn't make the standard for selection to the relay pools.
After all of the discussions, the following athletes were name to the team:
Under-18 girls - Brianne Bethel, Doneisha Anderson, Charisma Taylor, Sasha Wells, Daejha Moss, Andira Ferguson, Serena Brown, Tiffany Hanna, LaQuell Harris and Taj Dorsett.
Relay pools - Bethel, Anderson, Taylor, Wells, Ferguson, Dorsett, Divine Parker, D'Nia Freeman and Britini Fountain.
Under-18 boys - Javan Martin, Johnathan Smith, Bradley Dormeus, Ronald Kemp, Tavonte Mott, Branson Rolle, Benjamin Clsrke, Holland Martin, Perry Adderley, Dondre Rutherford, Edward Kemp, Travis Ferguson and Tamar Green.
Relay pools - Martin, Smith, Mott, Rolle, Dormeus, Rolle, Donnovan Storr, Kaze Poitier, Byron Wilson and Dwayne Murray.
Under-20 girls - Kieanne Albury, Shaquania Dorsett, Kaylea Albury, Danielle Gibson and Brashae Wood.
Relay pools - Albury, Dorsett, Gibson, Janae Ambrose, Marissa White and Alexis Gray.
Under-20 boys - Deedro Clarke, Henri Delauze, Xavier Coakley, LaQuan Nairn, Darius Major, Drexel Maycock and Denzel Pratt.
Relay pools - Clarke, Coakley, Nairn, Delauza, Cliff Reasis, Stephen Green, Justin Pinder and Jordan Minnins.
"We feel that this team is a very strong team. We indicated earlier that we were going with individual qualifiers and we did just that, as it relates to our individual events," said BAAA's President Mike Sands in releasing the name of the team. "Every athlete that has been named to this originally, as we stated now, are all those who would have qualified in their individual event.
"Consideration was given, after much debate by the selection committee and the management team and the membership at large. We ended up as a result, identifying persons who have been assured to strengthen the relay teams. The Bahamas is known for its relay teams and with less than 40 days to go to the IAAF World Relays, we want to ensure that the future is bright for this country in showing our strength in the relays as we continue to grow."
The BAAA is hoping to improve on last year's performance in Martinique where the Bahamas only gold medal came from the under-18 4x100 metre relay team of Kinard Rolle, Tyler Bowe, Keanu Pennerman and Javan Martin. The Bahamas ended up with a total of 19 medals, including eight silver and 10 bronze for seventh on the medal chart.
"Carifta is usually based on medal count. We've slipped a notch from last year and I think that has been a wake up call for us in all areas," Sands said. "I think the coaches and the athletes all heeded the call in getting our athletes qualified.
"We may not have as many qualifiers in all of the events that we would like, but we are satisfied that what we have here is the best that we have to offer under the circumstances and we're satisfied that this team will be very competitive as we go into Carifta."
The team will be managed by Bahamas Association of Certified Official Doris Rolle-Ramsey and she will be assisted by Sharon Gardiner with Dionne Beriton and Cecile Campbell as chaperons.
John Ingraham, a former Carifta athlete who now coaches in Andros, as the head coach. He will be assisted by Bernard Rolle, Dawn Johnson, Sandra Laing, Wendell Collie, Corrington Maycock and James Rolle. David Charlton will serve as a consultant to the coaching staff.
Sands said they have selected Doris Rolle-Ramsey and John Ingraham as they begin their process of getting more persons involved in the sport.
A team meeting will be held today at 5:30 pm at the original Thomas A. Robinson Stadium with the management team. However, as the athletes continue to prepare for the games,Sands said they will still have an opportunity to workout with their club coaches.
For all those persons wishing to travel with the team on the chartered Bahamasair flight, Sands has advised them that they have until 3 pm on Monday to make their payment at the BAAA's office or their seats will be given up to persons who are on the waiting list.
The airfare is $799 person and the price for the airfare and accommodation (double occupancy) is $1,500.