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NB. The Caribbean Games were unfortunately cancelled in June of 2009, though plans are underway to host the Games in 2010 or 2011
Trinidad and Tobago will host the region’s sports stars for the inaugural Caribbean Games scheduled to run from July 13 to 19, 2009.
Billed as the biggest sporting event in the Caribbean in 2009, the games will bring together the best in the fields of boxing, track and field, volleyball, netball and tennis.
While open to all elite athletes, the games will no doubt feature stars of the Beijing Olympics, such as Jamaicans Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt as well as Trinidad and Tobago’s own Darrel Brown and Richard Thompson, who regional fans will get to see up close.
Events will be held at various venues around Trinidad and Tobago—Hasely Crawford Stadium (track and field), Woodbrook Youth Facility (boxing), Jean Pierre Complex (netball), Shaw Park, Tobago (tennis), UWI Sports and Physical Educational Centre (indoor volleyball) and Saith Park, Chaguanas (beach volleyball).
Officially launched in Trinidad on January 2008, the games were first conceptualised in 1998 when a group of Caribbean delegates met in Australia to discuss the Caribbean's status at the Olympics.
A steering committee was subsequently formed and it was decided a Caucus should be established to represent the interests of all the regional National Olympic Committees. The work of the Caucus resulted in the establishment of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), and the first mandate was to stage the Caribbean Games. Each member country is expected to host an edition of this sporting event quadrenially, in the year following the Olympic Games.
Unicef has partnered with the Caribbean Games’ local organising committee (LOC) for the staging of the event, and will use the opportunity to promote awareness, educate and advocate for the cessation of violence against children.
The ambassadors for the Caribbean Games are Trinidad and Tobago’s first Olympic gold medal winner Hasely Crawford and multiple Oylmpic medal winner Ato Boldon.