One hundred and fifty (150) athletes, their families and supporters are expected in Barbados come August next year when the 6th CARIFTA Triathlon & Aquathlon comes back home to Barbados in 2024.
First staged in 2017 in Barbados, the event has so far been held in Tobago (2018), Jamaica (2019), Bermuda (2022) and the Bahamas in 2023.
The regional triathlon championship, for ages 11-21 years old, will be held on the Mighty Grynner Highway on 17 and 18 August. Organised by the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT), it is expected to be one of the highlights on the sporting calendar for Barbados in 2024.
Just before CARIFTA takes over Barbados, and if things go according to plan, Paris 2024 should see Barbados’ lone entrant to the Olympic Triathlon on the starting line. Matthew Wright, now the Pan-American Sprint Triathlon champion, and ranked 52nd in the world (10th in the Americas) hopes to represent Barbados.
Wright is himself a product of the local federation’s triathlon development programme, which aims to take children as early as 4 years old through to 21.
According to Darren Treasure, BFIT president, “Having CARIFTA Triathlon here in Barbados next year will drive interest in the sport, and potentially position Barbados as a force to be reckoned with in triathlon in the Americas.” He added “we already have a small cadre of youth athletes who have the potential to go international. Beyond that our objective is to extend our reach into the community to broaden participation in triathlon and to provide opportunities to Barbadian youth.”
As one of the fastest growing sports internationally, triathlon is rapidly becoming a sport of choice for athletes who can combine the core attributes of swimming and running, with riding, as a route to athletic and academic achievement, with an increasing availability of scholarships.