The CariFin Games are coming.
The 2011 CariFin Games are on! The dates have been ratified by the committee. A lot is at stake in this 20th edition. From a cursory glance there is a lot of excitement and promise afoot in this year’s Games. I am breathless just thinking about all the exciting things waiting to unfold.
First comes the question: Can a landmark performance of five wins in the mens’ cross country be achieved by the RBTT Bank athlete – Nikosi Mc Leish?
Can GHL’s Crystal- Ann Awai make it three in a row and distinguish herself as the only female athlete in CariFin to attain such a mark? Of keen interest to me and others is how the women’s competition will play out. Three women exchanged leadership in the female competition last year.
Elsa Anthony of CBTT won the One Lap Savannah; RBL’s Mumtaz Amarali took the Green Mile. Then Crystal-Ann Awai stormed back to take Chancellor Hill and added the Sevilla cross country to her list of victories for 2010. Also showing good form is Salisha Julien of RBTT. This year Wendy D’arbasie of CBTT already gave the opening salvo by saying, “I will win CariFin this year!”
I am just bubbling with excitement wondering what the top 10 competition will be like. What levels of improvement will we see? Will the fitness level of these three continue to improve and take them to better, faster times or will some newbie shoot into the limelight and erase the others from the headlines?
What about the average CariFin competitor? Will they use the urgency of the upcoming games to motivate themselves to get in shape to be in their team’s colors and uniforms to give their team an edge at every event?
Knowing full well that a more active lifestyle, or just being on one’s feet and busy, has greater benefits than a sedentary one they push on. This is the fitness enthusiast, the person only in it for fun and fitness benefits as well as networking with his/her colleagues, forming a richer experience in the process through the Games
What about the teams? Who is bringing the biggest team? Which one will be carrying home the most wins or trophies? Are the team captain’s pushing for participation, are they building their team, do they have people in training?
I remember videotaping and interviewing GHL teams going through their training in and around the Botanic Gardens over the last three years. Last year Republic Bank had an innovative in-house com-
petition called ‘step on the step’. It was an interesting concept having staff use the steps instead of the elevator. All in all it worked, gearing up people to join their team for CariFin.
For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, plan or events for CariFin let me get you in the know. Its main focus is to promote health and fitness and a more active lifestyle among staff in the financial services sector.
The traditional Torch Relay signals the start of the Games. It takes place on Saturday March 26, 2011. The lit torch leaves Central Bank carried by deputy Governor Dr. Shelton Nicholls on its journey to the finish point- Republic Bank, Couva. .
We then enter the Urban Challenge Series, kicking off the actual competition. It was conceived as a series of warm–up events to introduce staff members of the participating institutions to a consistent level of fitness activities in a competitive and fun way. Thus, stoking that competitive fire that exists in all of us, ensuring a higher level of participation for the final day on the undulating terrain at Sevilla – Couva.
This year we would like to dedicate to the “Fitness Enthusiast”, the guy or gal who jut wants to improve their level of fitness, meaning aerobic capacity, strength and flexibility. It will help them cope with the high level of stress in the competitive financial environment, ward off or cope with sedentary and lifestyle related diseases. This year’s challenge to every participating institution is to bring 50 walkers to the events. Thus our main thrust – cross country participation – will have a pool of athletes to supply and increase the level of participation.
On April 06, 2011 both walkers and runners will be part of the first event of the Games – the One Lap savannah. The runners will start first, followed by the walkers. A separate prize structure is in place for both groups.
The Green Mile is the next event, scheduled for Wednesday April 13, 2011 at 5.00 pm. It takes place on the outside of the sand track in the Queen’s Park Savannah. Again, both runners and walkers will be on show.
The Chancellor Hill Challenge is the third event on the schedule and a popular favorite of the athletes. We break for Easter, resuming April 27, 2011 for the last of the running events before the cross country. The top runners will be established by this stage to challenge Nikosi Mc Leish in his attempt to make it five in a row and also the females to challenge Crystal-Ann Awai for her coveted first place in cross country running in CariFin.
The Aerobics Burnout ends the pre-stage events with a grand show with the best of the aerobics competitors coming together for what could be called – “The showdown at sunset at the Plaza”. This will take place on May 04, 2011 at Central Bank Plaza at 5.00 p.m.
It’s Cricket, Football and All Fours time at Republic Bank Sports ground on Saturday May 14, 2011. The action starts at 10.00 am with defending champions of cricket, football and all fours – Republic Bank – hoping to retain their superiority. . “So what happen if we win the little cricket, football and all fours? I eh see nutten in that!” This revelation came from Ms. Nichole Warrick, All Fours coordinator for Republic Bank.
All roads lead to Sevilla Golf Course for the 20th Edition of the Cross Country and Family Day on Sunday May 29, 2011.
There are many things to do on this day as part of the CariFin Cross Country and Family Day. The adult fun and novelty starts the day’s proceedings, with individual as well as group activities, from beer drinking to tug-of-war competition. The Kid’s Park is the place for child-related activities ranging from Tin Pan Alley to bouncy castle to a Little Ms. CariFin competition.
We break for the Official Opening and lining up of teams. After that is the kid’s race for ages four to 16. The Walking race comes next on the day’s list of activities. Then we have the fun run that finishes the athletic activities before the male and female cross country races.
The Dance-Off competition holds sway and attention. The day finishes with what could be described as one of the big attractions – The Miss CariFin competition.