Bermuda To Host International Track Meet

February 4, 2016

An international event of “world class track athletes” will descend on Bermuda in April, the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] and Bermuda National Athletics Association [BNAA] announced jointly today.

The Bermuda Invitational Permit Meet will take place at the National Sports Centre [NSC] on Friday, April 22, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

“An event like this has never been witnessed before in Bermuda with world class athletes, Olympians or former Olympians competing,” said Donna Raynor, president of BNAA. “This will be like the America’s Cup of Athletics.”

The BNAA made a submission to its international governing bodies to become eligible to host the event and approached the BTA for support through its Tourism Experiences investment process.

empty generic national stadium 2

“In the same way the Danish National Swim team is here in Bermuda using our national pool to train for the Olympics, we will have some of the brightest stars in athletics competing on our track in about three months,” said Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer.

“The BTA is proud to be a key sponsor of this event because it helps position Bermuda for the next level of sports tourism.”

Officials are in talks with agents and coaches negotiating to attract some of the top names in athletics.

The BNAA will also showcase its own elite athletes during the invitational including Tre Houston, Tyrone Smith and Aaron Evans.

The schedule of events will consist of 100m, 400m, 400m Hurdles, 800m, 1500m, Men’s Long Jump and Females’ High Jump. The athletes will compete for prize money. Spectator tickets will be made available to the public beginning February 29, 2016.

“The Bermuda Invitational is one of a series of permit meets held in the Caribbean region – starting in the Bahamas, then Bermuda, Cayman and Jamaica. The events are conducted separately, but at some point they may become a circuit,” the BTA said.

“A series of meets in the same geographic region is particularly attractive during an Olympic year when athletes are looking for venues that are close by to compete in. Bermuda would be well-positioned to play an important role in that kind of circuit because geographically it is close to North America and the Caribbean.”

Mrs. Phillip-Fairn said: “If we can make this Area Permit Meet an annual staple, and part of a circuit that includes stops in the Caribbean, we then have the potential to be a part of something truly ground breaking, elevating Bermuda to a level of sports tourism even higher than the one we are speaking of today.”

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Comments (13)

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  1. brigadooner says:

    “No one will ever come to Bermuda to train, this is yet another hair-brained scheme cooked up by the BTA” – Said all the PLP supports and neysayers

  2. Sprint walker says:

    That is brilliant news! Can’t wait to go and watch.

  3. Andrew Little says:

    Wonderful news, great stuff!

    So are they going to repave the ‘atrocious’ main road outside the stadium to ‘world class’ standards ahead of time for the event?

  4. Eve says:

    BTA still searching for its target market?? A track meet is like fishing, you never know what you’ll catch. With about 6 weeks to go looks like another BTA last minute bailout investment! When will BTA get down to doing the job of old fashioned tourism the kind that brings tourists here for a holiday?

    • Prego says:

      OK, fine. Let’s just pass up all these opportunities to advertise this island. We need people here, spending their money in our hotels. I couldn’t care less if it’s 50 athletes and their coaches or 500 visiting runners and families for race weekend, it’s all additional money in the Bermuda pot.

      People with your hater mentality will do nothing but drive people away. Do you have any proposals of your own that may help?

      • Eve says:

        Taxpayers are expecting the BTA to have proposals that WORK, so far they have nothing to show. BTA talks and spends with nothing to show taxpayers what they got for their investment. Paying for local athlets to have a good time for two hours hoping more will come in the future is taking money out of the pot to make it look like BTA is working. We need tourists who stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and enjoy other island activities they put money into the pot. BTA was going to be self supporting in two years and they are not putting anything back into the pot to pay it forward and they are asking for more taxpayer funding. Why?

  5. sage says:

    We are not in the Caribbean BTA.

  6. Edward Cattell says:

    Am I reading this correctly from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm on Friday night 22nd April and this is international, so people are flying in for 2 hours of athletics, then what Oh I get it Party Time.

    • Prego says:

      Can nobody read anymore????? Let me help you. “it helps position Bermuda for the next level of sports tourism.”

      This is a starting point, no more, no less. Sports tourism is a growing market, so why shouldn’t we try to get a slice of the cake?

      • Eve says:

        I don’t read where there is an explanation of the next level of sports tourism so we know what the expected return is! What did this slice of cake cost to position us???????? At least at one of Rick’s Happy Hours I know what my cost is!!!!!!

  7. Rick Olson says:

    My support for the BTA is rapidly declining ……… What is this costing the taxpayer ?

    • Prego says:

      Oh come on Rick, you’re a businessman. Did you never have a happy hour or run a promotion in an attempt to gain more customers?

      I grant that athletics may not be your bag, but the business case is clear. Good luck to them.

  8. moonbeam says:

    Why are Paralympic Athletes not included ? How about Jessica Lewis who won a Gold AND a Bronze Medal in 2015 ? Is she not an ELITE athlete ?