As expected, the organisers have annulled the media accreditation fee for the 2014 CARIFTA Games in Martinique in April.
In a correspondence sent to the President of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC), Victor Lopez and Organisational Delegate and NACAC Treasurer, Alain Jean Pierre, among others, the organisers announced the rescinding of the fee.
“Carifta Martinique 2014, in recognition of the tremendous work being done by journalists and media personnel in the coverage of CARIFTA and other sporting events over the years, has decided by common accord with NACAC, not to charge accreditation fees for bona fide members of the press,” read the statement.
However, the organisers have reminded that media accreditation forms must still be stamped by the member federations to ensure transparency.
On Tuesday, Michael Bascombe, a member of the interim committee of Caribbean Sports Journalists wrote to Mr Lopez expressing concerns about a US$100 media accreditation fee included in the Technical Manual of the CARIFTA Games 2014.
Mr Lopez intervened immediately and requested that the organisers revise the manual and remove the fee.
“As far as I know we never have charged the Media for accreditation in any of the NACAC, CACAC, and CARIFTA Championships,” he said.
“The Media is our partner and they are regarded very highly by our organisation for the service that they provide to our sport. Therefore, any amenities and commodities that we can provide to the media personnel would be appreciated.”
Anna Legnani, the Deputy Director, IAAF Communications Department, also contacted the French Athletics Federation to intervene on the media’s behalf.
The International Sports Press Association (AIPS) also reiterated its appeal for the media to be allowed to operate without any unneccessary hindrances.
In August 2013, a group of journalists including Kwame Laurence (Trinidad & Tobago), Brent Stubbs (Bahamas), Andre Lowe (Jamaica) and Bascombe (Grenada) met with Lopez and Anna Legnani, Deputy Director, IAAF Communications Department in Moscow, Russia where they agreed to forge ahead by creating partnerships with NACAC and the IAAF.
The CARIFTA Games, the region’s premier junior track and field championship, will be held in Martinique from April 19-21. The opening ceremony will take place on the evening of April 18 at the Pierre Aliker Muncipal Stadium in Fort de France.
This year’s CARIFTA Games has been approved by the IAAF as a qualifying Meet for the Youth Olympic Games to be staged in Nanjing, China from August 16-28.