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Monday, April 11, 2016

FLASHBACK: 2010 CARIFTA LIVE, Truman Bodden Sports Complex, George Town, Grand Cayman.

In 2010, the Caribbean Media Corporation pioneered live coverage of the 39th CARIFTA Games to television stations across the region and via the World Wide Web on Easter weekend from the Cayman Islands.

The CMC, which has produced ground-breaking television coverage of the Olympic Games and key IAAF world events, collaborated with the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) with the sponsorship of the telecommunications company, LIME, to bring all three days of coverage from the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

The three days of live coverage included commentary from broadcast journalists Jason Harper and Hubert Lawrence with analysis by Kareem Streete-Thompson, the Cayman Olympian who now coaches in Florida. Sports journalist Terry Finisterre, who is now a LIME corporate communications official, covered the previous edition of the games in his native St Lucia, and he proved no less instrumental in providing track-side interviews.

In the run-up to the games, CMC also distributed 13 five-minute mini-magazine programmes highlighting some of the top athletes participating in this year's championships and recalling the games’ history with founder Austin Sealy.


Barbadian television production company, Creative Junction, was the TV outside broadcast production company originating the signal through the Florida-based satellite distribution company, Protel. The signal was delivered directly to TV stations around the region, reaching an audience in excess of two million. LIME also reported more than 2 million hits on its live streaming site, which occasionally melt down under the demand! So for three days, CMC at CARIFTA was an international broadcaster and our tent was not only control room but IMC, providing a world feed inclusive of commercials and crawls.

A five-camera production utilised NewTek's 3-Play replay system, affording ‘iso’ (isolated) recording of three camera angles.


Covering the 2010 CARIFTA Games, the annual junior athletic games - whence the Caribbean athletics powerhouse emerged to international prominence - was one of the most challenging and rewarding assignments I've ever undertaken. Those of us who took part in the CMC's first-ever live international television broadcast of the games, fresh from a memorable Caribbean Dreams coverage of the Beijing Olympics games, still talk about a joyously memorable experience. And by all accounts, the viewers feel the same way...
ABOVE: An early production meeting.

The games were a production of CMC Sport with Creative Junction of Barbados, a gung-ho group of young, can-do television programme-makers with quite a few important credits already under their belts.

The brief was simple - deliver an engaging Caribbean broadcast for Easter holiday audiences that highlighted the achievements of junior athletes from across the region in the 39th edition of this Olympic nursery...

RIGHT: Crew pose. From left: Danny McQuilkin (VTR/Barbados), Susan "Kiwi" McIntosh (Graphics and CG/New Zealand), Rohan Amiel (Director/Jamaica) and technician Glen Rocheford.

BELOW LEFT: Commentary booth. From left, colour commentator and play-by-play commentators Hubert Lawrence - a veteran of several Olympic and Jamaican track meets - and Jason Harper, fresh from cutting his teeth in the Beijing Olympics for CMC, at their position by the finish line.

RIGHT: Study in concentration. Susan McIntosh was a whiz with graphics, adapting her Mac for live graphics input. We're in an air-conditioned tent just past the finish line.

BELOW: Across the finish line. A light moment as the director carries graphics! But it was truly a team effort in relaying the games to several national television networks via satellite and streaming video to thousands of teen sport fans and far-flung relatives and well-wishers. LIME, the sponsor and streaming provider, reported two million hits - and a crash!