The CUT Track and Field Championships was a result of the CUT’s recognition of the need to provide the young athletes aged 8-15 years with some regional competition. There was also recognition by the CUT that sports have a significant role to play in the regional integration process. These particular Championships would bring together the students and teachers of the Caribbean for a few days of friendly competition, camaraderie and co-operation. The Caribbean Union of Teachers Biennial Track and Field Championships was first organized in Barbados in 1986. The participating countries at the inaugural Meet were Anguilla , Bahamas , Bermuda , Cayman Islands , Grenada , Guyana , St. Lucia , St. Vincent and the Grenadines and host, Barbados . They competed for the Jean Perisco Trophy. Barbados made capital of the fact that they were at home and won the Championships. The success of the inaugural Meet led to a CUT decision to develop the Championships into a biennial affair. It was also agreed that the Championships would be organized by the Teachers’ Union of the host nation. This extends to the host seeking sponsorship to help meet local expenses. Member Unions desirous of participating are required to meet their respective cost of their teams. This includes airfares. In 1988, St. Lucia hosted the Championships at the Mindoo Phillip Park in Castries . These were seriously affected by persistent rain. With only one full day of competition completed, the Championships trophy went, for the second consecutive occasion, to Barbados. Guyana hosted the 1990 edition of the Biennial Championships at the popular Bourda Cricket Ground. In the midst of very keen competition resulting from a higher level of preparation, first time participants, Trinidad and Tobago , carried off the top prize. The excitement was fever pitch as the eventual winners were only evident in the two final events of the competition.
Trinidad and Tobago hosted the fourth Biennial CUT Track and Field Championships, in 1992. The Barbadians were eager to reclaim what they say as their right, the Championship trophy. Trinidad was determined not to give it up too easily. The rivalry made for exciting Championship and, in the end, Barbados emerged victorious. Two years later, in 1994, St. Kitts/Nevis played host to the Championships. Barbados came in the most prepared and took the trophy home, yet again. In 1996, the year of the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta , Georgia , USA , the Meet returned to Barbados . Again, the students of this beautiful island were better prepared than the others and swept the trophy for the fifth occasion. In 1998, St. Vincent and the Grenadines hosted the Championships. Trinidad and Tobago for the second time emerged Champions. It was Martinique ‘s turn to host the games in 2000. For the first time, Jamaica , another powerhouse in athletics entered the Championships. However even in the face of keen competition from Barbados and Jamaica , Trinidad and Tobago were Champions for the second consecutive time. The dominance of Trinidad and Tobago continued in 2002. The host and defending champion held Jamaica and Barbados to win the championship for the third consecutive time. These Championships have been a breeding ground for some of the Caribbean ‘s most outstanding Track and Field athletes. Many have moved on to the CAC Age Group Championships, the CAC Juniors, the Carifta Games, the CAC Senior Championships, the CAC Games, the Pan American Games and, of course, the Olympic Games.
The likes of Obadele Thompson of Barbados, Najuma Fletcher of Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ayanna Hutchinson, Darrel Brown and Marc Burns St. Vincent and the Grenadines’Sancho Lyttle, Shara Proctor of Anguilla and Veronica Campbell of Jamaica readily come to mind.