If you were to ask a random person around the world if they could name a sportsperson from the Caribbean, the answer would likely be Usain Bolt. The fastest man alive is clearly the person that everyone knows but even in the running community in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Bolt has a lot of strong and talented peers, it is just that Bolt is one step (and a lot of paces) ahead of virtually everyone. Mind you, it seems as though Bolt is far ahead from everyone else in the world! When it comes to sport, Bolt may be the name that everyone knows but when it comes to Caribbean sports; there are plenty of big names and big games.
The Caribbean, like virtually every country in the world, loves football, or soccer depending on where you hail from. Virtually all of the islands have a national team that takes part in the CONCACAF federation and club teams compete in the Champions League for the CONCACAF which takes place every year. Some of the biggest national teams of the Caribbean include Jamaica, who go by the name of the Reggae Boyz and the Soca Warriors of Trinidad & Tobago. Many world cups have been brightened up by the fans and teams of the Caribbean.
Cricket is a big hit with many islanders
For the Caribbean countries that are described as British colonies, there is a lot to be said for the popularity of cricket. In Trinidad, Brian Lara is classed a national hero, and he still holds a record of 501 runs in a single match. One of the biggest days on the sporting calendar you will find in Barbados is the Cup Match, a festival played out over two days where a match between St George Cricket Club and Somerset Cricket Club takes centre stage.
The West Indies are deemed to be a massive force in cricket and the 2007 Cricket World Cup was played in a wide selection of cricket ovals across the Caribbean. Islands like St Vincent, St Lucia, St Kitts, Jamaica, Guayana, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua all joined in the cricket fun at this tournament. Since then, popular cricketer Chris Gayle and the rest of the West Indies Cricket Team won the 2012 T20 World Championship.
While cricket is huge in some of the islands, it is fair to say that baseball holds a lot of charm and appeal in other islands. The most notable baseball destination in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic. There is a winter league here and the island is proud to have sent so many players to the big leagues of American baseball. Baseball is also very popular in the Cuba and players have made it from the island all the way to the World Series.
You will also find that horse racing and polo are popular sports on some islands with Barbados, Nevis, Martinique, St Croix and the Dominican Republic all hosting events. There are also some sports, races and events in the Caribbean which may not be too popular or common around the world. There is goat racing; there is crab racing and cockfighting. These aren’t going to be everyone’s idea of a good day out but it emphasises the diversity of sports on offer in the Caribbean.