More than 1,000 young athletes will take part in the sixth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games between 18 and 23 July.
It is the first time in more than 50 years that a Commonwealth Games event has been held in the Caribbean, the last being in 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica.
The participants, aged between 14 and 18, will represent each of the 52 Commonwealth countries (or 70 participating national teams) and will compete in nine sports events over the course of six days.
The Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group, are bringing a dynamic new initiative to the Games - Athlete Impact Labs delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation, The Royal Commonwealth Society and UNICEF. These labs will fulfil the Games’ core ambition to strengthen the link between sporting competition, personal development and Commonwealth peace-building.
The labs, which are an official part of the Bahamas 2017 Cultural and Personal Development Programme, will run for the final three days of the competition and will be voluntarily attended by competitors.
Head of Sport for Development and Peace at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Oliver Dudfield, said: “The involvement of a range of Commonwealth institutions and partners in the Athlete Impact Labs are another demonstration of the commitment across the Commonwealth to maximise the contribution that sport can make to sustainable development and building stronger and inclusive communities.
“By working with athletes on promoting the value of the Commonwealth’s diversity, the importance of protecting human rights and strategies to employ sport as a development tool, the labs will help these young athletes play their role in ensuring the positive impact of sport is realised in more communities across the Commonwealth.”
Launched in 2000, the Youth Games are a sustainable opportunity for smaller cities and nations to benefit from hosting a major sporting event, using predominantly pre-existing venues, while also promoting an inclusive and positive youth and sustainable development agenda. In Nassau, most events will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.
With more than 50 percent of Commonwealth citizens aged 25 and under, the event will play an important part in the Commonwealth’s mission to advance democracy, development and respect for diversity through sport.