The final hundred-day countdown for the first Commonwealth Youth Games to be held in the Caribbean has begun.
The Games, which take place in July, will be the largest international sporting event ever to be hosted in The Bahamas, with up to 1300 athletes aged between 14 and 18.
“Any Games is important to the Bahamas. For one week The Bahamas will be the capital of the Commonwealth and all eyes will be on The Bahamas, so it’s very important,” high commissioner to London, Eldred E. Bethel said. “As you know tourism is the number one industry and we’re in the business of inviting people to the Bahamas, our hospitality is second to none. We’re in the business of promoting sport as part of our tourism product. It’s like, almost, Columbus coming back to discover the Bahamas, and listen, the Bahamas will be ready for it.”
Mr Bethel was speaking after meeting Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland at Marlborough House.
“The real gold in our Commonwealth is our young people. Their talent, their vision, and the ability to realise that talent and vision is of quintessential importance,” she said. “The Commonwealth Games brings all that together. But the Commonwealth Youth Games is our energy, is our heart, is our life. And to see the youth of our Commonwealth giving of their best in one of the most beautiful islands in the Commonwealth, The Bahamas, I think it’s going to be an absolute thrill.”
Secretary-General Scotland said that the Games was not just about sport, but how it provides education and creates world leaders.
This is the first Commonwealth Games event to be held in the Caribbean for more than 50 years. The last time was the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica.