100 day countdown to Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games for Team GUERNSEY
29th May 2015
In just 100 days, up to 1000 young Commonwealth athletes aged 14-18, including four from Team Guernsey will compete for 107 Gold Medals in 9 sports over 5 days at the V Commonwealth Youth Games, to be held on the Pacific island nation of Samoa from 5-11 September 2015.
The Commonwealth Youth Games are for some – like Miles Munro (Swimming) and Heather Watson (Tennis) – the springboard to future Commonwealth Games glory; for many, a formative first taste of international multi-sport competition; and for all, a joyous celebration of high-performance sport, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships made on the level playing field of sport. Heather Watson gaining Guernsey’s first Commonwealth Youth Games Gold medal at the Pune, India 2008 Games at the age of 16 years.
The action takes place in the nation’s capital, Apia, across two sporting complexes that will play host to Aquatics (Swimming), Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Squash, Tennis and Weightlifting.
Young athletes selected to make the journey to Samoa to represent Team Guernsey will be announced in the next few days.
Like the Commonwealth Games, all athletes stay in athletes’ village-style accommodation and events comply with International Federation technical rules and regulations, giving many competitors their first taste of an international multi-sport environment. World anti-doping standards also apply. Off the field of play, the Youth Games nurtures the next generation of global sporting citizens by focusing on friendship, integrity and cross-Commonwealth inter-cultural exchange – learning and living the Commonwealth Games Federation’s values of Humanity, Equality, Destiny.
David Harry, Team Guernsey Chef de Mission said:
“Guernsey has competed at 3 previous Commonwealth Youth Games with great pride and I am sure that our young athletes going to Samoa will be no different. They are in for a unique sporting experience and will cherish great memories of competing against top class Commonwealth competition.”
The host nation, Samoa, which means Sacred (Sa’) Centre (Moa) of the Universe, is a small, tropical island nation in the Central Pacific with a young population of c187,000, over half of whom are 25 and under.
Chairman of the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games Organising Committee, and Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi said:
“Practically our entire small island community from sports associations and athletes, to the public and private sector, to our citizens and communities have all banded together to prepare to welcome and host Commonwealth athletes, officials, dignitaries, supporters and visitors in 100 days time.
Samoa is a Small Island Developing State in the Central Pacific and sport and recreation is a hugely important part of our island life and culture. With this close affinity to and appreciation of sports and its rewards and benefits, our island nation and community stands ready and eager to extend to all athletes and visitors a very warm welcome and to ensure that the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games will not just be the most memorable but a lasting legacy for all”.
Launched in 2000 and now in its 5th edition, 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 (in Samoa’s case constructed for the 2007 Pacific Games) whilst also promoting an inclusive and positive youth agenda.
With 50% of Commonwealth citizens aged 25 and under, the Youth Games play a vital part in the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision to inspire Commonwealth athletes to drive the ambition and power of all Commonwealth citizens through sport.