The 2011 Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games officially closed last night with a ceremony and lively athletes party to mark the end of the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games.
Steve Colley, a local motorbike rider, treated the 1500-strong audience of athletes, officials and VIPs to a thirty-minute stunt show before speeches from David Cretney, the Isle of Man Government’s Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure and President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Hon. Michael Fennell.
The athletes and officials assembled on Douglas promenade in their country line-ups before marching into the Villa Broadway Gardens and reassembling in the sports that they participated in over the four days, demonstrating the friendships created during the Games.
Minster Cretney then spoke to the assembled guests and outlined his gratitude to the volunteers for their efforts in delivering a successful Games. He also expressed his gratitude to the Commonwealth Games Federation in supporting one of its smaller nations by granting the Games to the Isle of Man. “We are a small nation, with a big heart. We said that you were arriving as guests, but would be leaving as friends. Well that’s proven the case. Go home now and take a little of the Isle of Man’s hospitality with you.”
The President of the Commonwealth Games Federation then formally replied on behalf of the Commonwealth: “I would like to thank the Isle of Man Government and its people for hosting an outstanding Games. They have demonstrated in abundance the spirit, enthusiasm, hard work and organisational ability required to make the Games a success. I would also like to congratulate all the teams and athletes for taking part and I look forward to seeing you all again in Scotland in 2014 and for the next Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015.
He then handed the ceremonial Quaich, the Scottish Cup symbolising love and friendship, to Vui Tapasu Leung. Vui Tapasu Leung then handed a Tanoa, a Samoan symbol of Peace and Unity to Geoff Karran, MBE, chair of the 2011 Organising Committee.
It was then left to Mr Fennell to formally declare the 1Vth Commonwealth Youth Games closed and he requested that the youth of the Commonwealth reassemble in Samoa in 2015.
Afterwards there was a party for athletes and officials with music from local rock band ‘The Same’ and musician Davy Knowles. Hundreds of young athletes from 63 Commonwealth countries rocked the dance floor of Douglas’s Villa Marina to tunes by Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian and Davy Knowles also played the memorable Games anthem 'Reach Higher' that he composed.
Geoff Karran, MBE, Chairman of the Isle of Man CYG 2011 Organising Committee commented:
“We have enjoyed a fantastic Commonwealth Youth Games and seen some world class performances from the stars of the future across a number of sports. I look forward to following the progress of the athletes as they make their way in the sporting world. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make the games a success, particularly the volunteers who kept their levels of the enthusiasm going and contributed so significantly to the Games.