In exactly one year’s time, young athletes from 71 nations and territories will experience a Caribbean carnival of Commonwealth connections as the Opening Ceremony of the VIth Commonwealth Youth Games bursts into life.
Coordinated by the Bahamas Commonwealth Games Association and the Bahamas’ Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the nation’s first-ever international multi-sport event will see 94 medals contested across Athletics, Aquatics (Swimming), Beach Soccer, Boxing, Cycling (Road), Judo, Rugby Sevens, Tennis and (subject to final confirmation) Beach Volleyball. It will be the first time Judo, Beach Soccer and Beach Volleyball have been presented at a Commonwealth Youth Games.
Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin CBE said:
“Today marks an important moment in the journey towards the biggest sporting event The Bahamas has ever hosted. With one year to go, it is wonderful to see the Local Organising Committee making great strides towards their ultimate goal of delivering an inspiring and inclusive Youth Games for the young athletes of the Commonwealth. It will be a unique and empowering opportunity to celebrate and engage young people on the level playing field of sport, and we all look forward to experiencing Bahamas 2017 this time next year”.
Bahamas Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry Christie MP said:
“We fully expect that these Commonwealth Youth Games will be the best yet”.
Commonwealth Youth Games Local Organising Committee Chairman Wellington Miller said:
“In the world of the twenty-first century, our best future is all about positive connections between people, and one powerful experience that these 6th Commonwealth Youth Games can provide is to establish powerful, positive and lasting connections between this great number of young sports leaders coming together in Nassau for this historic occasion”.
As part of the Federation’s commitment to partner and support peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Commonwealth communities, it will be the second edition of the Youth Games to be held on a Small Island Developing State, following the hugely successful Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in September last year. It will also be the first Commonwealth Games event to be held in the Caribbean for over 50 years, with Commonwealth athletes last participating in the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica.
Almost all events will be held in the same sporting precinct, the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, which includes the world-class 15,000-seat Thomas A Robinson stadium, host to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Athletics. The sporting action will also reach out to the communities and streets of the island, with the Cycling competition to be held on the streets of New Providence.
The Bahamas is a Caribbean archipelago of 700 islands spread across 100,000 square miles, of which 30 are inhabited by a population of under 400,000. It is located around 50 miles off the coast of Florida. In addition to the sporting action, the VIth Commonwealth Youth Games promises a rich, colourful and diverse cultural and Commonwealth celebration, inspired by the islands’ world-famous carnival Junkanoo carnival parades which acknowledge and recognise the Commonwealth diaspora and emancipation of former African slaves in a vibrant musical celebration.