Exactly one year from today, young athletes from 71 nations and territories will gather for the Opening Ceremony of the VIth Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas.
Set to be the largest international sporting event ever hosted in The Bahamas, and the largest-ever edition of the Youth Games, with up to 1300 athletes aged 14-18 set to compete for 94 medals across nine sports, Bahamas 2017 will be a first taste of international multi-sport competition for many young athletes.
Paul Bush OBE, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland said:
“The Youth Games is a fabulous way for our young athletes to gain a real understanding of what the Commonwealth Games is all about from both a sporting and cultural perspective. Bahamas 2017 will be an inspiring opportunity for our athletes to experience their first taste of an international multi-sport Games, while mixing with athletes of their own age from across the globe. I look forward to seeing the next generation of sporting stars emerging a year from now.”
Louise Martin CBE, President, Commonwealth Games Federation 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”.
Youth Team Scotland has a successful history with 145 medals won across the five Youth Games previously held. 66 athletes, including Glasgow 2014 gold medallists Charlie Flynn, Hannah Miley and Dan Keatings, progressing on to compete for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.
The Commonwealth Youth Games concept was created by Scotland as a development opportunity for young athletes with aspirations of competing at a future Commonwealth Games, with the inaugural Youth Games held in Edinburgh in 2000. In line with the Commonwealth Games Federation’s commitment to smaller cities and nations benefitting from hosting a major sporting event, Bahamas 2017 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.
The Bahamas 2017 Opening Ceremony will take place on 18 July and will be followed by five days of competition 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 contested at a Commonwealth Youth Games.
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 Junkanoo carnival parades, which acknowledge and recognise the Commonwealth diaspora and emancipation of former African slaves, in a vibrant musical celebration.