CGF President Martin praises "tremendous" work of Commonwealth Youth Games organisers

The Thomas A. Robinson Stadium will be one of the main venues for the Games ©Getty Images

News - Youth Commonwealth Games
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Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin praised organisers of the Commonwealth Youth Games for their "tremendous" work and claimed the venues were "second to none" on the eve of the event here.

The Bahamas were only awarded the hosting rights for the sixth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games in January 2016 after Saint Lucia withdrew due to concerns over venues and finances.

Six of the nine sports on the programme for the Games, which conclude on Sunday (July 23), will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.

The complex includes the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, which has staged the previous four editions of the International Association of Athletics Federations World Relays.

Beach volleyball and beach soccer will take place at the Bahamas Football Association National Stadium, the venue for the recent FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

"When you think The Bahamas stepped in when Saint Lucia, through no fault of their own, couldn't host these Games, the work that has been done in such a short period of time is really tremendous," Martin, elected CGF President in September 2015, said here.

"What I have seen here - the complex and the beach volleyball stadium, are second to none.

"It is not a big Games and we don't want it to be that way.

"We want to keep it small so that small countries of the Commonwealth can host these Games successfully without bankrupting themselves."

Martin also believes the event will be a "uniquely Caribbean celebration of the young sporting Commonwealth".

"It has been a tremendous team effort with many different Government and sporting agencies all pulling together," the Scot added.

"Everyone is committed to supporting the athletes, promoting an inclusive and positive youth agenda and making the most of this opportunity to showcase The Bahamas to the world."

The 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games are set to be the biggest edition of the event, first held in Edinburgh in 2000.

There are due to be 96 gold medals awarded in athletics, beach soccer, beach volleyball, boxing, road cycling, judo, rugby sevens, swimming and tennis.

Five of these will be won during tomorrow's judo competition, where the sport will make its Commonwealth Youth Games debut.

"There will be over 1,000 athletes participating in these Games from nearly all of the countries of the Commonwealth and this in itself is a first for our nation," Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, said.

"Many of the athletes have travelled great distances to be here and I hope that their experience in The Bahamas will be most rewarding, both in terms of the keen competition they will encounter and the cultural exchanges which this gathering will engender."

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