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. The Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games will be the largest international sporting event ever to be hosted in The Bahamas, and the largest-ever edition of the Youth Games, with up to 1300 athletes aged 14-18 set to make the most of an inspiring and immersive mix of impactful sporting competition, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships.
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”.
A Transformation 2022 Gender Equality Taskforce with a mandate to “leave no stone unturned” in pursuit of gender equality opportunities across the Commonwealth sporting spectrum has been set up by Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), it will be announced today at the Commonwealth Secretariat’s inaugural Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit.
The Taskforce, headed by CGF Vice Presidents Kereyn Smith (New Zealand) and Bruce Robertson (Canada), will work with sporting stakeholders, including future Games and Youth Games Host Cities, International Federations and member Commonwealth Games Associations to comprehensively audit and explore opportunities for gender equality across all of the Commonwealth Sport Movement's activities and impacts.
Louise Martin CBE, elected as the Federation’s first-ever female President in September 2015, said: “I am passionately committed to ensuring that we live our values of Humanity, Equality, Destiny in everything we do. I’ve asked our Transformation 2022 Gender Equality Taskforce to leave no stone unturned as they explore how Commonwealth sport and everyone in our diverse sporting family can better deliver for women and girls.
“I believe our dynamic sporting movement has an important part to play in an energised, engaged and empowered Commonwealth of Nations and Territories, and especially so in this Year of 'An Inclusive Commonwealth.' We are delighted to be participating in today’s Commonwealth Women Leaders’ Summit and look forward to playing a lead role in realising ambitions and opportunities through sport for all Commonwealth citizens.”
Olympic hopeful Shaquille Dill was less than two seconds outside the Olympic qualifying time of 1min 46sec in the 800 metres when he won his heat in 1:47.39 at the Princeton qualifier in New Jersey over the weekend.
Dill was competing at the event along with Dage Minors, another middle distance runner, as Lamont Marshall competed overseas in his hopes of reaching the qualifying mark before the July 11 deadline.
Dill was third overall, but still needs to shave a couple of seconds off his time in order to qualify for Rio this summer.
Swimmers Julian Fletcher and Rebecca Heyliger will represent the island at Caribbean Championships in the Bahamas next weekend, looking to fine tune their techniques as they get set to compete in their first Olympic Games in August.
Fletcher will swim in the 100 metres breaststroke where he holds the national record of 1min 02.47sec, while Heyliger has qualified for the 50 metres freestyle.
Both are based in Southern California where they train together.
They don’t exactly know what to expect in Rio, but know they will be up against the world’s top swimmers.