In just less than 100 days, up to 1000 young Commonwealth athletes aged 14-18 will represent their country and compete for 107 Gold Medals in 9 sports over 5 days at the Vth Commonwealth Youth Games, taking place on the Pacific island nation of Samoa from 5-11 September 2015.
The Commonwealth Youth Games are for some – like Kirani James (Athletics), Chad le Clos (Aquatics) and Jessica Ennis-Hill (Athletics) - the springboard to future Commonwealth Games glory; for many, a formative first taste of international multi-sport competition; and for all, a joyous celebration of high-performance sport, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships made on the level playing field of sport.
The action takes place in the nation’s capital, Apia, across two sporting complexes that will play host to Aquatics (Swimming), Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Squash, Tennis and Weightlifting.
Like the Commonwealth Games, all athletes stay in athletes’ village-style accommodation and events comply with the relevant IF’s technical rules and regulations, giving many competitors their first taste of an international multi-sport Games. World anti-doping standards also apply. Off the field of play, the Youth Games nurtures new sporting global citizens by focusing on friendship, integrity and cross-Commonwealth inter-cultural exchange – learning and living the Commonwealth Games Federation’s values of Humanity, Equality, Destiny.
HRH Prince Imran, Commonwealth Games Federation President, said:
"After the inspiring success of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, our attention as a Commonwealth Sporting Movement turns to the next generation of sporting talent, as up to 1000 aspiring young athletes prepare to represent their country on the great sporting island of Samoa.
We look forward to a week of impactful sporting competition, personal development and international friendship as part of a joyful event that, from the very first Youth Games in 2000, has celebrated the potential and achievements of our finest, young Commonwealth athletes. I wish all the athletes and teams well with their preparations and look forward to cheering them on in Samoa in 100 days time."
The host nation, Samoa, which means Sacred (Sa’) Centre (Moa) of the Universe, is a small, tropical island nation in the Central Pacific with a young population of c187,000, over half of whom are 25 and under.
Chairman of the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games Organising Committee, and Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi said:
"Practically our entire small island community from sports associations and athletes, to the public and private sector, to our citizens and communities have all banded together to prepare to welcome and host Commonwealth athletes, officials, dignitaries, supporters and visitors in 100 days time.
Samoa is a Small Island Developing State in the Central Pacific and sport and recreation is a hugely important part of our island life and culture. With this close affinity to and appreciation of sports and its rewards and benefits, our island nation and community stands ready and eager to extend to all athletes and visitors a very warm welcome and to ensure that the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games will not just be the most memorable but a lasting legacy for all."
Launched in 2000 and now in its 5^th edition, the Youth Games are a sustainable opportunity for smaller cities and nations to benefit from hosting a major sporting event, using predominantly pre-existing venues (in Samoa’s case constructed for the 2007 Pacific Games) whilst also promoting an inclusive and positive youth agenda.
With 50% of Commonwealth citizens aged 25 and under, the Youth Games play a vital part in the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision to inspire Commonwealth athletes to drive the ambition and power of all Commonwealth citizens through sport.