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Isle of Man to host Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011 13 July 2005

    The Isle of Man is celebrating a major sporting coup after its Commonwealth Games Association won the right to host the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011.

    Confirming its success, Michael Fennell, the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), said: ‘It was a consequence of the strong pro-active stance taken by the Commonwealth Games Association of the Isle of Man since 2003 coupled with the CGF’s desire to ensure that smaller territories be given the opportunity to host international events that the Games were awarded to the Isle of Man.’

    In congratulating the Isle of Man, he noted that two key considerations in awarding the right to host the Games were technical expertise and facilities, both of which were evident within the CGA and on the Island.

    Tourism Minister David Cretney welcomed the news. He said: ‘We have a great sporting Island with competitors who have represented us at the highest levels in sport. The Isle of Man also hosted the first Island Games in 1985 and they returned as the NatWest Island Games in 2001, so we have no doubt the Isle of Man will rise to the occasion of staging the Commonwealth Youth Games. We are thrilled the Commonwealth Youth Games are coming to the Island and I hope it may give added impetus to local youngsters around age 10 to 12 to keep training hard. Who knows, they might be representing the Isle of Man in 2011.’

    The inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games took place in 2000 when Edinburgh hosted 14 nations. Last year the Games were held in Bendigo, near Melbourne, Australia, with 22 nations participating and in 2008 Delhi will host the Games. It was planned to hold the Commonwealth Youth Games every four years but the Isle of Man’s event has been brought forward one year – to 2011 – to avoid a clash with the Olympics. Entries are pegged at 1,000 competitors, aged 18 and under.

    The Department of Tourism and Leisure, the IoM Sports Council and the Commonwealth Games Association of the Isle of Man will now meet to establish an organising committee for the 2011 Youth Games. The committee’s first task will be to fix the dates of the event and select between six and eight sports for the programme.

    It is likely the Commonwealth Youth Games will be hosted by the Isle of Man in September 2011 to avoid clashing with other events but the final dates have yet to be agreed with the CGF.

    Chairman of the Island’s Commonwealth Games Association, Robin Oake said: ‘It is truly amazing that we, as a small Commonwealth nation, have been selected to host the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011. This will be the first occasion that the Youth Games will have been hosted by a country of our size as in previous years they have been in Scotland and Australia and in 2008 the Games will be in Delhi.

    ‘The Island has wonderful facilities for a range of sports thanks to the foresight of the Tourism and Leisure Department, and we have a united and dedicated team which links the Commonwealth Games Association with the Sports Council and the Department.

    ‘The Council of Ministers has endorsed our enthusiasm and together we are all thrilled, not only by looking forward to the Games but as preparations and planning will soon begin. We are confident that the Island will be very supportive and, of course, it is a great opportunity for our young competitors – who at present aren’t even teenagers – to anticipate and rise to the challenge of such a prestigious international event.’

    News of the Island’s success in being selected to host the 2011 Commonwealth Games was confirmed at a media conference attended by Michael Hooper, the Chief Executive Officer of the CGF, IoM Government representatives and Island-based CGA officials at the National Sports Centre in Douglas. Local sportsmen Steve Partington and Alex Hedges were also present.

    Chief Minister Donald Gelling commented: ‘The Council of Ministers feels hosting the Commonwealth Youth Games will greatly enhance the Island’s international reputation and will be of great benefit to the community. The standard of competition will be somewhere between the Island Games and the main Commonwealth Games, providing all young competitors with the ideal stepping stone to future international competition at adult level.’

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