THE local bidding team is feeling confident that history will be created, following a two-day visit to this country by officials from the Commonwealth Games Federation to evaluate this country's suitability to host the Commonwealth Youth Games 2021. TT is vying with Gibraltar for hosting rights for the 2021 Games.
The TT Commonwealth Games Association's bidding team comprised an all-female cast of national rugby player Kwanieze John, TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) project officer Rheeza Grant and TTOC's marketing and communications officer Chanelle Young.
Visiting TT were Rachel Simon, head of the Commonwealth Youth Games; chief operating officer Darren Hall; Commonwealth Games England sport director Don Parker; and Keith Joseph, the secretary general of the St Vincent and Grenadines Commonwealth Games Association.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Young said, “The bid was well-received by the evaluation committee and the driving point during our presentation was that the games has a big focus on youth empowerment and youth leadership, that is why it was presented by three young ladies.”
On what transpired during the two days, Young added, "The evaluation process began on Wednesday; we took the evaluating team to the various venues, accommodation options as well as the location of the hospitals. On the second day, we had a full-day meeting with them to go through the details and to defend the bid.”
The venues visited were the Hasely Crawford Stadium (Mucurapo), National Cycling Centre, National Aquatic Centre (Couva) and the National Racquet Centre (Tacarigua).
Speaking on the experience of being on the bidding team, John said, “It was empowering to be entrusted with the project. If we are assessed based on the reception of our presentation and the content of the bid, yes, we did a good job. We are hoping for a favourable response.”
She continued, “Our emphasis is on empowering youth and young people of the Commonwealth coupled with our world-class facilities, we think the Commonwealth Games Federation has a tough decision in awarding the bid."
Grant said, “Being on this team, I represented the youths and the experience was extraordinary knowing that this was historical. It will be a great opportunity for the younger generation to be part of an international youth games.”
TTOC president Brian Lewis said he was pleased with the team's efforts to not only be professional and thorough but also be convincing.
He said, "I am tremendously proud of their effort, they did a fantastic job. The bid was creative and innovative. They represented the youth of TT and the Commonwealth outstandingly. They rose to the occasion as they promoted our arts, music, culture and our food.”
Lewis said it was no coincidence that a young group led the bidding for TT.
He said, “The team comprised of two national athletes and a former youth footballer who all went to youth games and are part of the Future is Female campaign. There are those who may think it should be in the hands of more experienced persons but it is a youth games and it must be trusted in the hands of youths.”
The TTOC boss believes this was a historic moment in the country. “I cannot remember TT has ever been at this stage to host an international and multi-sport event; this can be a catalyst for youth sports and sport tourism in TT,” he said.
The Commonwealth Youth Games will consist of nine sporting disciplines including E-Sports and BMX.