MINISTER of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe is pleased with the number of volunteers that showed up for the Commonwealth Youth Games across Trinidad and Tobago when she spoke at the Volunteer Engagement Session held at the National Racquet Centre, Tacarigua on Saturday.
In her address to over 500 volunteers who were present at the session, Cudjoe said, “Anybody can host once you have the facilities, but the warmth and energy of the people are what brings the Games alive. This year the Commonwealth celebrates the year of youth so hosting these games is a signatory event for the Commonwealth. I would like to salute the TT Olympic Committee and TT Commonwealth Games Association for having the guts and vision that we can host these games because we won by one vote to host these games.
“We have young and senior people from all different walks of life showing up to support and extend their help as we get ready to host the most exciting version of the Youth Commonwealth Games. It’s the first time that TT will be hosting a multi-sport of this nature and first time for the Caribbean region,
“We are aiming to do well not only for TT but for the rest of the region to show the world that we are capable.
“We have the facilities, hospitality and are organised. A major part of my mandate is to encourage national governing bodies to host because we have invested in facilities over the years. This is to showcase what TT has to offer, seeing the government’s investments at work.” Cudjoe believes there is still some work to do in building awareness of the games to the public of TT. “We can always ramp it up. We are doing some caravans for the schoolchildren because the games cater for athletes 14-18 years old. We can ramp up the advertising and PR in the next couple of days. We are hoping that we can ramp up the efforts to get the message out there that all of TT will know these games are happening.”
She the games are an opportunity for young people to see other young people participate in sports and to promote a culture in sport.
Commenting on the inclusion of Para Sports at the games, she said, “We operate on a mandate that sport is for all, no matter what your physical abilities are. Showing TT that we are having para sports and providing an opportunity for them to do normal things. It’s a major opportunity and a platform to showcase sports for all and that everyone has an important role to play in sport and in life.” Annie Hairsine, who works for the Commonwealth Games Federation as the lead for the Commonwealth Youth Games said, “There will be approximately 5,000 people involved in these events and that requires a huge amount of coordination and complexity in terms of delivering six days of sports, with seven different sports across eight different venues across the two islands. It’s a huge jigsaw that you will be involved in many ways.”
The event gets underway from August 4-11 with over 1,000 athletes and para-athletes, aged 14-18, from 71 Commonwealth nations.
Swimming: National Aquatic Centre - Couva, Trinidad
Athletics and Para Athletics: Hasely Crawford Stadium – POS, Trinidad
Beach Volleyball: Black Rock Beach facility – Black Rock, Tobago
Fast 5 Netball: Shaw Park Cultural Complex – Shaw Park, Tobago
Time Trial Cycling: Brian Lara Stadium – Tarouba, Trinidad
Road Race: Brian Lara Stadium- Tarouba, Trinidad
Track Cycling: National Cycling Velodrome- Couva, Trinidad
Rugby Sevens: Shaw Park Recreational Field- Shaw Park, Trinidad
Triathlon: Buccoo Bay Beach Facility- Buccoo, Tobago