The devastation of Hurricane Matthew left behind a whopping toll of $600 million dollars in damages issued to the Government of The Bahamas. Though the infrastructure of the Queen Elizabeth Sporting Complex has suffered minimal damage, recovery efforts by the Government resulted in late funding of the operational personnel of the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Two months after nationwide recovery efforts, work has commenced on the Rugby field, prompting the engagement of 15 additional members which is intended to complement the existing team which comprises of Chairman, Wellington Miller, Managing Director, Romell Knowles, Deputy Managing Directors, Drumeco Archer and Grafton Ifill – all hosting the CGF and Review Committee. Additionally, the Kendal G. L. Isaacs Gymnasium, the site for the Judo competition, has received a brand new parquet flooring in keeping with international standards.
After a three-day site visit with Rachel Simon and Ann-Louise Morgan from the Commonwealth Games Federation together with its newly constituted CYG Review Committee, comprising Commonwealth sports leaders from the Caribbean region, the Organizing Committee received positive feedback and detailed advice as they commence comprehensive planning for the upcoming Games. The Review Committee, a more agile and focused format of a traditional Games coordination commission, includes Mr. Keith Joseph (General Secretary, CGA St Vincent and the Grenadines), Mr. Brian Lewis (President, CGA Trinidad and Tobago) and Mr. Cliff Williams (Secretary General, CGA Antigua and Barbuda).
With seven months left before game time, the organizing committee will enhance its communication efforts throughout its Commonwealth Games Associations with the additional support of its marketing and operations personnel.
President of CGA Bahamas and Chairman of the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, Wellington Miller remarked that he “was most certainly delighted to welcome the Review Committee and CGF personalities to the Bahamas. These games are not only important to the Bahamas but to the Caribbean Region as we are one people. The strategic feedback was very constructive and forward thinking as we get set to host a most exciting games in 2017. Notwithstanding a few delays, I wish to reassure my brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth that the games are on and we look forward to further collaboration with the Review Committee and the CGF as we get set to welcome each of you to our shores and to experience our rich and diverse culture."
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr. Calvin Balfour has confirmed receipt of funds earmarked for the operations of the games and has issued a mandate to do everything necessary to ensure that there are no delays in the deliverables of the Games. The hosting of the Games is regarded with personal interest by Prime Minister, Perry Christie, who has stated that these Games will create a gateway for Bahamian youths to edge closer to the world through sports.
The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, The Hon. Daniel Johnson remarked that the entire country is poised and ready to welcome the droves of sports enthusiasts who will flock to our shores to support these games. “The Bahamas, in recent years, has been able to put on sporting events of world class proportions and CYG Bahamas will be even better!"
It is intended that the Review Committee would be working closely with the OC as we move closer to the largest sporting event ever to be hosted on Bahamian soil.
CGF President Louise Martin CBE said: “The Commonwealth Youth Games are such an important opportunity for the Commonwealth’s finest young athletes to come together on the level playing field of sport. With new sports and world class venues, the Bahamas 2017 edition is shaping up to be a thrilling sporting showcase, and the largest Youth Games in history.