Preparations for the Isle of Man 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games are almost compete with less than 100 days to go until the event for young athletes aged between 13 and 18-years-old gets underway.
The competition, which is due to take place from September 7 until13, will be one of the most prestigious sporting events ever to be hosted on the island, with a total of 69 Commonwealth nations set to attend.
Approximately 1,000 young athletes will be competing in the seven sporting events of athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, rugby sevens and swimming, while the newly refurbished Bowl Stadium in Douglas will host the Opening Ceremony for what will be the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games.
"We are honoured to be hosting the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games as it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our beautiful island to the rest of the world," said Allan Bell, the Isle of Man's Minister for the Department of Economic Development.
"With our sporting facilities, performance venues and infrastructure together with our heritage, scenery and the welcome and warmth of the Manx people we have an opportunity to show the visiting nations of the Commonwealth the unforgettable Isle of Man."
Tickets for the Opening Ceremony and the seven sporting events have recently gone on sale to the public with prices ranging from £6 ($10) to £15 ($24), although the cycling events are free to spectators and set to be well attended due to the popularity of Manx racing cyclist Mark Cavendish who won gold at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games in the scratch race and is now the world's top sprinter.
Another British sporting star, world gymnastics champion Beth Tweddle, has given her backing to the event after she competed in the first ever Youth Games in Edinburgh in 2000 and claimed two golds, one silver and one bronze medal at the event.
"Competing in the Commonwealth Youth Games was a massive thing for me and it was great to experience a multi-sport event," said Tweddle, who is aiming for gold at the London 2012 Olympics.
"Having other distractions around you means you have to concentrate even harder on your particular sport.
"Competing in the Commonwealth Youth Games has definitely made me a better athlete.
"For the youngsters competing in this year's Games it will give them a massive boost.
"They will get to experience a major tournament, which I am sure will boost their ambitions and will give them the drive to want sporting success even more."
The Commonwealth Youth Games take place over three days, finishing on September 11, and will be followed by a day of Culture in Castletown on September 12, where the competitors will join in activities specifically linked to the Isle of Man heritage and traditions.
More than 600 volunteers from the island have signed up to help with the Games and they will act as ambassadors for the island as well as assisting visitors with all the necessary information required.
Article courtesy of Inside the Games
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