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The island gears up to host Commonwealth Youth Games
Mark Edwards
BBC Isle of Man

CYG 2011
The Commonwealth Youth Games will be the largest multi-sport event to be hosted by the Isle of Man

In September, the Isle of Man will become the first small nation to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.

More than 1,000 competitors, from 71 Commonwealth nations, will compete in the seven-day sporting festival.

"This is the most important multi-sport event the island has ever hosted," Chairman and Games Director, Geoff Karran told BBC Isle of Man.

The opening ceremony will be held at the newly refurbished Bowl in Douglas on Thursday 8 September 2011.

The inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Edinburgh in 2000, followed by Bendigo, Australia, four years later.

In 2008, Pune, India, hosted a games that was seen as a test event for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The Isle of Man is set to host the 2011 games before it reverts back to a four year cycle in Apia, Samoa, in 2015.

Geoff Karran said: "The Pune games were spectacular and there is no doubt that it has raised the profile of the competition. It will be a hard act to follow but we are not competing with them we are doing it our own way."

Competitors will compete in athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, rugby and swimming.

Worldwide Attention

Karran continued: "With all 71 Commonwealth nations likely to send representatives to compete, the games will attract worldwide attention."

Games Director, Geoff Karran
Geoff Karran is the Games Director for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games

"Plans are in full swing to deliver a successful event that the island can be proud of and all the venues are either ready or nearing completion."

One challenge the organisers face is recruiting the 200 officials and 1,000 volunteer helpers , needed to run the games.

"The standard of the games requires a lot of officials but we are well on our way to recruiting them now. We will be relying on the good Manx people to help out in other roles."

Manchester based company Walk the Plank have been appointed to produce the opening and closing ceremonies.

Liz Pugh, Artistic Director of Walk the Plank, said, "The beginning of the ceremony is inspired by Manx folklore, magic and marauding Vikings and will be executed to a thunderous soundtrack and spectacular pyrotechnics.

Great Show

"This will then give way to the spirit of youth, dances of the world and the Carnival of the Commonwealth. We are committed to putting on a great show befitting the importance of the Games and proudly representing the Isle of Man to a global television audience."

Commonwealth Youth Games
The Isle of Man will be the fourth country to hold the Games

Alongside Walk the Plank, local hip hop dance teacher David Cowley was introduced as the Assistant Artistic Director for the ceremonies.

"We are looking to recruit about 150 enthusiastic young people between the ages of 13 and 18 to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity," he said.

The opening ceremony is to be held on Thursday 8 September 2011 at the Bowl and the closing ceremony will take place at the Villa Marina on Monday 12 September 2011.

Volunteer plea before youth games
01 Dec 10 |  Isle of Man


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