In a stunning display, the Commonwealth Youth Games opened in Douglas on the Isle of Man Thursday.
The ceremony, held in the newly refurbished King George V Bowl Stadium, was watched by a capacity crowd and the more than 1000 competitors and support staff taking part. As the threatened rain showers held-off, everyone who attended enjoyed the spectacular show and for the athletes in particular it marked the start of a memorable week.
The Earl of Wessex, in his position of Vice Patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation, opened the games and spoke of the comradeship that can be found in sport and wished everyone well in whatever sport they were representing. The Prince is no stranger to the Falkland Islands having represented the Queen at the 25th anniversary celebrations there in 2007.
Proudly flying the flag for the Falkland Islands was Sorrel Pompert-Robertson (14) who will be representing the Islands in 50m and 100m swimming contests over the next couple of days. She led the other four athletes of the team, all of whom are looking for success in the Badminton competition, in a confident display.
Chairman of the games Organising Committee, Geoff Karran said “We have been given the honor of being the first small nation to be awarded the hosting of the Commonwealth Youth Games and we extend a warm welcome to all nations of the Commonwealth to come to our Island and compete in what we hope will be a friendly yet very competitive Games.
Mike Summers, the Falkland Islands Overseas Games Association chairman commented “We are very much looking forward to the Commonwealth Youth Games which give a great opportunity for our young sports men and women to compete in a high class environment, and also to meet and talk with other young athletes from around the democratic world. This together with the Commonwealth Youth Parliament, currently underway in London, give a great opportunity for young people to begin to shape the worlds they will take responsibility for in years to come.”
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Neil Russell - SeAled PR - Stanley