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Rediff.com  » Sports » Excitement builds ahead of Youth Games

Excitement builds ahead of Youth Games

September 07, 2011 20:11 IST

The Isle of Man is busy welcoming hundreds of the Commonwealth's most talented young athletes, officials and supporters to the island.

During the week-long event 1000 athletes from 63 Commonwealth countries will compete in seven sporting events.

Five athletes from the Falkland Islands were the first to arrive in the Isle of Man on September 2, while four athletes from the tiny South Atlantic island of St Helena completed the longest journey, arriving a day later after an epic 11-day 7,000 mile journey.

Australia is sending the largest team, with more than 100 members.

"More than a third of the world's young people live in the Commonwealth.

"Over the last decade we have seen the Commonwealth Youth Games develop into a celebration and a gathering of faiths, races, cultures and traditions from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania," said Michael Fennell, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

"This festival of sport helps us understand our diversities and appreciate the deep and abiding values we have in common.

"It creates ties and friendships between nations that will last a lifetime," he added.

Previous hosts of the Commonwealth Youth Games were Edinburgh (Scotland) 2000, Bendigo (Australia) 2004 and Pune (India) 2008.

The 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games will take place in Samoa.