New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) Around 1000 athletes would participate in the fifth edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games to be held in 2015, for which Samoa has bagged the hosting rights.
The Commonwealth Games Federation's (CGF) 71 member nations and territories awarded the Games to Samoa at its recent General Assembly held in the Gambia, CGF said in a statement.
CGF President Mike Fennell said he was delighted to see the Youth Games heading to the small nation of around 180,000 people.
''It is an important part of our ethos that all member countries and territories have the opportunity of hosting events,'' Fennell said.
''Not everyone can host the Commonwealth Games, but we firmly believe that smaller nations should look to host our Youth Games,'' he added.
The Games will be based in Apia, the Government and commercial capital of Samoa, from September 14 to 20, 2015.
The sports to be contested include athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, squash, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, as well as the team sport, rugby 7s.
After Edinburgh in Scotland (2000), Bendigo in Australia (2004) and Pune in India (2008) hosted the first three editions of the Commonwealth Youth Games, the next two editions will be held in the Isle of Man in 2011 and Samoa in 2015.
Samoa recently built its reputation within the Oceania region for hosting major international and regional events, including the South Pacific Games and IWF Weightlifting World Cup in 2007 and the Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualification tournament and Oceania qualification tournament for the IRB Sevens World Cup earlier this year.
Samoa's Commonwealth Games Association President, Vaeolenofoafia Vui Tapasu Leung Wai, was delighted that his country would host the fifth edition of the Youth Games.
''The success of the South Pacific Games, in particular, has given my country great confidence and a determination to bid for other major international and regional events,'' Vaeolenofoafia said.
''The small and developing nature of our national economy and infrastructure simply cannot support such a large-scale international event as the Commonwealth Games,'' he added.
The Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi was confident that the Games will be a success.
''Samoa will provide the CGF with a safe, capable and friendly pair of hands to ensure the continuing success of the Commonwealth Youth Games,'' the Prime Minister said.
UNI RAR PY HS1620