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Kwanieze John, Chanelle Young and Rheeza Grant were a hap­py bunch on Thurs­day con­fi­dent that they por­trayed and sold T&T well to of­fi­cials from the Com­mon­wealth Games As­so­ci­a­tion (CGA) to this coun­try, in bid­ding to host the 2021 Com­mon­wealth Youth Games (CYG).

At a press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day af­ter­noon held at the T&T Olympic Com­mit­tee (TTOC) of­fice on Aber­crom­by Street in Port-of-Spain, the trio dis­cussed el­e­ments of T&T’s abil­i­ty to host a suc­cess­ful mul­ti-sport event that was pre­sent­ed to the vis­i­tors.

The of­fi­cials have now seen bids from both T&T and Gibral­tar to host the CYG in 2021. With Gibral­tar al­ready vis­it­ed, the of­fi­cials were in T&T for two days this week view­ing and lis­ten­ing what the twin Is­land Re­pub­lic in the Caribbean has to of­fer from the young and vi­brant all-women bid team.

They pre­sent­ed and de­fend­ed the bid, as well as ac­com­pa­nied the vis­it­ing team to on-site vis­its to sev­er­al sport­ing and an­cil­lary fa­cil­i­ties.

Chief among the bid's three cor­ner­stones will be ex­e­cut­ing a heav­i­ly youth-ori­ent­ed games pro­gramme.

“We want­ed the Games to rep­re­sent a dif­fer­ent per­cep­tion of youth in T&T,” said John, who is the pro­gramme man­ag­er of Rug­by North Amer­i­ca.

"We have our so­ci­etal chal­lenges and we want­ed to have the bid as a bea­con of hope that young peo­ple can strive and be ad­ven­tur­ous, and take own­er­ship of any­thing we set our minds to."

Both Grant, the TTOC project of­fi­cer of ath­letes ser­vices and pro­grammes, and Young, the mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer at TTOC, re­it­er­at­ed as much in their re­spec­tive ad­dress.

They shared on the im­por­tance of vol­un­teerism for an event of this mag­ni­tude say­ing: “Vol­un­teerism is the heart of any Games. They are the dri­vers of the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Ac­cord­ing to the bid team, the del­e­ga­tion led by Rachel Si­mon, the CGF’s Head of Com­mon­wealth Youth Games, and in­clud­ed CGF Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Dar­ren Hall and CGF Sports Com­mit­tee mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing the two bid­ding re­gions (for Eu­rope), Com­mon­wealth Games Eng­land’s Sports Di­rec­tor Don Park­er and for the Caribbean, Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al of the St Vin­cent and the Grenadines Com­mon­wealth Games As­so­ci­a­tion Kei­th Joseph, looked at not on­ly the sport­ing venues but al­so med­ical fa­cil­i­ties and po­ten­tial ac­com­mo­da­tions.

T&T's bid is his­toric in that it is the first time the twin-is­land re­pub­lic has reached this far in bid­ding for a ma­jor in­ter­na­tion­al mul­ti-sport event.

Re­ports are that the vis­it­ing Com­mon­wealth as­so­ci­a­tion team was im­pressed with T&T's pre­sen­ta­tion but nat­u­ral­ly it re­mains non-com­mit­tal about a pref­er­ence or de­ci­sion un­til the time is ap­pro­pri­ate.

The Games, which start­ed in 2000 in Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land and were most re­cent­ly held in The Ba­hamas in Ju­ly 2017, will see the Com­mon­wealth’s lead­ing young ath­letes, aged 14-18, tak­ing part in a fes­ti­val of glob­al sport, per­son­al de­vel­op­ment and new friend­ships.

The oth­er pre­vi­ous hosts of the Com­mon­wealth Youth Games are Bendi­go 2004 (Aus­tralia); Pune 2008 (In­dia); Isle of Man 2011; and Samoa 2015.

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