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.