Since the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games in Edinburgh in 2000, the multi-sport event has moved around the globe from Australia to India and Isle of Man to Samoa.

Now, for the sixth edition of the event this week from July 19-23, the Bahamas will stage what it is calling a Caribbean carnival of Commonwealth connections.

The Games are for 14-18-year-olds and sees 70 nations taking part. Of these, there are teams from the British home countries.

England has sent 25 athletes with a team that includes European youth medallists Holly Mills, Isabelle Boffey and Anna Burt.

Scotland has sent 11 athletes to the Games including middle-distance talent Erin Wallace.

Wales, meanwhile, has sent six athletes to the Bahamas while Northern Ireland has four track and field athletes at the event plus the knowledge they will be staging the 2021 Games in the country in four years’ time with athletics due to take place in Belfast.

Athletes who have used the event as a springboard to greater things include Jessica Ennis-Hill. The heptathlon legend won silver in the 100m hurdles and high jump in Australia in 2004 and she says: “The Commonwealth Youth Games was really important for me in terms of developing as an athlete.

It was not only an opportunity to travel to Australia, but it was also the chance to experience not just competing alongside athletics and being in a multi-sport environment.”

Source: AW