St. Lucia withdraws as host of 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games

By Duncan Mackay,

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George Odlum National Stadium.

George Odlum National Stadium.

INSIDE THE GAMES – St Lucia has withdrawn as host of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, it was announced here today.

The decision to pull out was revealed during the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in a video message from St Lucia’s Prime Minister Kenny Anthony.

The Caribbean island had been awarded the event in November 2011 but its preparations have been hit by doubts over venues and financial concerns, particularly over the lack of a stadium to host athletics.

A fire had caused severe damage to a hospital in the south of the island, meaning the George Odlum Stadium in the Vieux Fort, containing the country’s only International Association of Athletics Federations-accredited track, had been adapted into a temporary medical facility.

The rebuild of the hospital is now not due to be completed until 2016 and the cost of returning the Stadium to a sports facility was in excess of $15 million (£10 million/€13 million) and would also not be completed in time for the Games.

A deal to hold athletics on the neighbouring island of St Kitts and Nevis could not be reached in time for this General Assembly, Anthony revealed, so the Government no longer believed they could support the project.

Canada and Scotland have already contacted the CGF to offer to step in as hosts.

The CGF have also asked for any other “expressions of interest” and hope to announce a new host by the end of next month.

“The [CGF Execuitve] Board met earlier this morning and decided to put this to the meeting, but also give the other members who would like to offer to host the Youth Games in 2017 a chance,” outgoing CGF President Prince Imran said.

This year’s edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games is due to start in Apia, Samoa’s capital, on Saturday (September 5).

About 1,000 athletes from 71 countries and territories were expected to compete in St Lucia in what would have been the biggest CGF event to be held in the Caribbean since Jamaica’s capital Kingston hosted the 1966 Commonwealth Games.

“We are obviously disappointed to hear St Lucia has taken the difficult decision to withdraw its commitment to host the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games,” said David Grevemberg, chief executive of the CGF.

“Whilst appreciating the economic and environmental challenges they face as a small island nation, we will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth Games Association of St Lucia and their Government partners to support and ultimately realise their ambitions to deliver a positive and lasting legacy for the young people of their island, the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.

“Our attention for now focuses enthusiastically on delivering an inspiring Youth Games in Samoa in a few days time, showcasing a joyous celebration and impactful sport, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships made on the level playing field of sport.”

Paul Bush, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS), confirmed they were interested in stepping in as hosts.

“We note the withdrawal of St Lucia as hosts of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games and along with a number of other countries, we have agreed to consider hosting the event,” he told insidethegames.

“CGS will now work with Scottish partners to evaluate the options over the coming weeks.”

Edinburgh had hosted the first-ever Commonwealth Youth Games in 2000.

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  1. Finally, good sense has prevailed! We cannot afford to host these Games at this time. Just terrible that they only acknowledging this now, when the writing has been on the wall for a very long time.

  2. Kenny Anthony and his government are a complete disgrace to the Saint Lucian public

  3. Are these leaders St. Lucian at heart or Lucian for cash?

  4. Kenny and co when in opposition talked so much bad things about UWP and them not doing nothing on St Jude Hospital. now Kenny and co have been the ruling party almost for a full term (I think elections are due next year 2016) and yet still St Jude hospital has not been able to open at its previous location. the fire was in September 2009. so do the math on how much years the hospital has been at the stadium.
    Kenny and co jus like to run their mouth and fool people. when will it stop. maybe never. but it is time the people of st lucia open their eyes. some of you have eyes but still cannot see the truth. Kenny and co have lied and lied and lied to the people of st lucia....yet still some people will always support him.
    now as a consequence the young athletes of st lucia who could have gotten an opportunity to show case on home soil cannot do so. this is the Governments fault. no one else. who else can rebuild a hospital..not the private sector but government.

    its time for Kenny and co to GO>

    KENNY OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Typical SLP arrogance victimisation and more arrogance. we cant wait for november next year to kick these goons out of office!

  6. I don't believe that Kenny Antony. You suck our blood again.

  7. We know that it's not all fools day, but please come out and tell us that you are joking Mr.Prime Minister. Don't embarrass St.Lucian people. We were given that opportunity since 2011 and the event is not until 2017. It is 2015. What the hell is wrong with you and your government. If the event is scheduled for September 2017, you have 2 years to organize yourself. I hope we can all see that you didn't make an effort and is not willing to do so now. Why don't you allow someone else to do the job if you are not interested in doing what's right for our lovely nation. Leave us alone. Pack up and leave masa.

  8. am not taking sides, but if wa uwp in power this hospital has long be finish and i operation already

    • Shut up Cuz uwp wwas given all the funds to rebuild the hospital and they allegdely squandered the hospital money. When SLP came in power they had to beg again for more funds to start building. So plz stop with ur bs.

  9. Has anyone figured when might be our next best opportunity for the games here. It wouldn't hurt much if they had swapped sponsorship with another country. I was really looking forward to attend the games right here in my homeland. Do I need to say how I feel ?

  10. Seriously people...these imbeciles in the government can't event organize a proper intersec school games u expected them to organize a big event like common wealth games...

  11. St lucia is a joke. No wonder we can't get any big medals at the big meets. Stop scratching ur balls and manage our island well

  12. This is poor management.

  13. Our politicians need to stop scratching their balls and lead the country well. I am so disappointed Ted in St lucia and it's current administration

  14. Poor Lucia, she cannot take care of the future of her children; too many idiots f--king her.
    I thought tourism was our main industry, 1000 athletes from 71 countries surely there can't be a better stage. It would be interesting to know -how much money the Common Wealth Youth Games was forecast to generate( if any detailed financial assessments were undertaken)- the future plans for the proposed infrastructure (stadiums etc) and the possible impact the legacy would have on
    St. Lucia. What a wasted opportunity!
    Will the situation ever change for future generations? Are they going to experience the same as our current generation? What's your take, will crime increase or decrease in the future?

    • Lucia is in a bad state! I am so lost. The Government found USD150M to build a four lane highway to Gros Islet and you are now telling me to find $15M for our youth, the future of this country is not possible? Where are our priorities? Unemployment is already high, jobs for the youth is like playing lotto and the other avenue they have to strive for to be something in this world has been pulled from them.
      I saw someone post about "extravagance", however I fail to see where they are coming from. Adults can do all kinds of bachannal activities including carnival, wet fete and others and we don't see it as extravagance but when it is an activity for youth all we see is extravagance.... The spinoffs from these types of activities are plenty but sadly our so called leaders can't seem to see it that way! Sorry young people, I know we are failing you!

  15. Health education and youth should be a government top priorities so lets she they havent taken care of rebuilding an hospital in more than 6 years the youth dont even get scholarship to go to further the education if they would have been able to get one through sports there is no hope cause there is no sponors and facilities for them to show case their talent ........its about priorities

  16. what a shame ..... who is to blame????????

  17. can we a ford the games I think not it was ambitious but reality as set in
    sad but true

  18. That common-POVERTY thing should remain with the Queen of England. She has already amassed all the common wealth in her crown nd jewels. Why must we who were robbed stupidly add to the perpetuation of the poverty of the common man?

    Who would have had to pay for all this disgusting extravagance? The young people of course!

  19. de hospital is stadium it is easy to understand why we pull out

  20. "The Caribbean island had been awarded the event in November 2011..."
    A case of 'Fools rushing in where angels fear to tread....'

  21. Ok, so the fire was sometime before 2011... You mean it has taken the Government over 6 years to rebuild this hospital and it is still not complete? What a shame? Where is the focus on youth and youth development? I thought the youth was our future... Just talk, it seems!
    It is really sad to see that once again young people are the ones suffering as a result of inept governance! And year after year we find milions for "carnaval" and Jazz... Sad state of affairs!

    • Health education and youth should be a government top priorities so lets she they havent taken care of rebuilding an hospital in more than 6 years the youth dont even get scholarship to go to further the education if they would have been able to get one through sports there is no hope cause there is no sponors and facilities for them to show case their talent ........its about priorities

  22. Weed Out The SUckers

    Too much of our money going under the bridges. Sad day for our youth. Sad day for our aspiring athletes and a sad day for our nation. What an embarrassment. Meanwhile they bandy together for the common purpose of condemning a commission report that would place more scrutiny on them. nous fini...

  23. St,Lucia broke or what????

  24. When you are broke you can't have festive parties, no money no party, we are finished asa nation.


  26. well done st lucia. Now someone else has to clear up the mess.


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