Scotland eyes hosting role after St Lucia pull out

Auckland, Sep 3 (IANS) Scotland has signalled its interest in stepping in to host the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, following St. Lucia’s decision to pull out.

The Caribbean country said on Wednesday it could no longer take on the commitment in light of financial challenges and the inability to get the stadium ready in time for the event, reports CMC.

Paul Bush, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS), said on Wednesday they would seriously consider taking up the responsibility.

“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 said.

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

Scotland successfully hosted the senior Commonwealth Games last year.

Canada, the venue for the recent Pam American Games, has also indicated an interest in hosting the showpiece which caters to athletes under 18 years of age.

The Commonwealth Games Federation said it had asked for other “expressions of interests”.

“The (CGF Executive) 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 indicated on Wednesday.

Despite St. Lucia’s pull out, the CGF said it would continue to partner with authorities in Castries, to help the country in its delivery of future competitions.

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

“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.”

The Youth Games get underway on Saturday.

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