Anna Lo MLA said: “We have seen how recent events such as the World Police and Fire Games, Irish Open and the Giro d’Italia have been a big boost to Northern Ireland. We know we are more than capable of hosting world-class international events. Investing in such events is worthwhile – not just for the development of our athletes – but for the economic benefits and to showcase the many wonderful things about Northern Ireland. Hosting the Commonwealth Youth Games would be an appropriate step to encourage more international events to be held here.
“The Commonwealth Youth Games is the biggest multi-sport event for the 14-18 age group and is a stepping stone for athletes aspiring to win medals at future Commonwealth Games. Just look at Michael Conlon who won a bronze medal in the bantamweight division in the India youth games in 2008 – only to win a gold medal in Glasgow this year.
“The Commonwealth Youth Games provides the perfect dry run for athletes, coaches and support staff. This is the nearest to the real thing that these young athletes can get – they experience the build-up, the pressure and the excitement that is all part of a large multi-sport event. By hosting the Commonwealth Youth Games, we could win even more medals in these games and future events.”