Friday, June 16, 2017
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
SEVENS Rugby will be one of the several events contested at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games and the Bahamas is making the final preparations for its national team selection.
Over the next three weeks, the Bahamas Rugby Football Union will host a Mini-Rugby Sevens season.
This trio of weekends will also serve as a trial event ahead of the CYG and will include the Nassau teams, Freeport and the Under-19 squad that will be competing in the CYG.
The season makes its debut this Saturday (June 17) at the Winton Rugby Centre with 2pm registration and returns the following weekend (June 24). On week three (July 1), the location shifts to the Thomas A Robinson Stadium with a noon registration start.
The Bahamas will host what many consider one of the biggest sporting events in the country's history - the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.
The big event, to be hosted July 17-23 in New Providence, will feature 70 participating countries and thousands of participating athletes.
The CYG facilitates boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 18 and this year's event will mark the first time in 50 years that the Caribbean will host a Commonwealth Games event, coming off the Empire Games that was staged in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1966.
Bahamas Olympic Committee President Wellington Miller highlighted rugby as one of the marquee events when the 70 Commonwealth countries met last year in Edmonton, Canada, and the Bahamas delivered a report on the country's preparation for the games.
It appears that everybody wants to use this time to come to the Bahamas either on a vacation or to see the Bahamas," Miller said.
"I believe that the Bahamas has a good name out there and people just want to see us. The rest of the Commonwealth wants to come to the Bahamas. We have had inquiries from all over the world. This is going to be a tremendous time for us in the Bahamas. We are really looking forward to it."
Rugby, according to Miller, was already one of the biggest subscribed by the Commonwealth in the early stages.
"The Oceania countries indicated to us that rugby is their main sport and they are happy that rugby is a part of the games," Miller said. "So the Bahamas should benefit from these countries coming here and playing the sport at such a high level."
The participating countries will compete in Aquatics (Swimming), Beach Soccer, Boxing, Cycling (Road), Judo, Rugby Sevens, Tennis and Beach Volleyball. It will be the first time Judo, Beach Soccer and Beach Volleyball will be included in the Commonwealth Youth Games.
In 2000, the Commonwealth Games Federation, headed by president Louise Martin of Scotland, hosted the first Commonwealth Youth Games in Edinburgh. The second games was in 2004 in Bendigo, Australia. It went to Pune, India for the third edition in 2008 and The Isle of Man hosted the 2011 with the 5th edition in Samoa in 2015.