At a special meeting with Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is also Chair of the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games Organising Committee, Mr. Grevemberg helped launch the competition medals for the Youth Games, designed by Nadya Va’a, who entered a nationwide design competition. Her design is based on traditional Samoan symbols originated from the art of tattooing, and was inspired by athletes and the Commonwealth Games Federation’s values of Humanity, Equality and Destiny.
"In exactly three month's time, the Closing Ceremony of the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games will celebrate the participation of 1000 athletes aged 14-18 who will compete for 107 Gold Medals in 9 sports. These medals are already powerful symbols of Samoan culture and will soon become an unforgettable reminder of the proud achievements of young Commonwealth athletes and I congratulate Nadya on her inspiring design."
Chairman of the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games Organising Committee, and Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said:
"Our preparations have entered the final strait. Samoa is proud to lead the Pacific region as host of such a major international event. Our small island nation stands ready to extend to all athletes and visitors from across the Commonwealth the hospitality and friendship for which Samoa is renown and to ensure that the Samoa Commonwealth Youth Games will not only deliver great experiences for young people and show what a small island Pacific nation can do, but leave a genuine and lasting legacy for all."
During the visit, Mr. Grevemberg also met with Games organisers, civic and tourism representatives, visited key sporting venues and met athletes, schools and communities preparing to host up to 1000 athletes and 250 officials.
Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games Chief Coordinator, Vitolio Lui said:
"Buoyed by David Grevemberg’s favourable feed-back and with 86 days to go, we are now full speed ahead, with greater confidence making the final preparations for this wonderful celebration of Samoa, youth and sport. We are delighted to welcome David Grevemberg to Apia, and to introduce him to the welcome, venues and facilities that will be enjoyed by up to 1000 athletes in barely three months’ time."
The Commonwealth Youth Games are for many, a formative first taste of international multi-sport competition; and for all, a joyous celebration of high-performance sport, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships made on the level playing field of sport. The action takes place across two sporting complexes that will play host to Aquatics (Swimming), Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Squash, Tennis and Weightlifting.
Like the Commonwealth Games, all athletes stay in athletes’ village-style accommodation and events comply with the relevant International Federation’s technical rules and regulations, giving many competitors their first taste of an international multi-sport environment. World anti-doping standards also apply. Off the field of play, the Youth Games nurtures new sporting global citizens by focusing on friendship, integrity and cross-Commonwealth inter-cultural exchange.
David Grevemberg continued:
"I am delighted to be in Apia to see the preparations first hand, and to hear how citizens and communities will make the most of the benefits of hosting this wonderful celebration of the potential and achievements of our finest, young Commonwealth athletes.
Organisers are making great progress, and I’m confident and excited that the nation and its people are ready to deliver, host and enjoy a week of impactful sporting competition, personal development and international friendship on the world sporting stage. I wish the organizers well with their final preparations and look forward to returning to celebrate their achievements in September."
The host nation, Samoa, which means Sacred (Sa’) Centre (Moa) of the Universe, is a small, tropical island nation in the Central Pacific with a young population of c187,000, over half of whom are 25 and under.
Launched in 2000 and now in its 5^th edition, the Youth Games are a sustainable opportunity for smaller cities and nations to benefit from hosting a major sporting event, using predominantly pre-existing venues (in Samoa’s case constructed for the 2007 Pacific Games) whilst also promoting an inclusive and positive youth agenda.
With 50% of Commonwealth citizens aged 25 and under, the Youth Games play a vital part in the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision to inspire Commonwealth athletes to drive the ambition and power of all Commonwealth citizens through sport.
The visit to Samoa followed a regional meeting of the Oceania Commonwealth Games Associations, hosted by Regional Vice President Nu'u Tapasu Leung Wai in Auckland, New Zealand. The meeting discussed Transformation 2022, the Federation’s ambitious new seven year strategic plan, and was attended by representatives from CGAs in Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.