THERE is no need, just yet, to shift the dates for the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games, which is scheduled from August 1-7 here in TT, according to TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) and TT Commonwealth Games Association president Brian Lewis.
The Tokyo Olympic Games, which is now scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021, will clash with the Commonwealth Youth Games, which is set to run from August 1-7, 2021.
“The dates for the Commonwealth Youth Games were set before the IOC was forced to postpone the (Olympic) Games,” said Lewis, on Monday.
“We would have finalised discussions with the hotels. So, it’s not simply a case of the IOC has changed their dates that we have to.
“Just how the IOC would have had a number of things to discuss and look at, the TT Commonwealth Games Association is in a similar situation,” continued Lewis.
“At this point in time, my view, as president of the Association, as it relates to the Commonwealth Youth Games 2021, I don’t see the need for any change. And the Commonwealth Youth Games targets (the) 14-18 age group.”
Lewis thinks that the Youth Games will not be affected, in any way, by the simultaneous staging of the Olympics.
“In fact, there is an opportunity now to bring added interest and to create a positive vibe around the Youth Games. The Olympics (will be) running, we could create fan zones and viewing gatherings. I think it’s a real opportunity to raise the profile and interest in the Youth Games.”
Lewis also touched on the positive aspects of the forthcoming Youth Games, in light of the current global coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s an opportunity to raise the morale of the young people, not only in TT but throughout the Commonwealth,” Lewis pointed out.
“Also, coming out of the covid19 pandemic, hopefully at that time, with the economic challenges that it would have created, in particular, the tourism sector and the hospitality sector, I think it will be a boost and a positive injection into the economy of TT.
“It has been held in 2004 and 2008, in Olympic (years),” the TTOC president added.
“There is no real justifiable reason for saying ‘it is in an Olympic year there should be any changes.’ It’s going to be exciting, very youth-oriented. “I’m not saying it wouldn’t have challenges. Where there is a will, there is a way. We owe it to the young people of the Commonwealth to have an exciting Games.”