Commonwealth Youth Games – a history

With the Commonwealth Youth Games fast approaching, excitement is building in the Team England Camp!  After weeks, months and years of hard work, the team are busy putting together the finishing touches for August and the athletes are working with their coaches to find those extra one percents.  But before we follow this year’s Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, we thought we’d first look back on some of the previous Youth Games and how Team England performed.  Get ready to take a trip down memory lane as we share some of the most interesting stats and facts from previous Games.

Did you know?

Edinburgh, Scotland 2000

Scotland was the first ever country to host the Commonwealth Games twice and they once again led the way by hosting the first ever Youth Games.  The Games formed part of the country’s Millennium celebrations and festivities were certainly a big part of the experience at the Games.  Not only were there impressive opening and closing ceremonies, but after three days of fierce competition, the athletes and officials took part in a ‘cultural day’ where they attended the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Bendigo, Australia, 2004

Team England placed second overall at these Games with 31 gold, 29 silver and 26 bronze medals.  One name you might recognise who contributed to the medal tally is Jessica Ennis-Hill.  Jess came second in both the High Jump and the 100m Hurdles.  She cleared 1.75m in the High Jump to take the silver and ran 14.50 over the Hurdles.

Pune, India, 2008

The Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune played host to 71 countries and 1,220 athletes.  This is the largest number of both countries and athletes to ever take part in a Youth Games.  The host nation used this event as a “warm-up” for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.  It may not come as a surprise, therefore, that the mascot Jigrr the tiger, was supposed to be the younger brother of Shera, the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games mascot.

Isle of Man, 2011

Dina Asher-Smith image

Photo by Mark Shearman

After placing second and third respectively at the last two Games, Team England were back to their winning ways in 2011 and topped the medal table with 77 medals.  They took home 37 golds, 24 silvers and 16 bronze.  Another familiar name who took part in these Games is Dina Asher-Smith.  Dina took gold in the 200m in a time of 24.30.

Samoa, 2015

870 athletes headed to the Pacific island in 2015.  The athletes competed over five days and battled it out for 107 Gold Medals in nine sports.  During the Games, 48,000 bottles of water were consumed, 34,400 meals were prepared by local businesses at the Athletes Villages and Main Dining Hall and 500 shuttle journeys were made between venues on the colourful, traditional buses.

Bahamas, 2017

Day five of the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas saw Team England enjoy the nation’s most successful day ever at a Youth Games.  Medals were secured in the pool, on the beach volleyball court, in the boxing ring and in the athletics stadium.  By the end of the session, Team England had picked up eight gold, two silver and four bronze medals.  Athletes contributing to this amazing achievement were Emma Howe (bronze in the Javelin), Sam Bennett (gold in the 110m Hurdles), Jack Summers (silver in the 110m Hurdles), Alex Botterill (gold in the 800m), Joshua Allen (bronze in the 800m) and Anna Burt (silver in the 800m).

Trinidad and Tobago, 2023

Commonwealth Youth Games map

When the Commonwealth Youth Games take place in Trinidad and Tobago this summer, they will be arriving on the continent of South America for the first time.  The Games have previously been to Europe, Oceania, Asia and North America. 

Despite starting 70 years after the Commonwealth Games (the Commonwealth Games began in 1930 and the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2000), the latest event will mean that the Youth Games has visited more continents than the Games.  This will be the first time either Games has been hosted in South America.

Learn more about the Games in Trinidad and Tobago