A Guyanese contingent will head to the coral-based island of Nassau, The Bahamas to represent the Golden Arrowhead at the sixth staging of Commonwealth Youth Games from 19 – 23 of July.
The games, which are usually characterized as a multi-cultural experience, will see Guyana competing alongside 69 other Commonwealth states in what is anticipated to be the largest sporting event to ever grace the island.
It is reported to be the largest edition of the youth games with an estimated 1300 athletes between the ages of 14 – 18 expected to add to as well as experience the Caribbean athletics flavor.
Guyana’s contingent, however, will be made up of 15 persons; 10 athletes, four coaches and a Chef-de-Mission, Dr. Karen Pilgrim.
When contacted, Dr. Pilgrim informed Stabroek Sport that Guyana should fare well at the games.
She indicated that the country’s best medal prospects should come through the efforts of the athletics team although she said she was not discrediting Guyana’s chances in the other disciplines.
“The young man who is going to represent us in Judo, Joshua Buchanan, has recently represented us at the Islamic Solidarity Games so at least he has some recent international experience,” Dr. Pilgrim said.
She added, “I would hope that it would give him the confidence and experience to do well. Our boxers, at these youth games, often come away with success so I’m thinking that the boxers are the possible medalist.”
Dr. Pilgrim said that she is also optimistic that Guyana will do well in swimming. “Swimming is always tough for us but these are our top young swimmers in Guyana at the moment, so in terms of swimming I would hope for them to at least, to start with to proceed out of the preliminaries to the second leg of the competition.”
As it relates to athletics, Dr. Pilgrim said, “We have three CARIFTA medalists who would have improved their times at the South America Youth Games, recently so I would expect our best medal prospects would be in athletics.”
Dr. Pilgrim, who is also a Doping Control Officer and Guyana’s representative on the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization, added that the athletes were selected by the different national federations.
She pointed out that the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) would have informed the associations a year prior and requested a list of possible athletes. Dr. Pilgrim explained that the GOA wanted to allow a rugby team to attend the games where she felt that they would have done well.
Funding, however, proved to be a hindrance with priority going to the host country for support from the Commonwealth Organizing Committee to field a rugby team from The Bahamas to represent the region.
The full squad reads: Claudrice McKoy, Daniel Melville, Keneisha Phillips, Onassha Rogers, Tremaine Browne, Julian Edmonds (coach) athletics. Daniel Scott, Kenita Mahaica and Paul Mahaica (coach) swimming Christopher Moore, Keevin Allicock and Sebert Blake (coach) boxing Joshua Buchanan and Raoul Archer (coach) Judo.