By Gary Anderson
To mark a year to go until the start of the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa it has been announced that a focus on the needs and contributions of young people is to be the theme of next year's Commonwealth Day.
Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations that takes place on the second Monday in March, March 9 next year.
The theme entitled "A Young Commonwealth" aims to recognise the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, according to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
"I'm delighted that following on from the great success of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2015 will see the entire Commonwealth focus on the needs and contributions of its younger citizens," said CGF President Prince Imran.
"This is particularly appropriate for the CGF because one year from today we will be celebrating the fifth Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
"The Commonwealth Youth Games is a wonderful event that allows the rising stars of Commonwealth sport to compete at an international level in a supportive family atmosphere, and it's as much a great Commonwealth occasion as it is a great sports event.
"The majority of Commonwealth citizens are 25 or younger, so they play a vital role in ensuring our communities are safe, sustainable, democratic and healthy.
"At the Youth Games we engage our young competitors in discussion about these issues as part of a wider cultural and artistic programme."
The Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa will be the fifth edition of the event since it was first held in 2000 in Edinburgh.
Since then, the Games have been held in Bendigo, Australia, in 2004, Pune, India, in 2008 and the Isle of Man in 2011.
Next year's Games in Samoa are expected to attract a total of about 1,000 athletes from all of the nations and territories of the Commonwealth, who will be competing across seven sports from September 5 to 11.
"The Commonwealth is a family of dynamic countries at the forefront of innovation, growth and contributing global value," said Commonwealth of Nations secretary general Kamalesh Sharma.
"As a diverse and increasingly connected global network, we bring fresh perspectives and new ideas.
"We will always remain a contemporary and young Commonwealth."
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