2011 Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games opens with spectacular ceremony

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His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex – the vice patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation - officially opened the sporting event after a parade by the athletes and officials.
Addressing the crowd Prince Edward remarked: “I’m delighted that the Isle of Man is hosting a major international sporting event. Thank you for welcoming the Commonwealth family to your shores.”

The ceremony, which was produced by outdoor performance specialists ‘Walk The Plank’, featured over 225 dancers, musicians and actors from the Isle of Man as they paid tribute to the Isle of Man’s heritage. Guests were welcomed into the arena by a performance from the Manx Youth Band and Manx Concert Band.

The ceremony blended the best of Manx culture with references to five continents from which the Commonwealth athletes are drawn from, and brought together young people, children and adults from all over the island.

The performance opened with a welcome from ‘Mannanan’, the Manx Sea god. It then moved through time and evoked the spirit of the Manx Faeries and Mannanan’s Cloak, the mythical protector of the Island.

Historical references including the Viking invasions and the rise of Christianity were depicted in the show before it moved to more modern themes and the emergence of the ‘Spirit of Youth’, with gymnasts and parkour specialists demonstrating their skills.

The performance then developed an international flavour with costumed dancers presenting dance and music inspired by the five continents and a ‘Carnival of the Commonwealth’ before the show reached a climax with the ‘We are the World’ finale featuring all of the performers, and some spectacular special effects.

Geoff Karran, MBE, Chairman of the Isle of Man CYG 2011 Organising Committee commented: “We are delighted to welcome the nations of the Commonwealth to the Isle of Man and we look forward to a Youth Games that demonstrates all the best traditions of sport.  We would like to wish all the athletes and officials the best of luck in their efforts.”

Tickets for all of the sporting events can be purchased from the Welcome Centre, the Villa Marina or from the NSC reception. Tickets for the Opening Ceremony are £15 and for sporting events range from £6 to £10 with concessions in certain sports for disabled, pensioners and juniors.

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