The 17th Commonwealth Games begin

Since having won the bid in 2000, Melbourne has left no stone unturned. There has been an amazingly high standard maintained and the organisers have not been afraid of seeking assistance from others who have had the experience before them.
Narda Williams of Antigua and Barbuda, was fortunate enough to have been among the several international staff employed by the organising committee. She has been particularly helpful to the countries of the Caribbean with their preparations for participation in the Games.
Everywhere in Melbourne there is evidence of the high level of organisation and while one can always expect some shortcomings appearances seem to suggest that during this event they may well be kept to a minimum.
The Games Village has been specially created opening up a new sector of this beautiful city.
The Village was officially opened on 5 March and many have expressed satisfaction with what is being offered at this facility.
St Vincent and the Grenadines has been fortunate enough o be accommodated in its own building where there is excess room for everyone.

The events
The Commonwealth Games is action packed from the very first day of competition and the promise of international media coverage seems better than that which occurred at the previous edition held in Manchester, 2002.
Of course the history of this particular edition of the Games in Melbourne began with the Queen’s Baton Relay. It was the first time that any host country sought to have the baton travel through every one of the member nations of the Commonwealth, a lesson from which the International Olympic Committee can learn much.
The Queen’s baton relay officially began on 14 March 2005, and will conclude at the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
The baton itself is something of a technological marvel – another historical feat.
As expected, track and field athletics constitute the crème de la crème of the Games, much as is the case at the quadrennial Olympics.
It is also the one sporting discipline that every participant can be allowed to witness regardless of which sport they are actually here to compete in.
Sporting disciplines involved in the Games include: Athletics, Regional basketball (Exhibition), Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Shooting, Weightlifting, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rugby 7s, Lawn Bowls, Gymnastics, Aquatics, Squash, Hockey and Netball.
There are 20 different sports venues being used for the duration of the Games. Given the popularity of sports in the City many of the venues were already in existence and therefore allowed for a reduction in the expenses that would otherwise have been the case.
This is the seventh occasion on which St Vincent and the Grenadines would be represented at the Commonwealth Games, having attended previous editions in 1958 (Cardiff, Wales), 1966 (Kingston, Jamaica), 1978 (Edmonton, Canada), 1994 (Victoria, BC, Canada), 1998 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and 2002 (Manchester, England).

The participants
The Commonwealth Games Federation has 71 members and all are expected to participate in the many events being held here in Melbourne.
These Games are usually of a nature as to allow for the islands that make up the British Isles to participate as separate entities. The British Colonies in the Caribbean and elsewhere that do not have national Olympic Committees, as is the case of Anguilla, Monsterrat and Turks and Caicos, for example, are all here, eager to engage in a multisport event that possesses much of the atmosphere of the Olympic Games.
With the inclusion of Netball, St Vincent and the Grenadines will be fielding its largest team ever in the history of the Commonwealth Games and of our participation in it. There is representation in Netball, Cycling, Squash, Table Tennis and Athletics.