Hi everybody,

I’d like to start by saying that I’m delighted by the response and support I received in Beijing and I’d like to thank you all for that. It also makes me proud to know that India is hosting the III Commonwealth Youth Games of which I will be a part. These Youth Games will feature, talented, young, skillful and energetic athletes from 71 nations, competing for the highest honours and will be a perfect platform for the young athletes to show the world just how good they are!

The Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 (CYG) and the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 will feature top athletes in their respective sports. This will provide a good learning experience and exposure to Indian athletes taking them one notch higher in the sporting field. After CYG 2008 and CWG 2010, I daresay India will have more than 3 medals at the London Olympics in 2012. Our athletes will be placed amongst the elite.

After the performances of Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Kumar, Akhil Kumar and Sushil Kumar at the Beijing Olympics, youngsters from our country have started looking seriously into sports as a career. Proper coaches, training facilities and proper guidance will now be available for these athletes from the very beginning. Only then will they become world class sportsmen, capable of great achievements. After CYG 2008, the Balewadi stadium will be used as a training facility for our athletes before the Commonwealth Games 2010. So yes, development of sports in India is taking a turn for the good.

CYG 2008 will no doubt be a huge success. The Organising committee under the leadership of Mr Suresh Kalmadi is working very hard to make these Games the best ever Commonwealth Youth Games. You as volunteers will play a critical role in working with the Organising Committee to realize this dream. I urge all of you to encourage your friends and family to take the trouble to go and watch the events. This will encourage and enthuse the young athletes - the future superstars of sports to perform better and they will go back with fond memories of the Pune Games.

Saina Nehwal.
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