Introducing children to physical activity paves the way for them to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Run by Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR), the Games take place on Saturday 6th May and will see primary and secondary school pupils aged six to 15 take part in 13 sports, representing five regions of the Island.
Minister Cregeen said: ‘In the Programme for Government, we pledge to support initiatives that lead to people living healthier lives.
‘These include encouraging the number of people involved in physical activity.
‘This complements our Strategy for Sport, which strives to get children involved in sport from an early age.
‘The hope is that they then remain involved by joining a community club.’
The Minister continued: ‘This year, 1,200 children will take part in the Games and hundreds have attended training sessions, run by volunteer coaches, in the lead up to the day.
‘Young people who were introduced to sports via the Games have gone on to national and international success,’ said the Minister.
‘Importantly, many more have stayed involved with sport for pleasure, with the resulting benefits to their physical and mental health.’
The Games have been supported by HSBC since their inception in 2002 and the bank is backing the event again this year.
David Hill, Country Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking, HSBC Isle of Man, commented: ‘We are immensely proud to continue our support for the Manx Youth Games and encourage young people to take part, get fit and have fun.’
The Games’ opening ceremony at 10am will see participants parade into the National Sports Centre (NSC) wearing their regions’ colours and perform an aerobic warm-up.
The Minister will formally declare the Games open before children head off to parts of the NSC and other venues to enjoy their sports.
The Games’ new mascot, Odin the Raven, designed by St Mary’s RC Primary pupil Grace Cooper in a competition for schools, will make its second appearance.
For more information on the event, visit www.gov.im and search for Manx Youth Games.