CGC’s international programs make a splash in Isle of Man

Commonwealth Games Canada's international programs had an unprecedented presence at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Isle of Man. Christian Del Valle, CGC's Programs and Partnerships Officer—Canada, became the first member of CGC's International Development through Sport (IDS) unit to be part of a Games Mission Staff. While there, he promoted CGC's "Giving Back" program to young athletes and their coaches, and shared information about CGC's sport for development work around the world. Meanwhile, Natalie Brett, Paddye Magill and Denise Yuen—who are currently on placements abroad as part of CGC's innovative Capacity Support Program (CSP)—also served in Isle of Man. Brett attended as part of the Falkland Islands Team, while Magill and Yuen put in 20-hour days dedicated to the enormous task of capturing and inputting results data for all 69 countries and territories competing in Isle of Man on behalf of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

Christian Del Valle

CGC's Programs and Partnerships Officer—Canada


The Giving Back program is intended to serve as a platform to bridge the gap between the high performance and social development aspects of sport. Recent research has found that social responsibility plays an important role in an athlete's career and has a positive impact on their performance, personal development and continued participation in their sport—one of the reasons we decided to launch Giving Back in Isle of Man.

Many of our Canadian athletes were very interested in learning more about CGC's international programs and how they could get involved. We used different mechanisms–including the signing of an athlete declaration—to encourage awareness about and commitment to sport for development causes. Members of Team Canada also had the opportunity to participate in a visit to a local primary school that had been arranged by the Isle of Man Organizing Committee. The kids were able to interact with our athletes by asking them questions and also by participating in a fun relay activity organized by one of the coaches. It was a great way to integrate a social development component to the Games and to 'give back' to the hosting community in a tangible way. The response from Team Canada to this invitation was overwhelming—and many of the athletes described it as an experience they would never forget.

Between the school visit and the opportunity to talk with athletes, coaches and Mission Staff about all the amazing things CGC does beyond sending Team Canada to Games, I'm happy with what we were able to achieve in Isle of Man. We are now taking the learning from the Youth Games as we start planning for Glasgow 2014.

Natalie Brett

Placement: Falkland Island Overseas Games Association


Being at the Games was an incredible experience and attests to the thousands of hours of work that go into organising an event of that size. The Isle of Man Games were my first of this magnitude, and I was in awe of the raw athleticism of the athletes and floored by the dedication of volunteers from the Isle of Man, who did everything they could to make the Games an enjoyable experience for all in attendance.

I learned a lot about sport in the Falkland Islands through observing our athletes alongside the athletes from larger countries. This gave me a better perspective on the kind of work I need to be doing over the next six months of my placement. Due to the Falkland Islands' tiny population it is difficult to develop a strong level of competition for the country's elite athletes. They end up practicing and competing against each other, which can only take them so far. Trying to figure out ways of creating a higher level of competition for the country's athletes is going to be an interesting challenge over the next few months. I hope to see the rewards in a couple of years' time when the plans I help put in place develop into action at future Games.

Paddye Magill and Denise Yuen

Placements: The Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association and The Commonwealth Games Association of Sri Lanka, respectively

Due to the success of having CGC interns, including Magill, work on the Results Management Team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Magill and Yuen were seconded to do the same in Isle of Man. It was long, hard and sometimes tedious work but their efforts gathering and inputting data into the Zeus Games Management system were critical to allowing friends and family around the world to celebrate in real time.


Paddye: Isle of Man was another great Games experience, but it was very different from Delhi. In Isle of Man, the results we entered into the Zeus system were much more accessible, and there were fewer challenges with Internet access so I actually had time to cheer on some Seychellois athletes at their events. It was also nice to get immediate feedback from countries like Canada and Scotland that they were able to access the results right away and that everything looked good. Denise and I were a great team and made the best of the long days with lots of laughs. Both of my experiences doing results have been a great opportunity to see how Games operate and how the organizing committee works.


Denise: This was my first time doing Results Management, and I learned that A LOT of data has to be entered for results—but it feels pretty incredible to know that the data we entered in Zeus will be used for all sorts of reports for Zeus users worldwide. There were times when I felt I was going cross-eyed looking at so many numbers and names, but that was my only challenge! The Games were so well-run that information and results were flowing in real-time to us and the Games website. My experience in Isle of Man went far beyond my expectations, and a huge thanks has to go to the amazing volunteers at the Games. At the closing ceremonies, it was awesome to see all the countries mingling and athletes hanging out with the new friends they'd made.

To learn more about how CGC interns are using the Zeus system, please visit