London Youth Games mourns and pays tribute at the loss of Queen Elizabeth II – the inspiration behind the Games

18th Sep 2022
John Burton

In 1977 the concept of the Jubilee Games was created, and the first Games were launched to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Such was the success of the Jubilee Games in 1977, that the one-off silver Jubilee celebration has become a critical fixture in London’s sporting calendar for 45 years.

Since the Jubilee Games in 1977 the London Youth Games has benefitted over 1.5 million young Londoners. Providing opportunities for young Londoners from all backgrounds to try new sports, compete against other Boroughs and take huge pride in representing their Borough.

On 4th July 2002 as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebration, accompanied by her husband Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen attended the opening day of the Games. The Queen watched the relays and presented medals at the visit. The then Camden BTO John Mann said “Despite the most stringent security measures, as the Queen walked into the main sports hall during the athletics competition, she was engulfed by kids who completely overran the bodyguards and minders. They seemed absolutely horrified but she didn’t appear at all concerned and seemed to genuinely enjoy the occasion!”

In the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, the London Youth Games celebrated its 45th anniversary having been created to celebrate the Silver Jubilee. LYG CEO Andy Dalby-Welsh commented “The pandemic caused the Games great challenges, to be back delivering our historic events in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year was so exciting especially as we delivered more activities on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park than ever before.”

The Games has already evolved greatly over its 45 year history. The London Youth Games has inspired youth games events in major cities of the UK and now sees the Commonwealth Youth Games feature in the Commonwealth Sports Federation calendar, a tribute to Her Majesty’s passion for sport, the Youth Games and the Commonwealth. In our next phase of development, we want the Games to be a great tool in tackling some of London’s biggest social challenges whilst improving the physical and mental health of our young Londoners. London Youth Games Chair Geoff Thompson MBE said “Having been a Director of the Games in the 1980’s and having become the Chair of the Games in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, we are all saddened to learn of Her Majesty’s passing . In Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee year, 10 years on from London 2012 and following the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, there can be no more fitting tribute to Her Majesty in the need to see the spirit of the London Youth Games become an engagement opportunity for every young Londoner supported by all the agencies who assist our efforts, providing a sustainable, credible, and impactful legacy opportunity for all. We are committed to achieve this in honour of an Incredible Queen who served her country with such commitment and grace. We believe the Games can go from strength to strength in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”