Guadeloupe is set to host the inaugural Caribbean Games ©CANOC

More than 800 under-23 athletes are coming to Guadeloupe for the inaugural Caribbean Games scheduled, to take place from tomorrow to July 3.

Thirty countries and territories are expected to attend including Central American nation Belize and South American countries Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

The Caribbean Games, which are organised by the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), will begin with an Opening Ceremony in the Stade René Serge Nabajoth before a seven-sport programme is played out.

The build-up to the event began on May 27 as the Caribbean Games conch shell embarked on a journey across 32 towns in Guadeloupe.

The conch, like the Olympic Torch, is intended to transmit a message of peace and friendship along its route and heralds the start of the event.

Its journey began on the chosen date as it coincided with the abolition of slavery in Guadeloupe 174 years prior.

Noca, a racoon, is the mascot of the Games and was chosen as it is said to be an emblematic species for the Guadeloupe National Park.

"The racoon is a symbol of resourcefulness, dexterity, adaptability and cleverness," read a CANOC statement.

"All attributes used to good effect by the organisers of the inaugural Caribbean Games 2022 in Guadeloupe."

Athletics, 3x3 basketball, road cycling, futsal, judo, swimming and netball are all set to appear in the five-day event.

Track cycling was planned to be on the programme as well but it was removed after the proposed venue, Vélodrome Amédée Détraux, became unavailable.

An emergency meeting was called as venues for athletics and netball also pulled out and jeopardised the future of the Games before the Roger Zami Stadium and the Laura Flessel Sports Complex were offered to stage the respective sports.

The Caribbean Games had first been scheduled to take place in 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago before being cancelled by the country's Government at short notice due to fears about swine flu.

The Guadeloupe event was originally intended for 2021 but was postponed until this year because of COVID-19.