Against the imposing backdrop of the Wallace Monument in Stirling, Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) today announced the 50 athletes selected to represent Youth Team Scotland at the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man 7-12 September 2011.
The concept created by Scotland in 2000, and designed as an effective vehicle for developing young athletes and giving them an early experience of an international multi-sport environment, the Commonwealth Youth Games has a great track record of uncovering future champions at senior level, and Scotland is no exception. To date 47 Scottish athletes from a total of 200 have progressed from the youth to the senior Commonwealth Games Team, with 11 going on to win a total of 18 medals for Scotland. Amongst the Scots to win medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, who came through the Youth Games include swimmers Hannah Miley and Robbie Renwick, shooters Jenifer McIntosh and Kay Copland, boxer Josh Taylor and weightlifter Peter Kirkbride.
It is anticipated that this positive trend will continue and a significant number of the 50 athletes who compete and win medals in the Isle of Man will go on to compete with distinction for Scotland at Glasgow 2014 and beyond.
Isle of Man 2011 is the first time the Youth Games have been held in one of the smaller Commonwealth nations, in line with the Commonwealth Games Federation’s policy to target countries unlikely to be able to host the senior Games. With a maximum of 1000 athlete places available and 69 of the 71 Commonwealth countries expected to take part, each country was allocated a fixed number of places and qualification standards were set accordingly in conjunction with each of the sports’ governing bodies.
The athletes, aged between 13-18 years, will compete for Scotland in all seven sports on the programme, with many entering multiple events: Athletics (9), Badminton (4), Boxing (5), Cycling (4), Gymnastics (6), Rugby 7s (12), Swimming (10).
Congratulating the team, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of CGS said: “I am confident that we have selected an outstanding team to compete in the Isle of Man, and competition for the limited number of places has been fierce.
“Whilst winning medals is important, the major benefit of the Commonwealth Youth Games is the opportunity it gives to expose young athletes to this level of international competition in a multi-sport environment. It is also the first time that athletes experience being part of Team Scotland and the strong team ethos we engender.
“I am sure we will see a number of these new faces emerge again in Glasgow in 2014 when the next Commonwealth Games are held in Scotland. I wish them every success as they embark on their Commonwealth Games journey and I look forward to cheering them on.”
Amongst the team members unveiled today are gymnast Shannon Archer who at just 13 years of age is the youngest team member; badminton player Kirsty Gilmour who is the only athlete who has already attended a Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010; and two members of the newly formed full-time Scotland Rugby 7s squad Adam Ashe and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne. A number of athletes are also fresh from success representing Great Britain at European and World junior and youth events including in athletics Tom Holligan, Nick Percy, Zoey Clark and Kimberley Reed, swimmers Craig Benson, Gareth Mills, Emily Jones and Mark Szaranek and cyclist Grant Ferguson, whilst the boxers have taken on the best of British at the GB Youth Amateur Championships and acquitted themselves well with lightweight, Charlie Flynn winning gold.
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport also extended her best wishes to the team saying: “I would like to congratulate all the athletes on their selection for Youth Team Scotland and wish them every success in the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games in The Isle of Man.
“With the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow less than three years away, the Commonwealth Youth Games is an exciting concept and provides the ideal platform for young athletes to develop and gain competition experience for future events. Good luck to all the team and I look forward to being there personally to cheer them on.”
Also at the announcement, Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland said: “On behalf of sportscotland I would like to congratulate each of the athletes selected to represent Youth Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man. It is a fantastic achievement and is testament to all the dedication and hard work put in by the athletes, their families and their coaches and we wish them all the very best for the Games.
“The Commonwealth Games is particularly significant for Scotland, as it is the only major Games where we compete as a nation in our own right, and the Youth Games concept is also close to my own heart having been developed here in Scotland and adopted internationally as a positive opportunity for developing young talent.”
Recalling her experience of the Commonwealth Youth Games, Commonwealth gold medallist and World silver medallist at 400m individual medley, swimmer Hannah Miley added: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Commonwealth Youth Games at Bendigo in 2004. It is such a great opportunity when you are a young athlete to be part of a huge competition and also to interact with athletes from all over the world. I am always especially proud to stand up representing Scotland and no more so than in Delhi last year. I wish all Youth Team Scotland athletes the best of luck next month in the Isle of Man.”
Youth Team Scotland, led by General Team Manager Vicky Strange and a coaching and support team of 24 staff, will leave for the Games on Tuesday 6 September 2011. The team will have a training day on 7 September followed by the Opening Ceremony on 8 September. This will be followed by three days of hotly contested competition 9-11 September. The Youth Games will also feature a cultural programme on the 12 September to enable athletes to mix and learn about other cultures, before an informal Closing Ceremony.
Click here to view interviews from the Team announcement on the BBC Scotland website:
SELECTED TEAM LIST
Sport/ Athlete Lives Age at Games
Holligan, Tom – Edinburgh, EH13 – 17yrs
McCall, John – Glasgow G66 – 16yrs
Percy, Nicholas – Isle of Wight – 16yrs
Brown, Emma – East Kilbride, G74 – 17yrs
Clark, Zoey – Aberdeen, AB10 – 16yrs
Finlayson, Bethanie – Dunfermline, KY12 – 17yrs
Lambert, Chloe – Glasgow, G33 – 17yrs
Milne, Yasmin – Aberdeen, AB15 – 17yrs
Reed, Kimberley – Edinburgh, EH7 – 16yrs
Carder, Matthew – Edinburgh, EH30 – 18yrs
Neil, Josh – Prestwick, KA9 – 16yrs
Gilmour, Kirsty – Bothwell, G71 – 17yrs
Pringle, Caitlin – Giffnock, G46 – 17yrs
Flynn, Charlie – Motherwell, ML15 – 17yrs
McKeown, Mark – Coatbridge, ML5 – 17yrs
Pagan, Rhys – Sanquhar, DG4 – 18yrs
Quigley, Grant – Port Glasgow, PA14 – 17yrs
Smith, Kieran – Greenrigg, ML7 – 18yrs
Barrett, Jack – Stirling, FK16 – 18yrs
Ferguson, Grant – Peebles, EH45 – 17yrs
Johnstone, Taylor – London – 18yrs
McCluskey, Stuart – Hamilton ML10 – 17yrs
Carpenter, Jamie – Newcastle – 14yrs
Davie, Liam – Cambroe, ML5 – 18yrs
Ross, Douglas – Johnstone, PA5 – 17yrs
Archer, Shannon – Edinburgh, EH52 – 13yrs
Kennedy, Cara – Paisley, PA2 – 13yrs
Smith, Carly – Glasgow,GA15 – 14yrs
Ashe, Adam – Alva, FK12 – 18yrs
Auld, Chris – Dumfries, DG2 – 18yrs
Bordill, Will – Sandbach, Cheshire – 18yrs
Dean, Chris – North Berwick, EH39 – 17yrs
Farndale, James, Penicuik, EH26 – 17yrs
Fergusson, Robbie – Ayr, KA6 – 18yrs
Glashan, Alex – Broxburn, EH52 – 17yrs
Herron, Neil – Glasgow, G13 – 17yrs
Hidalgo-Clyne, Sam – Edinburgh, EH4 – 18yrs
Hoyland, Damien – Edinburgh, EH8 – 17yrs
MacDonald, Shaun – Dunblane, FK15 – 17yrs
Steele, Scott – Dumfries, DG2 – 18yrs
Benson, Craig – Livingston, EH54 – 17yrs
Booth, Josh – Derby – 15yrs
Mills, Gareth – Scarborough – 18yrs
Stirling, Alasdair – Glasgow,G73 – 18yrs
Szaranek, Mark – Glenrothes KY7 – 16yrs
Donnelly, Fiona – Belper, Derbyshire – 16yrs
Jones, Emily – Inverurie, AB51 – 16yrs
McKenzie, Charlotte – Larbert, FK5 – 15yrs
McKinley, Kirstin – Bearsden, G61 – 16yrs
Sharples, Rachel – Musselburgh, EH21 -14yrs
Support Staff (10)
General Team Manager – Vicky Strange – Stirling FK7
Deputy General Team Manager – Gail Niven – Stirling FK7
Deputy General Team Manager – Elinor Middlemiss – Edinburgh EH4
Office Manager – Catherine Goodfellow – Edinburgh EH7
Media Officer – Stuart Mackenzie – Glasgow G40
Head of Medical Services / Head Doctor – Dr David Pugh – Blanfield G63
Team Doctor – Dr Stephen Boyce – East Kilbride G74
Head Physiotherapist – Lesley Dawson – Alva FK12
Team Physiotherapist – Linda Hardy – Glasgow G12
Team Physiotherapist – Kirstin Carroll – Dundee DD2
Sport Team Leaders & Coaches (14)
Athletics – Darren Ritchie – Bo’ness EH51
Athletics – Mark Pollard – Inverclyde PA15
Badminton – Julie Hogg – Dunfermline KY12
Badminton – John Quinn – Milton Keynes
Boxing – Tony Kerr – Aberdeen AB25
Boxing – Mike Keane – Kirkcaldy KY1
Cycling – Graeme Herd – Barrhead, G78
Cycling – Mark McKay – Culross KY12
Gymnastics – Rod Smith – Stirling FK9
Gymnastics – Marius Gherman – Glasagow G77
Rugby 7s – John Gillies – Renfrew PA4
Rugby 7s – Mark Mckenzie – Falkirk FK5
Swimming – Laurel Bailey – Ediburgh, EH4
Swimming – Gary Paterson – Aberdeen AB32
Download the attached pdf file for a full list of events entered.