Team Scotland returned home from the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday 12th August with a bumper haul of medals, and memories to last a lifetime, after a hugely successful Games for our young athletes.
Following an incredible final day of competition which saw an incredible eight medals won across Track Cycling and Athletics, Team Scotland ended the Games with their best ever placing on the medal table in 3rd with a final tally of 12 gold, 11 silver and 5 bronze.
The total of 28 medals was a fantastic achievement and 12 gold medals equals Scotland’s best ever Youth Games performance at the 2004 Games in Bendigo, where many fewer nations competed.
Five of the seven sports won medals (Athletics, Cycling, Rugby 7s, Swimming and Triathlon), with Netball coming agonisingly close with a narrow loss in the bronze medal match, while Beach Volleyball also acquitted themselves well against older and more experienced opposition, finishing 7th.
28 of the 49 athletes enjoyed medal success and, with four gold and three silver, Matthew Ward ended the Games as Scotland’s most successful Youth Games athlete in history, following an incredible few days in the pool. He eclipsed the record medal tally, set at the 2017 Youth Games, by fellow swimmer Scott McLay, who went on win a medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Games on the back of his three gold, one silver and one bronze in the Bahamas.
Swimmer Holly McGill and cyclist Sarah Johnson became just the second and third female athletes to win two gold medals for Scotland at a Youth Games, both returning home with two gold and a silver.
Sarah was part of a strong Cycling contingent, that contributed an incredible eleven medals to the overall tally. Elliot Rowe won Team Scotland’s first medal of Trinbago 2023 with Time Trial silver on the road, before Millie Thomson won Scotland’s first ever Youth Games track cycling medal with bronze on the Points Race, going on to win three medals: a silver and two bronze. Calum Moir was also a multi-medal winner in the velodrome with two gold, a silver and a bronze.
There were also a number of firsts as the Rugby 7s team claimed Team Scotland’s first ever team sport medal at either Youth Games or Commonwealth Games with gold, beating Fiji in the final in spectacular style. Jessica Heeps took a first medal for Triathlon as the sport made its debut, followed closely by Alex Robin in the men’s individual event, both winning silver, before combining to win a further silver in the Mixed Relay.
Chris Purdie, Chef de Mission was delighted with the team’s performance and said:
“Trinbago 2023 has been a special Games for everyone in Team Scotland. While finishing third on the medal table is a historic moment for Scotland, we are exceptionally proud that we were able to be represented in all seven sports that were part of the Games in Trinidad and Tobago. The chance to offer up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to compete internationally at a multi-sport event will be something that provides all individuals with significant learning on their performance journey.
“As Chef de Mission for the Team, I can’t thank the staff team enough for all of the work that they did both pre and during the Games. They created a fantastic environment for our young and talented athletes to not only perform to their best ability but to have a positive and memorable experience as well.
“I am tremendously proud of all of our athletes, staff, and wider delegation who have represented Scotland at Trinbago and it is evident that there are many brilliant individuals to watch out for in the future of Scottish sport.”