The 49 athletes selected to represent Team Scotland at the seventh Commonwealth Youth Games left Glasgow Airport early on Tuesday morning on the first leg of their journey to Trinidad and Tobago.
The athletes, aged between 14 and 18 years, will compete for Scotland from 4-11 August in all seven of the sports on the Trinbago 2023 programme: Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Netball, Rugby 7s, Swimming and Triathlon. They will take their place amongst over 1000 of the best young athletes from the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, as the majority experience an international multi-sport Games for the very first time.
The selected athletes have been in fine form in the lead up to departure, with highlights including swimmers Dean Fearn and Evan Davidson returning from the recent European Youth Olympic Festival with medals for Team GB.
A number of sports make their Commonwealth Youth Games debut at Trinbago 2023, including Netball and Triathlon.
McKenna Wilkinson, Captain of the Fast5 Netball team, said, “I am incredibly excited. It’s the first multi-sport games that I have ever been too but also the first multi-sport games youth games that will features Fast5 Netball, so I feel really honoured to be a part of this Team Scotland.”
“We’ve have multiple weeks of training, different training camps and I think everyone has trained really hard in the lead up to these games. We just can’t wait to see what happens when we are out there.”
The team is led by Chris Purdie as Chef de Mission, aided by an experienced coaching and support team.
Wishing the team luck for the Games, he said: “This is a really exciting time for all of our athletes as they begin their Commonwealth Games journey and I am sure they are determined to do Scotland proud. Whilst we hope that many of our athletes will return with medals, the major benefit of the Commonwealth Youth Games is the opportunity it gives young athletes to experience this level of international competition in a multi-sport environment.
“The chance to engage with people their age from other sports and from all around the Commonwealth is something I know they are all looking forward to and the whole event, including the travel, will be a learning experience as many will not have competed so far from home before. The opportunity to learn from the expertise of the staff travelling with them will stand them in great stead for future events overseas.
“I am sure Team Scotland will compete to the best of its ability and that we will see a number of future stars emerge, who will go on to represent Team Scotland at senior level. I wish them every success and I look forward to seeing them in action over the six days of competition.”
On arrival in Trinidad and Tobago the athletes will have a chance to train and familiarise themselves with the venues before the Opening Ceremony on 4 August. The sporting action begins with Beach Volleyball and Cycling on the opening day, followed by a further five days of hotly contested competition, concluding on the 10 August.
The Youth Games will also feature a cultural and education programme which will run throughout the Games to enable athletes to mix and learn about other cultures, before an informal Closing Ceremony brings the Games to a close on 11 August.