With 50 days to go until the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games, Team England’s athletes prepared for their journey to Samoa by receiving their new Kukri kit.
Team England’s young swimming squad received their smart new Youth Team kit at Kukri HQ in Preston, Lancashire, today in readiness for the week-long Games which will showcase the best young talent from across the Commonwealth.
Preparations for Team England are in full swing with the Opening Ceremony in the Samoan capital Apia on Saturday, September 5, fast approaching.
The squad took time out from their training schedule to collect their kit bags which include an ultra modern range of kit and leisurewear required for their visit to the tropical Pacific island.
Also included in the kit bags, which the remainder of the 60-strong team will receive from their Team Leaders shortly, are some fun England supporter’s gifts and general information about their much-awaited trip.
Some 1,000 Commonwealth athletes aged 14-18 will be competing for 107 gold medals in nine sports over five days of competition in Samoa.
The Team England swimming squad includes:
Georgina Darwent, aged 16, from Newcastle. She said: “I can’t wait for the Games to start. The furthest I've been from England is to America for a family holiday so this will be massive for me and for my development.
“I've not been involved in a multi-sport event on this scale before so it’s an exciting opportunity. I'm aware that a number of great Team England stars have gone on to become international legends after competing in the Youth Games, so this is a great opportunity and I want to make the most of it.”
A selection of Team England athletes had the benefit of competing at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, in June 2015.
Jarvis Parkinson, 16, from Doncaster, said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to compete in Portugal, Italy and most recently Baku. I learned a lot from the European Games and can’t wait to see how I can apply that experience at one of the biggest youth sporting events in the world.
“The Commonwealth Games is a major global event and one that all athletes aim for, so the Youth Games is a great stepping stone.”
Darcy Deakin, aged 16, from Sheffield, was part of Team GB in Baku and is now ready to compete on a different Continent. “I've competed in Baku and been to the European Youth Olympics, but this is right up there and is massive for all us athletes.
"We'll be facing countries such as Australia for the first time and can learn from them as they'll provide fresh competition. Similarly, it'll be a new experience competing against the likes of Scotland, Ireland and Wales outside a Team GB environment so I also look forward to that challenge.
“I'm proud to go to Samoa to represent England and just looking at this kit today shows just how much Team England cares about athletes and that can only help our development as individuals.”
Louise Bell, Team England’s Chef de Mission for the Commonwealth Youth Games, said: “The kit looks great, the athletes are excited and with only 50 days to go, we're all looking forward to getting on that plane to Samoa.
“For many of these young swimmers here today, this is their first time competing away from home and our aim is to support them through every step of this journey.”
Some of the biggest names in English sport have appeared in the four editions of the Commonwealth Youth Games since they were introduced in 2000.
High profile past competitors include Jessica Ennis-Hill, Beth Tweddle, Danny Cipriani, Zoe Smith and James DeGale.
Louise added: “The Youth Games provide a number of our emerging talent with their first exposure to an international, multi-sport environment. Many of the teenagers representing their country in Samoa will be the future stars of English sport.”
To find out more about Samoa 2015, visit http://www.samoacyg2015.ws/
* The Team England swimming squad to compete in Samoa includes:
Lewis Clough, City of Salford
Kyle Chisholm, Borough of Kirklees
Tom Derbyshire, Royal Wolverhampton
Perry Gardner, Middlesbrough
Edward Baxter, Cockermouth
Jarvis Parkinson, Doncaster Dartes
Georgina Boyle, Chelsea and Westminster
Georgia Darwent, Newcastle
Brittany Horton, City of Birmingham
Layla Black, City of Leeds
Tazmin Pugh, Ellesmere College
Darcy Deakin, City of Sheffield