Team England’s stars of Trinbago 2023 concluded a memorable fortnight by taking part in a day of community activities with local sports clubs.
Members of the swimming and athletics squads took part in a meet and greet at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Trinidad with Concorde Track and Field Club while coaches helped deliver training sessions to up-and-coming talent.
Aspiring athletes aged 5-15 attended and shared their own experiences with Team England, fresh from a 49-medal haul at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Working in partnership with England Athletics and charity Jog On, Team England donated kit and 60 pairs of brand-new running spikes to the club.
In Tobago, netball and beach volleyball athletes took part in a similar activity with Brother Ry Academy, also sharing Team England kit.
Chef de Mission, Francesca Carter-Kelly, said: “We wanted the team to really understand and embrace the wider culture and communities in Trinidad and Tobago.
“Being here has given our team the opportunity to interact and have fun with lots of local, young athletes.
“We wanted the team to come and enjoy it and experience that, so we’re really happy to be working with England Athletics and the charity Jog On.
“I hope the spikes that we’ve donated today support the young people here to fall in love with the sport and more importantly to do well and have that experience of interacting with our English athletes.”
The day also presented a chance for Team England to celebrate their success, having won 16 golds, 23 silvers and 10 bronze medals across a Games which saw silverware secured across all four sports entered.
John Steele OBE, Chair of Commonwealth Games England, was also in attendance as athletes shared training drills and organised relay races with Concorde’s young talent.
He said: “Sport is about performing at this level but what has been a brilliant reminder for everybody is that sport is about enjoyment, creating relationships, friendships and partnerships.
“Excellence with a smile has been the lesson and you couldn’t ask for a better example of it than here.
“Every Team England athlete you see here started where these young people started, they started in school, someone motivated and inspired them to go for sport and enjoy sport and this is where their journey has got them to.
“It’s fitting and appropriate for them to come here and try and do the same for young people that we see today and there is some real talent here at Concorde Athletics Club.”
100m sprinter Mabel Akande was the first Team England athlete to take to the track at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on day one of the Commonwealth Youth Games.
She said: “It has been amazing talking to children similar to us with aspirations and enjoying similar hobbies of being an athlete.
“Getting to know them and doing activities with them has been an amazing experience and I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.
“It has been great speaking to them and finding out what their seasons are like and how they do different drills.
“Learning the differences between us is great and I’m hoping to take that with me and share it to others as well.”