Fourteen local swimmers and track and field athletes will represent the City of Lake Macquarie at the International Children’s Games (ICG) in Ufa, Russia from 9 to 13 July 2019.
The ICG is the biggest youth multi-sport event in the world and is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee. Lake Macquarie has been a regular participant in the annual Games since 2008 and in 2014 became the first Australian city to host the event.
The athletes chosen to represent Team Lake Mac at the Ufa Games are: Amber Xavier, Brooke Xavier, Jasmine Roberts, Jemma Pollard, Riley Gardner and Cory Vizintin (athletics); and, Chloe Scanlon, Ella Kohl, Rilee Perry, Rylee Jenkinson, Blair Southam, Caleb Baker, Che Van Beek and Nick Caldwell (swimming).
Team Lake Mac will be managed by the Hunter Academy of Sport and accompanied by the Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Kay Fraser.
“The International Children’s Games is a high-level competition that uses sport to promote cultural awareness and interaction, so our young athletes participate not only as competitors but also as goodwill ambassadors for their city and country,” Cr Fraser said.
“Each year we have a great group of kids that make our community so proud. It is a wonderful chance for them to compete internationally, all while making new friends, travelling and learning about other cultures.”
Local swimmer and Whitebridge High School student Rilee Perry 14 is attending the International Children’s Games for the very first time and is thrilled to be going to Russia to compete.
“I’m really excited for the International Children’s Games this year - I can’t wait to travel with old and new friends and meet people from other countries. Competing in another country against new competitors will be interesting and new,” said Miss Perry.
“I’m especially looking forward to staying in the Athlete’s Village and of course seeing a little bit of Russia. I couldn’t be more excited, it’s going to be great! It’s such an amazing opportunity - I’m very lucky.”
Head of Delegation, Karen Turner, from the Hunter Academy of Sport, said the Games were a great opportunity for emerging athletes.
“All of the competitors are aged between 12 and 15 so it is a rare opportunity for them to represent Australia and Lake Macquarie, as well as gain maturity as an athlete. This year we have a very talented team of athletes, so there is a lot of excitement around the group, who are all busy with their training and preparation,” said Ms Turner.
Two coaches will also travel with the team to guide the athletes in their preparation for Ufa: Mavis Godber (athletics) and Ben Jenkinson (swimming).