Team Lake Mac Bring Home More Than Just Medals
17th July 2023
By Bianca Smith
(Photo: L-R Sophie Hamilton, Evie Lucas, April Maloy & Amelia Zaska-Bush at the Opening Ceremony)
A team of 15 young Lake Macquarie athletes returned home last week, recently competing in the 2023 International Children’s Games (ICG) in Daegu, South Korea. The athletes’ suitcases were a little heavier upon their return, bringing home 2 Silver and 1 Bronze medal, as well as once in a lifetime experiences and connections from the competition held across the 5th-10th July.
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 Lake Macquarie at the 2023 Games were: Evie Lucas, Sophie Hamilton, April Maloy, Amelia Zaska-Bush, Hamish Ihle, Cameron Waite, Jett Jenkinson and Aleksander Gillon (Swimming); and Addison Bass, Tahlia Smith, Lacy Barnes, Marli Brunkhorst, Keira Carlson, Thomas Cashion and Xavier Orchard (Track and Field).
Track and Field athlete Keira Carlson won two medals over the 3 days of competition, bringing home a silver medal in the Girls 100m sprint and silver in the Girls 400m. Swimmer Sophie Hamilton won bronze in the 50m butterfly event, as well as being a part of the Girls 4x100m freestyle team with Evie Lucas, Amelia Zaska-Bush and April Maloy who also received a silver medal in their event.
The opportunity to meet and compete with athletes from across the world is a key focus of the ICG, bringing together athletes aged 12-15 years old from 62 cities and 27 countries.
Keira Carlson made note of her experience, highlighting the opportunity to meet new people; “I went into this competition with high hopes of making a couple of finals, but I ended up with two silver medals. When I finished my 100m race and looked up to the board to see my name in 2nd place, I could not have been happier, I felt like bursting into tears. The ICG was my first international competition and will be one to remember for many years.”
“Meeting and making new friendships with people from other countries was just amazing. This whole trip taught me that if you put your heart into what you love, the results will come with it.” Carlson finished.
Swimmer Sophie Hamilton followed, “Once you step onto the podium you feel honoured and proud of not only yourself but the team and country that you are representing.” “From the moment I got on the plane, to my first final, I had people supporting me. This experience was certainly a once in a lifetime and I’m incredibly grateful to be able to share it with my team and other countries,” Hamilton said.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said of the Team, “I’m so proud of all our Lake Mac athletes, not just for their performances in the competition, but for their role as ambassadors of our city and our country. The International Children’s Games are a wonderful opportunity for them to experience other cultures, compete at international level and grow as athletes and as people.”
Team Lake Macquarie was represented by the 15 athletes, as well as Coaches Ben Jenkinson (Swimming), Tara Angell (Athletics), Head of Delegation Bianca Smith (Hunter Academy of Sport) and Councillor Jack Antcliffe (Lake Macquarie City Council).
More photos of the squad can be found HERE