Fourteen young swimmers and track and field athletes who will represent Lake Macquarie City at the International Children’s Games (ICG) in Ufa, Russia were guests of honour at a ceremony at Lake Macquarie City Council on Monday 24 June.
The members of Team Lake Mac attended a reception hosted by Lake Macquarie Mayor Councillor Kay Fraser before being introduced and presented with their team kits at the Council meeting.
“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 opportunity for them and I’m looking forward to seeing all the smiles on their faces as they compete, all while making new friends, travelling and learning about other cultures.”
Head of Delegation, Karen Turner, from the Hunter Academy of Sport, said the Games offered a great experience 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.
“The athletes’ village is always a highlight for the kids when they get the chance to mix with competitors from all over the world. But, it’s also the rare experience of representing their City and country in the sporting arena that drives their ambition.”
As part of the reception on Monday night, athlete Caleb Baker made a special presentation to thank Hunter Academy of Sport and Council for the amazing opportunity to represent the City and travel to Russia.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that I will never forget. Thank you to Lake Macquarie City Council and Hunter Academy of Sports for this opportunity, I know Team Lake Mac will do the City proud and make so many lasting memories,” said Mr Baker.
The team of swimmers and track and field athletes will participate in the Games from 9 to 13 July.
The team members are:
· Amber Xavier (athletics)
· Brooke Xavier (athletics)
· Jasmine Roberts (athletics)
· Jemma Pollard (athletics)
· Riley Gardner (athletics)
· Cory Vizintin (athletics)
· Chloe Scanlon (swimming)
· Ella Kohl (swimming)
· Rilee Perry (swimming)
· Rylee Jenkinson (swimming)
· Blair Southam (swimming)
· Caleb Baker (swimming)
· Che Van Beek (swimming)
· Nick Caldwell (swimming)
Team Lake Mac is managed by the Hunter Academy of Sport and will be accompanied by the Head of Delegation Karen Turner, from the Academy, as well as coaches Mavis Godber (athletics) and Ben Jenkinson (swimming). Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser will join the team in Russia as the Council’s representative.
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.
For more information on the 2019 International Children’s Games, visit icgufa2019.ru/en/