Fifteen young Isle of Wight sports stars have been selected to represent the Island in this year’s World Island Youth Games, in Corsica.
The Isle of Wight will be represented in four sports this year competing against 12 islands from all over the world, including Sardinia, Jersey, Sicily, Malta and Martinique.
All the team members are aged between 12 – 16, with six members taking part in the competition for the first time.
Competing in her second games, despite being just 13 years old, is swimmer Sid McLaren. She said; “I am really looking forward to the lively atmosphere that I experienced last year. I have trained very hard this year and hope to make a splash in the pool”.
Meanwhile, Milo Gayle is taking part in his first World Island Youth Games at the age of 16. He will be competing in athletics and said; “I am excited to be chosen to be in the World Island Youth Games. This is my first international event and I am really looking forward to representing the Island. My hope is to bring home a medal for the Island.”
Lee Matthews from Isle of Wight Council will be managing the team during the competition and says the main focus is to give the young sports men and women international experience. “The World Island Youth Games have become a great platform for young people to compete against some of the very best in Europe” says Lee. “Over the past 10 years the Isle of Wight has produced a number of participants who have used this experience to develop their sporting progress. A number have gone onto represent the country at international level and many have gone onto senior success at the Natwest Island Games.
“The games have launched the careers of one or two famous sports competitors, such as Rafael Nadal who competed for Majorca in the 1997 Games. Our athletes will go out and give it their all and we wish them every success in bringing a medal or two back to the Isle of Wight”.
The competition lasts three days and begins on 22 May. The games are funded by the host island, external grants and local sponsorship.
The full team is as follows:
Sailing – Dan Atherton, William Heritage, Margaux Welch
Swimming – Charlotte James, Victoria Watts, Eleanor King, Sid McLaren,
Athletics – Milo Gayle, Sam Hutchinson, Harrison Smith,
Tennis – Michael Foulkes, Mikar Fisher, Regan Matthews, Sian Perry, Millie Coombes
Photograph: Isle of Wight Council