Photo credit: Getty Images
For myself, stepping into the world of elite sport at 14 years of age, the opportunity to represent the green and gold on the world stage was an exciting opportunity.
Lining up on the blocks with a sense of anticipation and nerves at the IPC World Championships in 2006, the starting gun signified the start of an incredible journey in sport.
These games mark the start of your journey as a Commonwealth Games athlete and represent the countless hours of hard work, dedication, and commitment to improving in your sport each day. Be proud of your achievement and represent the green and gold with passion and pride.
The experience of travelling with the team, living in the village, and sharing the games with fellow team members are some of my most treasured moments as an athlete, and have provided highlights across my career. Having lived the experience before, being able to contribute to the journeys of other junior athletes starting out in their careers feels like a full circle moment.
The Youth Games also mark the beginning of a new journey for myself, as I step into the role of Team General Manager for the first time. It is a huge honour to lead a 114 strong cohort to Trinidad and Tobago, and I look forward to providing a special games experience for all our aspiring team members.
The collective support of our Team Management group of Greg Hire, Ali Cole and Leigh Sherman have worked together to make these Games possible. With each of them having previous Commonwealth Games experience as either athletes or administrators, their knowledge and contributions to the team will assist greatly in the team’s operation and success. They have each worked diligently over the past months, with their commitment and dedication to delivering a successful games experience for athletes and staff coming to the fore over the coming weeks.
I would also like to extend tribute to the families, friends and clubs that have supported our athletes along their journeys so far, the Sideline Champions who will cheer on the green and gold throughout the Games.
This will be the first taste of international competition for several athletes, and the experiences gained at these Commonwealth Youth Games will provide athletes with the tools required to succeed as senior athletes at future Commonwealth, Olympic, and Paralympic events.
I’m excited to get to Trinbago and see competition begin, wishing all the best to our competitors as we start our journey as a team!