Lancaster’s International Youth Games team recently returned from Aalborg in Denmark, where 47 local youngsters took part in seven events.
The team, who competed in the athletics, badminton, golf, karate, swimming, tennis and triathlon events were also joined in Aalborg by the Mayor of Lancaster and 13 sports leaders.
In the athletics, ten athletes competed in 57 events and achieved 39 PBs whilst winning five gold medals, 15 silver and 13 bronze.
The most unexpected medals were for triple jump, where six athletes achieved medals despite it being the first time that the majority of them had taken part in the event.
A real highlight was the mixed 1000m relay run by the two eldest girls and boys, winning by at least 70m.
The badminton squad have been rapidly improving over the last couple of years and they were rewarded at the games this year with 11 gold, two silver and two bronze in total, the best ever away result for Lancaster.
This year the golf team consisted of just two players – Rory Briggs from Morecambe Golf Club and Aidan Hartin from Heysham Golf Club.
On the first day they were split up amongst golfers from Denmark, Holland, Germany and Iceland to play in a Texas Scramble so that all the golfers could get to know each
Rory and his team finished an impressive 5 under par to win a silver medal, while Aidan’s team were just outside the medals with a one under par round.
Day two saw the pair competing in a greensomes event and despite achieving a very creditable score of 71 they missed out on a medal.
Day three saw the individual championship and final element of the team competition decided at Aalborg Golf Club, the previous rounds having been played at Ornehoj Golf Club in the nearby town of Gistrup.
The individual strength of the German and Dutch players meant that the Lancaster golfers couldn’t secure an individual medal, but they were awarded the team bronze for their consistently good play over the three days.
The karate team achieved six medals across four team members – two gold, three silver and one bronze.
The swimming team had yet another successful games with two gold medals, two silver and 11 bronze, with a number of personal bests set.
The tennis team took 11 participants and two leaders.
Lancaster won two bronze medals in the singles – Tomáš Grime in the boys 2006 group and Caitlin Currie in the girls 2005 group.
Oliver Dingle and Andrew Bebbington also reached the quarter finals in their groups, and on the last day the tennis players played the doubles with mixed partners from other countries.
Triathlon had a typically busy three days of events, with temperatures seeming to rise every day as the event went on.
The team had some tough competition but brought back some medals – one silver (Daniel Knowles-Slack) for individual triathlon, one silver (Daniel Knowles-Slack) for overall individual performance (combined events: aquathlon, duathlon, triathlon) and one team bronze for all four triathletes.
The principle leaders were proud of the team, not only with their sporting performances, but also the ir behavior and the way in which they represented Lancaster.
Now the planning for Rendsburg next year starts picking up, along with accelerating the plans to host again in 2021.
Since 2017 Lancaster’s International Youth Games team has been funded and organised by a team of volunteers, after Lancaster City Council took the difficult decision to withdraw funding in 2016.
Since then the team have successfully hosted the games in Lancaster in 2017, and previously made a trip to Almere, where they came second in the medal table, with only Almere themselves wining more.
The team are always looking for sponsorship, either individual sports and are constantly looking to get more sports, and dance and cultural elements involved.
Anybody interested in helping the team with fundraising can contact the organisers through the facebook page www.facebook.com/internationalyouthgames or email firstname.lastname@example.org.