12 Young Rugby Stars Named In Scotland'S Youth Games Commonwealth Team

Against the imposing backdrop of the Wallace Monument in Stirling, Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) today announced the 50 athletes selected to represent Youth Team Scotland at the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man 7-12 September 2011.

The concept created by Scotland in 2000, and designed as an effective vehicle for developing young athletes and giving them an early experience of an international multi-sport environment, the Commonwealth Youth Games has a great track record of uncovering future champions at senior level, and Scotland is no exception.

To date 47 Scottish athletes from a total of 200 have progressed from the youth to the senior Commonwealth Games team, with 11 going on to win a total of 18 medals for Scotland. Amongst the Scots to win medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, who came through the Youth Games include swimmers Hannah Miley and Robbie Renwick, shooters Jenifer McIntosh and Kay Copland, boxer Josh Taylor and weightlifter Peter Kirkbride.

Head coach Mark McKenzie with Stirling County's Adam Ashe and Shaun McDonald 

It is anticipated that this positive trend will continue and a significant number of the 50 athletes who compete and win medals in the Isle of Man will go on to compete with distinction for Scotland at Glasgow 2014 and beyond.

Isle of Man 2011 is the first time the Youth Games have been held in one of the smaller Commonwealth nations, in line with the Commonwealth Games Federation’s policy to target countries unlikely to be able to host the senior Games. With a maximum of 1000 athlete places available and 69 of the 71 Commonwealth countries expected to take part, each country was allocated a fixed number of places and qualification standards were set accordingly in conjunction with each of the sports’ governing bodies.

The athletes, aged between 13-18 years, will compete for Scotland in all seven sports on the programme, with many entering multiple events: Athletics (9), Badminton (4), Boxing (5), Cycling (4), Gymnastics (6), Rugby 7s (12), Swimming (10).

Congratulating the team, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of CGS said: “l am confident that we have selected an outstanding team to compete in the Isle of Man, and competition for the limited number of places has been fierce.

“Whilst winning medals is important, the major benefit of the Commonwealth Youth Games is the opportunity it gives to expose young athletes to this level of international competition in a multi-sport environment. It is also the first time that athletes experience being part of Team Scotland and the strong team ethos we engender.

“I am sure we will see a number of these new faces emerge again in Glasgow in 2014 when the next Commonwealth Games are held in Scotland. I wish them every success as they embark on their Commonwealth Games journey and I look forward to cheering them on.”

Amongst the team members unveiled today are gymnast Shannon Archer who at just 13 years of age is the youngest team member; badminton player Kirsty Gilmour who is the only athlete who has already attended a Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010; and two members of the newly formed full-time Scotland Rugby 7s squad Adam Ashe and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne. A number of athletes are also fresh from success representing Great Britain at European and World junior and youth events including in athletics Tom Holligan, Nick Percy, Zoey Clark and Kimberley Reed, swimmers Craig Benson, Gareth Mills, Emily Jones and Mark Szaranek and cyclist Grant Ferguson, whilst the boxers have taken on the best of British at the GB Youth Amateur Championships and acquitted themselves well with lightweight, Charlie Flynn winning gold.

Also at the announcement, Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland said: “On behalf of sportscotland I would like to congratulate each of the athletes selected to represent Youth Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man. It is a fantastic achievement and is testament to all the dedication and hard work put in by the athletes, their families and their coaches and we wish them all the very best for the Games.

“The Commonwealth Games is particularly significant for Scotland, as it is the only major Games where we compete as a nation in our own right, and the Youth Games concept is also close to my own heart having been developed here in Scotland and adopted internationally as a positive opportunity for developing young talent.”

Recalling her experience of the Commonwealth Youth Games, Commonwealth gold medallist and World silver medallist at 400m individual medley, swimmer Hannah Miley added: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Commonwealth Youth Games at Bendigo in 2004.  It is such a great opportunity when you are a young athlete to be part of a huge competition and also to interact with athletes from all over the world. I am always especially proud to stand up representing Scotland and no more so than in Delhi last year. I wish all Youth Team Scotland athletes the best of luck next month in the Isle of Man.”

Youth Team Scotland, led by General Team Manager Vicky Strange and a coaching and support team of 24 staff, will leave for the Games on Tuesday 6 September 2011. The team will have a training day on 7 September followed by the Opening Ceremony on 8 September. This will be followed by three days of hotly contested competition 9-11 September. The Youth Games will also feature a cultural programme on the 12 September to enable athletes to mix and learn about other cultures, before an informal Closing Ceremony.

Selected team list

List of atheletes, with their ages at the the time of the Commonwealth Games.

Athletics (9)

Holligan, Tom  Edinburgh, EH13 17
McCall, John:  Glasgow G66  16
Percy, Nicholas:   Isle of Wight  16
Brown, Emma:  East Kilbride, G74 17
Clark, Zoey:   Aberdeen, AB10 16
Finlayson, Bethanie:  Dunfermline, KY12 17
Lambert, Chloe:   Glasgow, G33  17
Milne, Yasmin:  Aberdeen, AB15 17
Reed, Kimberley:   Edinburgh, EH7 16

Badminton (4)

Carder, Matthew:  Edinburgh, EH30 18
Neil, Josh:  Prestwick, KA9 16
Gilmour, Kirsty:  Bothwell, G71  17
Pringle, Caitlin:  Giffnock, G46  17

Boxing (5)

Flynn, Charlie:  Motherwell, ML15  17
McKeown, Mark:  Coatbridge, ML5  17
Pagan, Rhys:   Sanquhar, DG4  18
Quigley, Grant:  Port Glasgow, PA14  17
Smith, Kieran:   Greenrigg, ML7  18

Cycling (4) 

Barrett, Jack:   Stirling, FK16  18
Ferguson, Grant:  Peebles, EH45 17
Johnstone, Taylor:  London  18
McCluskey, Stuart::  Hamilton ML10 17

Gymnastics (6)

Carpenter, Jamie, 14:  Newcastle 
Davie, Liam, 18:   Cambroe, ML5
Ross, Douglas, 17:   Johnstone, PA5
Archer, Shannon, 13:  Edinburgh, EH52
Kennedy, Cara, 13: Paisley, PA2 
Smith, Carly, 14:  Glasgow, GA15

Rugby (12)

Ashe, Adam, 18:  Alva, FK12 
Auld, Chris, 18:  Dumfries, DG2
Bordill, Will, 18:  Sandbach, Cheshire
Dean, Chris,  17:   North Berwick, EH39
Farndale, James,  17:  Penicuik, EH26
Fergusson, Robbie, 18:  Ayr, KA6 
Glashan, Alex, 17:  Broxburn, EH52
Herron, Neil, 17:  Glasgow, G13 
Hidalgo-Clyne, Sam,  18:  Edinburgh, EH4
Hoyland, Damien, 17:  Edinburgh, EH8
MacDonald, Shaun, 17:  Dunblane, FK15
Steele, Scott 18:  Dumfries, DG2

Swimming (10)

Benson, Craig, 17:  Livingston, EH54
Booth, Josh, 15:  Derby  
Mills, Gareth, 18:   Scarborough 
Stirling, Alasdair 18: Glasgow, G73 
Szaranek, Mark 16:  Glenrothes KY7
Donnelly, Fiona 16:  Belper, Derbyshire
Jones, Emily 16:   Inverurie, AB51
McKenzie, Charlotte 15: Larbert, FK5 
McKinley, Kirstin 16:  Bearsden, G61
Sharples, Rachel 14: Musselburgh, EH21

Support Staff (10)

General team manager – Vicky Strange, Stirling FK7
Deputy general team manager - Gail Niven, Stirling FK7
Deputy general team manager - Elinor Middlemiss, Edinburgh EH4
Office manager – Catherine Goodfellow, Edinburgh EH7
Media officer - Stuart Mackenzie, Glasgow G40
Head of medical services / head doctor - Dr David Pugh, Blanfield G63
Team doctor - Dr Stephen Boyce, East Kilbride G74
Head physiotherapist - Lesley Dawson, Alva FK12
Team physiotherapist - Linda Hardy, Glasgow G12
Team physiotherapist - Kirstin Carroll, Dundee DD2

Sport team leaders and coaches (14)

Athletics – Darren Ritchie, Bo’ness EH51
Athletics – Mark Pollard, Inverclyde PA15
Badminton – Julie Hogg, Dunfermline KY12
Badminton – John Quinn, Milton Keynes
Boxing – Tony Kerr, Aberdeen AB25
Boxing – Mike Keane, Kirkcaldy KY1
Cycling – Graeme Herd, Barrhead, G78
Cycling – Mark McKay, Culross KY12
Gymnastics – Rod Smith, Stirling FK9
Gymnastics – Marius Gherman, Glasagow G77
Rugby 7s – John Gillies, Renfrew PA4
Rugby 7s – Mark Mckenzie, Falkirk FK5
Swimming – Laurel Bailey, Ediburgh, EH4
Swimming – Gary Paterson, Aberdeen AB32