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Llangynidr Athlete Joins Team Wales for Commonwealth Youth Games

Powys athlete Rebekah O’Loughlin (Tennis) from Llangynidr has been selected to be part of Team Wales competing at this September’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. Rebekah and her fellow athletes gathered at the weekend to meet each other and receive their Wales kit at a special Team Day at the University of South Wales’ Trefforest Campus.

The event marked one year on from the record breaking success of Team Wales at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, with 1,000 days to go before the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and just over 50 days to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, when the next generation of Team Wales competes in Swimming, Weightlifting, Tennis and Archery.

Rebekah_O'LoughlinChef de Mission Prof. Nicola Phillips was deputy in Glasgow, and says: “The Team Day recognises the young athletes’ achievement in being selected to represent Wales in the Commonwealth Youth Games, to meet many of their team members for the first time, and to receive their national colours before they set out for Samoa in a couple of months. For some it will mark the start of their Team Wales journey to Gold Coast.”

Team Wales made history in Glasgow last year with a record medal haul of 36 medals, 5 Gold, 11 Silver and 20 Bronze. Our first Gold Medalist in Glasgow 2014 was rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones who won the David Dixon Award as the Outstanding Athlete of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Frankie competed in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo, Australia in 2004, and went on to three consecutive Commonwealth Games, bowing out in Glasgow where she recorded the highest ever individual tally for Wales at one Commonwealth Games. Frankie said: “The Youth Games provide such a fantastic opportunity for young athletes to gain experience competing at big events, which hopefully helps them develop into Commonwealth Games champions in the future. I took part in the Youth Games in 2004, and it played an invaluable part in my own development. ”

The Commonwealth Youth Games are a small-scale version of the Commonwealth Games, designed for young people aged between 14 and18 in the 71 Commonwealth countries. The first event was held in Edinburgh in 2000. The 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games will be held in Saint Lucia.

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