Youth Commonwealth Games
Overshadowed by the Senior Games,and to be fair there have been only two so far,the Youth Commonwealth Games provides an opportunity for athletes throughout the Commonwealth to compete against athletes from other Nations at a Youth age. It seems to me that this is the ideal target for young athletes from the UK to represent their individual countries at International level. Looking at the GB scene maybe none of the talented regional athletes would be selected. But at a regional level, they have a realistic goal if they can meet the qualifying standards.
Sadly it seems no-one is prepared to set down qualifying standards at the moment. But this is a crucial age to try and keep athletes involved in the sport, and what better goal than to run in India in 2008- if that does not motivate the youngsters, then nothing will. They do need motivating, athletics is a tough sport and I firmly believe that a goal is the way forward. That that should be the contra -argument will be that athletes should be motivated to run for GB- well it does not work like this- for the smaller countries with in GB they can will have more pride in competing , say for Wales, than a rather anonymous GB team. When they are seniors they will learn to live with this, but their is a definite feeling amongst younger athletes that they would like to represent their home country at an International level- pride in representing their home nation that should be encouraged.
Information on the Youth Games for India 2008 is lacking. Below are links to various sites, but as of yet none for the Youth Games in 2008.Scotland hosted the first Youth games in 2000.
I have been unable to find a website for Northern Ireland.
I will continue searching for more links. What can you do- put pressure on the CGC to announce standards asap and lets hope we can can raise the profile of the Games for our young athletes.
Last Youth Games Standards for England. Achieving Standards does not mean automatic selection, and the standards for the 2008 YCG have not been annouced.