Twelve emerging athletes will have the honour of representing Lake Macquarie at the International Children’s Games (ICG) in Kaunas, Lithuania next month.
The team, comprised of swimmers and track and field athletes, depart Australia on June 30 bound for the Games, which will be staged from July 4 to 9.
They were given a team reception by Lake Macquarie City Council on June 13, where they were presented to the councillors, including Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser.
Councillor Fraser will join the team in Lithuania as a representative of Lake Macquarie City Council.
“The International Children’s Games is a wonderful event that emphasises participation and cultural exchange,” councillor Fraser said.
“It is a unique opportunity for young athletes to make new friends and, through their shared love for sport, develop an understanding of and respect for people from other cultures.”
The team will be managed by the Hunter Academy of Sport and will be accompanied by coaches Mavis Godber, Karen Leth and Greg Jones.
Hunter Academy of Sport chief executive officer Brett O’Farrell said the Children’s Games offered the region’s emerging young athletes a valuable opportunity to gain experience competing at international level.
“The standard of competition is high and the scale of the event inspires athletes to put in their best performances,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“They love the experience of representing their city and country and mixing with competitors from all over the world in the athletes’ village.”
Toronto High School will feature five representatives in the team in Lachlan Mackay, Flynn Fardell, Dillon Siv, Ella Bradley and Skye Southam.
Morisset High School’s Abbey Proctor and Bryce Webber earned selection.
Ella Cleare (Kotara High), Claudia Martin (Lakes Grammar), Kaitlyn Klein (Warners Bay High), Samuel Jones (Cardiff High) and Brew Austin (Belmont Christian College) are also headed to Lithuania.
Lake Macquarie has been a regular participant in the International Children’s Games since 2008 and became the first Australian city to host the event in 2014.