Young stars set for CYG | SASCOC - SASCOC

Young stars set for CYG

Team South Africa make the trip to the Isle of Man on Sunday to compete at the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games.
With the country’s top athletes featuring at the World Championships in Daegu and All Africa Games in Maputo, a strong squad of 54 junior athletes will travel to Commonwealth Youth Games with high hopes of achieving success at the junior international event, which is second only to the Olympic Youth Games. South Africa will contend in all seven tournament sport codes from 8-12 September, which are swimming, athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics and rugby sevens. There will be 108 events within those codes.
SASCOC’s goal for the team is to build on the results achieved at the last Commonwealth Youth Games held in Pune, India in 2008. South Africa were ranked fourth overall on the medal table with 30 medals, including seven gold. South Africa also won 56 medals (20 gold) in Bedingo, Australia and 66 medals (13 gold) in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2004 and 2000 respectively.
The Commonwealth Youth Games is fast becoming one of the biggest junior events since it’s inception in Edinburgh. Only 14 countries participated in the first tournament, but now 69 nations will make the trip to the Isle of Man.
Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation Gert Oosthuizen, who met with the junior squad in Johannesburg on Saturday, believes this is an opportunity for athletes to get early experience – which will be beneficial once they compete at higher levels.
‘This is the platform for these athletes to kick start there sports careers at an international level,’ says Oosthuizen. ‘Chad le Clos excelled in the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, and went on to do well at the following Youth Olympics and Commonwealth Games. I believe many of these athletes in the 2011 squad can become the next Chad le Clos, whether it’s in the pool, on the rugby field or athletics track. This group will do South Africa proud.’
All squad members arrived in Johannesburg on Saturday morning. Team South Africa will leave for the Isle of Man on Sunday, where they will fly via Frankfurt, Germany and Manchester, England before taking a ferry to the host nation. Expected arrival will be on 5 September while the expected departure will be on 13 September.