A team of young people from the Lancaster district have just returned from a successful trip to Almere in the Netherlands for the International Youth Games.
They finished second in the medal table, with only the host city winning more medals.
The team came home with 55 gold, 51 silver and 39 bronze medals in total after four days competing in difficult conditions with temperatures often well over 30°C.
The team consisted of 46 young people and 12 leaders, and they were joined in Almere by the Mayor of Lancaster, Andrew Kay.
They competed in seven sports – athletics, badminton, golf, rowing, swimming, tennis and triathlon.
Whilst over in Almere the participants stayed with host families and all made some good friends during the four days.
The sports leaders this year had a good mix of youth and experience, with some being their first time as a leader and aged just 18, right through to some that have been involved for 20 years.
The athletics leader was Conor Bennett and the team consisted of Temi Mustapha, Erin Moffatt, Amy Bennett, Kirsty Hamilton, Sam Mercer, Lukas Eichmeyer, Ollie Ip and Oliver Ball.
The athletics team won 20 gold medal, 15 silver and six bronze, with 13 personal bests and a club record being set.
Temi won gold in 80m, with a personal best, and triple jump. She also won silver in discus and bronze in shot putt, with another PB.
Erin won silver in long jump and 300m, Amy won silver in the hammer with a personal best and new club record of 29.68m, beating the old record by 5.53m.
Kirsty won gold in 1,000m and silver in high jump, 600m and triple jump, along with bronze in 300m.
Sam won gold in triple jump and hammer both with a personal best, along with gold in long jump, also winning silver in shot putt. Lukas won golds in 1,500m and 800m along with silver in 400m.
Ollie won golds in high jump (PB), hammer (PB by 4.5m) and 400m.
He also took silver in shot putt and bronze in 100m, triple jump (PB), 100m hurdles and long jump (PB). Oliver Ball won golds in 100m(PB), high jump (PB by 30cm), hammer, discus (PB) and 400m.
He also got silver in 100m hurdles and shot putt.
The teams also did well in the 4x100m relay with the girls picking up gold medals and the boys winning silver.
The badminton tournament, as always, was of a very high standard, but the Lancaster team managed to bring home the largest haul of medals from an away games in their history.
All the medals were in the B section – the boys’ doubles bronze went to Thomas MacNiel and David Smith, the girls singles bronze was won by Rachel Dewhurst and the girls doubles silver were claimed by Mia Anderton and Rachel Dewhurst.
Lancaster also a team of four golfers to Almere, accompanied by leader Gordon Wilson from Morecambe Golf Club.
All the competitions were hosted at the impressive and welcoming Almeredehout GC with a competition being held on each of the four days of the games.
Josh Winder won two golds, Lucy Moss won a gold and a bronze, Megan Williams, won a bronze and Aidan Hartin claimed two bronzes.
The rowers had a brilliant four days of rowing at Roeivereniging Pampus.
Lancaster finished first in the medals table, with seven golds, six silvers, and four bronzes. The swimmers also had a fantastic experience in Almere.
Overall, they won 22 gold, 24 silver and 13 bronze medals, 59 in total.
There were 22 personal bests out of 49 races, not including the relays.
Lancaster took six competitors to Holland for the tennis, and again came away with several medals.
Harriet Glaves won gold in the girls’ singles and doubles, James Chee won gold in the boys’ doubles, Izzy Alexander won silver in the girls’ doubles, Caitlin Almond won silver in the mixed doubles and Lewi Robinson-Mackenzie won the bronze in the mixed doubles.
The triathletes arguably had the worst of the conditions.
They had a training day in the pool on day one, but after that a lot of their time was spent down at the beach with very little shade from the hot sun – even the sea water was warm and only provided little reprieve. Lancaster finished third, with impressive performances from Rhys Ashton (2nd), John Egner (4th), Kirsty Maher (14th) and Amelie Earnshaw (15th).
The games next year are in Aalborg and the team will arrive on July 30, and leave on August 4.
Anyone who can help the group with organisation or sponsorship can get in touch via the Facebook page www.facebook.com/internationalyouthgames, or contact Chris on 07739669326 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.