Young athletes strike gold

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THE team representing Lancaster in the International Youth Games has returned with a total of 47 medals.

The games, held in Rendsburg, Germany, from July 23 to 28, saw a group of more than 50 young people aged between 14 and 16 representing their clubs, schools, town and country at the games.

Representatives from most of the local high schools competed in a mix of sports and the arts including athletics, badminton, golf, swimming, table tennis, tennis, rowing, music and dance.

They returned with 16 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals, placing them fourth in the medal table.

They competed against youngsters of a similar age from Lancaster’s twin and friendship towns Almere in Holland, Rendsburg, Germany, and Aalborg, Denmark.

Other cities taking part were Kritstianstad in Sweden, Rathenow in Germany, Vierzon in France and Raciborz in Poland.

Coun Ron Sands, cabinet member with responsibility for children and young people, said: “The International Youth Games have been taking place now for more than 20 years and are an excellent way for our young people to learn about other cultures and people.

“They are also a great way for them to prove their prowess on the sporting field and perhaps forge a career in athletics and professional sport.

“Who knows, many of those who competed this year may go on to represent their countries at Olympic Games in the future.”

Aalborg had the most successful team, coming away with 32 gold, 28 silver and 26 bronze medals.

Next year sees the games come back to Lancaster.