There were smiles all round for Youth Team Scotland at the end of an exciting week of competition at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
The team will be returning home to Glasgow on Monday with 21 medals; three gold, ten silver and eight bronze. Five of the eight sports won medals (Swimming, Athletics, Boxing, Tennis and Weightlifting) and 18 athletes enjoyed medal success with a 100% of the boxers and the track and field team going home with medals.
With the popularity of the Youth Games growing world-wide, this was Scotland’s smallest team ever selected at just 28 athletes and yet their return on medals stands amongst the highest at 75%.
Meg Finnon who won two silver medals in the pool said: “This has been a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget, it’s just been absolutely amazing. I’ll always remember standing on the podium and seeing all my teammates cheering me. I’ve loved Samoa so much, I don’t want to go home!”
Cameron Tindle, who took 100m bronze and was 4th in the 200m also loved the experience and said:“It’s been the most amazing experience and one I’ll never forget. I’ve loved all the different cultures coming together. They say the Commonwealth Games are the friendly Games and these certainly have been, everybody has been so happy and friendly. It’s been a great Games, I’ve learned so much and I’ll always remember that medal in the 100m.”
Elinor Middlemiss, General Team Manager was delighted with the team's performance and said: “I would like to congratulate each and every one of our athletes on a fantastic Games. Every single one of them performed to their best and, along with the 21 medals we are bringing back to Scotland, we had a host of personal bests and Scottish records.
"Learning to perform when it counts at a multi-sport event is a big part of what the Commonwealth Youth Games are all about and our athletes now have great experiences to draw on as they embark on the next stage of their careers. They have been a credit to Youth Team Scotland, to their sports and to their families.
“I would also like to say a big thank you to our hosts Samoa for a wonderful Games. The welcome they have extended to us has been so warm and genuine and I hope that our athletes’ Samoan moment stays with them for the rest of their lives.”
Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman, Paul Bush OBE, who had supported the team out in Samoa said: “Huge congratulations to our Youth Games team they have done the nation proud winning 21 medals. They have been truly inspired by the success of Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014 last year and have shown just how much it means to represent their country on the international stage.
“Whilst the Youth Games is primarily about enabling young athletes to get a positive international multi-sport experience, it is also fantastic to see so many of them win medals. It is difficult to make direct comparisons from Youth Games to Youth Games, due to the different numbers of countries and Scottish athletes competing, as well as the very different sports on the programme, however this is certainly one of our most successful teams to date.
“The popularity and standard of competition at these Games has grown massively over the last few years and they are proving to be the ideal launch pad for athletes to move on to senior international success. We now look forward to seeing many of these names move on to make their mark in Gold Coast 2018 and Durban 2022.”