With a month to go before the Opening Ceremony of the Trinidad and Tobago Commonwealth Youth Games, Team England has announced its netball squad, among the English athletes who will be competing.
Team England’s squad of 59 athletes, made up of more females than males, will compete in four of the sports on the programme with representation in Athletics and Para Athletics, Beach Volleyball, FAST5 Netball and Swimming. Team England will be competing in 65 medal events over the six days of competition.
Having begun in Edinburgh in 2000, the seventh edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games will take place on the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago between 4 and 11 August with more than 1,000 young athletes aged between 14 and 18 from Nations and Territories across the Commonwealth.
For the first time in Commonwealth history, FAST5 Netball will be played, which is a shorter version of the game with five players to a side, shorter quarters, power plays, and super shots. It will be held at Shaw Park Cultural Complex in Tobago from 8-10 August.
Team England will play their first pool game against South Africa on 8 August with St Vincent and the Grenadines and Botswana also in the group.
|Darcie Everitt (C)
|Ella Williams (VC)
Reserves: Daisy Lees (C, Manchester Thunder), Hannah Gibson (GA/GS, London Pulse), Lydia Hine (C/GD, Manchester Thunder) and Tami Fapohunda (GK/GD, London Pulse)
Staff: Head Coach – Sheonah Forbes, Assistant Coach – Leah Setsoafia, Physiotherapist – Desi Gillespie, Team Manager – Georgi Rettey
Darcie Everitt, 17, is delighted to be selected: “It’s hugely exciting to be going and it is special that the people who have been selected, including myself have been recognised. It’s incredible, I’m honoured to be picked for it.”
Teammate Isabella Phillips, 17, added: “I can’t wait. I am still in disbelief that am going, I don’t think it has fully sunk in yet. Not only as a team can we display all of our hard work and show that to people but away from the court, this is our first big multi-sport competition and being able to meet people from other sports and other countries, all being around each other and embracing different cultures. The level of competition is going to be so high, it will be a great time to represent and give back to everyone has been involved in getting us here and showing this is England, this is what we are about and this is what the future holds.”
Anya Williams, 16, is still letting selection sink in: “It feels surreal. Every time someone mentions it, I remember I am actually going. It is going to be an amazing opportunity for us as a team and also individually, to have the opportunity to go to another country and play with my team again.”
Team England’s Chef de Mission, Francesca Carter-Kelly welcomed the athletes to the team: “I’m looking forward to working with such an exciting squad of athletes for what I’m sure will be a fantastic Games at Trinbago 2023. We have an extremely talented group heading out to Trinidad and Tobago who are all primed to deliver at the Commonwealth Youth Games and make it an experience to remember. This is a great opportunity to compete on the international stage and get a first experience of a multi-sport environment. I’m excited for competition to begin and I’m sure we will see many standout performances and future stars emerge.”
Head Coach Sheonah Forbes added: “The U18 squad selected are ready and raring to get out there to represent their country, as well as gaining invaluable experiences that travelling overseas brings. With the tournament being at the same time as the Vitality Roses head to the World Cup, our girls will be inspired as well as hoping to inspire as part of the next generation. We have a preparation camp to ensure that as a group we are connected and confident both on and off the court. Being part of Team England gives it that extra special vibe for us all with specific UKAD training and a holding camp, simulating what our Vitality Roses would experience. We have plenty of variety and flair within this group and I am excited to see them showcase themselves on the international scene at a Commonwealth Youth Games.”
Follow the performances at Trinbago 2023 at www.teamengland.org