A group of talented young New Zealand athletes today heard words of encouragement and advice from Olympians and WBO world heavyweight title holder Joseph Parker ahead of their upcoming Commonwealth Youth Games campaign.
The athletes depart for the Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games on July 13th and 14th and attended a team session at Auckland’s AUT Millennium Institute this morning.
At the session New Zealand Olympic Committee President and Olympic World Champion rower Mike Stanley and Olympians Evelyn Williamson (triathlon) and Bevan Hari (hockey) all spoke about their games experience and wished the athletes luck.
Boxer Joseph Parker also sent a video message to the team in which he reminisced about representing New Zealand at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games.
“All the best to the team going to represent our country at the Commonwealth Youth Games, I wanna say go hard try your best, know that I’m backing you guys”, Joseph said.
Parker also offered special words of encouragement to his cousin, boxer Pelea Fruean, who is a team member and was taught how to box by Joseph in his garage.
“I just wanna make a special shoutout to Pelea Fruean, got your back cuz and I look forward to a great result”.
34 athletes will represent New Zealand at the Games which run from July 18th – 23rd.
About the Commonwealth Youth Games
Dozens of New Zealand’s most promising and exciting young athletes will take on their Commonwealth counterparts at the Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games, held between 18 – 23 July 2017.
The Games will be the largest international sporting event ever hosted in The Bahamas, and the largest-ever edition of the Youth Games. Up to 1300 athletes aged 14-18 are set to make the most of an inspiring and immersive mix of impactful sporting competition, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships.
A team of 34 young Kiwi athletes will represent New Zealand at the Games. The team will be made up of eleven swimmers, eleven athletics representatives, three cyclists, five boxers and four beach volleyball players. The athletes have been working hard to prepare for the Games and will build on the successes of previous Kiwi teams. The last Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Samoa in 2015 where New Zealand won 20 medals, made up of seven gold, eight silver and five bronze.
The Bahama’s first-ever international multi-sport event will see 94 medals contested across Athletics, Aquatics (Swimming), Beach Soccer, Boxing, Cycling (Road), Judo, Rugby Sevens, Tennis and Beach Volleyball. It will be the first time Judo, Beach Soccer and Beach Volleyball have been contested at a Commonwealth Youth Games.