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Huge gathering of next generation athletes

19 July 2002

Twelve hundred children, hand-picked from the north west, will take part in a ground-breaking training camp that could transform their sporting futures.

Junior Rugby

Rugby league and union will be played at the Talent Camp

This huge gathering of young athletes from Merseyside, Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire and Greater Manchester, marks the five-day countdown to the biggest multi-sport event ever held in the UK - the XVII Commonwealth Games.

The 8 to 16-year-olds - both disabled and able-bodied athletes - will be coached by some of the region’s top sportsmen and women in the first North West Active Sports Talent Camp, held at the University of Central Lancashire.

The groundbreaking £3m Talent Camp programme is a highlight of the Spirit of Friendship Festival, a multi-cultural festival linked to the Games.

Funded by Sport England, the aim of the two-day camps is to inspire and identify potential world-class sporting talent among 10,000 young athletes.

National Festival director at Manchester 2002, Jo Hartley, who will be at the camp on 20 July said: “The Active Sports Talent Camps, like the Games, are integral to the future of sport in Britain and will leave an unprecedented legacy.”

“The Talent Camps feature as a leading element of the Commonwealth Games Spirit of Friendship Festival which is designed to inspire the nation’s youth to follow their dreams, both on and off the sporting field, from athletics through to the arts.”

Of the nine camps taking place nationwide the north west camp has the largest percentage of disabled athletes taking part in wheelchair basketball, athletics and swimming.

The children have been selected by the governing bodies of the nine active sports being played over the weekend - athletics, basketball, girls’ football, hockey, netball, rugby union, rugby league, swimming and tennis.

The Queen’s Jubilee Baton will also be taken to the Talent Camp on the evening of 20 July during the final stages of its journey around the Commonwealth.

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