THE Australian Invitational Youth Games has been hailed a “huge success”, after more than 1000 athletes descended on the Hunter to compete in five sports, ending with swimming on Sunday.
Hunter Academy of Sport CEO Brett O’Farrell said athletes mostly aged 15 to 17 competed over a week in golf, netball, softball and, for the first time in the games’ history, a speedway event.
Mr O’Farrell said 53 swimmers with disabilities competed at Kurri Kurri Aquatic and Fitness Centre in an event that was also a Special Olympics sanctioned swim meet.
“More than half are already at a national level and have qualified for the nationals in Adelaide next year,” he said. “The games are about bringing together high performing groups and elite squads from across the country and providing an opportunity to play their sport or code against likewise quality opponents.
“The main aim is to get regional athletes into the spotlight – we have representatives from state boards and selectors here to identify talent – and unearthing Australia’s future champions.”
The games are about bringing together high-performing groups and elite squads...Brett O'Farrell