The 18 athletes representing North Lanarkshire have arrived in the Netherlands for this year’s International Children’s Games (ICG) .
This year’s event starts in Alkmaar today (Wednesday) and runs until Monday, with the squad getting together for a reception and parents’ information evening at the Alona Hotel in Strathclyde Park on Thursday.
While the excited youngsters collected kit and enjoyed an impromptu ten pin bowling session, their parents were provided with further details of the amazing experience awaiting their children.
The ICG is an International Olympic Committee-sanctioned annual event and Lanarkshire has a long association with it having hosted the event in 2011.
North Lanarkshire youngsters will compete in four sports - football, swimming, golf and athletics.
Under the watchful eye of coach Nicky Laughlan the football team is made up of Braidhurst High pupils James Miller, Jon McCracken, Tom Leighton, Kyle Cunningham, Lewis Gamble, Tyler Tobin and Leon McCann, and Our Lady’s High pupil Kenneth Barr.
Swimmers Mark Hill from Motherwell and Thomas Balfour from Holytown will also be in action. The swimming team is coached by Danny McGowan and also includes Duncan McKinney (Auchinloch), Robyn Morrison and Tegan Kerr (both Cumbernauld).
The rest of the squad is athletes Beth Tobin (Cumbernauld), Eilidh Hagerty (Coatbridge) and Lucy Somerville (Muirhead/Chryston), coached by Angela Murray, and golfers Greg Dalziel (Airdrie) and Scott Thomson (Coatbridge), coached by John Kelly.
Jim Moffat, head of delegation, said: “The International Children’s Games in Holland, presents a magnificent opportunity and I am over the moon that 18 of North Lanarkshire’s youngsters have been given the chance to compete in the event in athletics, golf, swimming and football.
“NL Leisure supports opportunities for young people to take part in events where they are able to gain new practices, both in sport and culture.
“The fact that the kids have to travel and compete in another country is particularly significant. I wish the whole team, all the very best.”