An enthusiastic team of 11 swimmers, track and field athletes and tennis players will represent the City of Lake Macquarie at the International Children’s Games (ICG) in Jerusalem in six weeks.
The young athletes were presented with their team kit and introduced to councillors at a reception at the Council Administration Building on Tuesday. They will leave Lake Macquarie on Wednesday 25 July to participate in the Games from 29 July to 3 August.
The International Children’s Games is a wonderful event that emphasises participation and cultural exchange.
Children aged between 12 and 15 from countries all over the world gather in a different city each year to meet, compete and form new friendships.
While the emphasis is on sportsmanship and participation, the level of competition is high, and a number of members of past Lake Macquarie ICG teams have gone on to represent their country at the Olympics and in other international events.
In that way, it is seen as a springboard for emerging athletes but also an experience that helps them grow personally.
The 2018 members of Team Lake Mac are: Millie Warham and Erica Wattus (tennis); Bryce Webber, Travis Petersen, Benjamin Roberts, Jasmine Roberts, Jemma Pollard (athletics); Caleb Baker, Dillon Siv, Emily Dobbins and Skye Southam (swimming).
Coaches are Mavis Godber, Karen Leth, Warren Peterson and Christina Laurie
The team is managed by the Hunter Academy of Sport and I am looking forward to joining them in Jerusalem as council’s representative.
Increasing international visitation to Lake Macquarie is an objective of council’s new Destination Management Plan, and I recently had the opportunity to visit a local tourism operation that is making significant inroads into this potentially large and lucrative market.
Macquarie 4 Star, the accommodation centre attached to Club Macquarie at Argenton, hosted 3000 overseas visitors in less than 18 months after launching a campaign in late 2016 targeting tourists from Korea, China and Malaysia.
The club has trained staff and arranged services to suit the visitors’ tastes and preferences, including providing check in letters in various languages and appointing a head chef who specialises in making kim chee.