Commonwealth Youth Games: Hill and Mills named in NI squad

Danielle Hill.Photo: Inpho
Danielle Hill.Photo: Inpho

Two local athletes have been named in the Northern Ireland team for the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Swimmer Danielle Hill and long jump hopeful Lydia Mills will jet off to Samoa in September, aiming to bring home some medals.

Danielle, who is currently competing for Ireland at the inaugural European Games in Baku, gained invaluable experience at last summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Ballyclare High School pupil Mills, a member of Ballymena and Antrim Athletic Club, is one of two long jump competitors representing NI. The other is City of Lisburn’s Ben Fisher. and Ballymena.

Hill will be joined in the pool by fellow Larne Swimming Club member Conor Ferguson, who is preparing for August’s World Junior Championships in Singapore.

NICGC chairman, Robert McVeigh, said: “It’s a great honour for these young athletes to represent Northern Ireland at such a prestigious global event.

“While it will be an arduous trip to Samoa, we will be endeavouring to make sure all the athletes and coaches are suitably prepared.”

The Commonwealth Youth Games will bring together 1,000 young athletes for a festival of elite sport.

The Youth Games are a vital stepping stone for young athletes with previous local competitors including a certain Carl Frampton, a former pupil at Glengormley High, who represented Northern Ireland at the Bendigo Youth Games in 2004 before going on to become a boxing World champion.

Northern Ireland will be represented by 17 athletes across five sports: Aquatics, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls and Squash.

All of the competitors have been selected based upon nominations from their respective sport’s governing body and are aged between 15 and 18.