YTP AMBASSADOR REFLECTS ON ‘SPECIAL’ EXPERIENCE OF REPRESENTING TEAM ENGLAND AT COMMONWEALTH YOUTH GAMES
Kukri Sports proudly congratulates Jess Bailey, one of its Youth Talent Programme Ambassadors, on her exceptional performances representing Team England at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games.
Team England’s squad of 57 athletes competed in four of the sports and 65 medal events over the six days of the competition. They won 49 medals – 16 gold, 23 silver and 10 bronze – placing the team second in the overall medal table.
Reflecting on the experience, Jess admitted her journey to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Youth Games has been a dream come true. “Having the opportunity to represent Team England has been one of the best experiences of my life,” shared Jess. “It’s a crazy feeling to pull on the England vest and represent your country, especially at a competition as prestigious as the Commonwealth Youth Games, and this feeling is one I am very grateful to have experienced.”
Competing in the 3000m event and finishing 4th in a time of 9:38.08, Jess faced a unique set of challenges. “One of the biggest challenges in my event was the heat and humidity. I tried to prepare for this beforehand by going in the sauna several times in the final weeks before we left for the Games, but the run was still unbelievably hard in difficult conditions.”
“Fortunately, the 3000m was on the last day, and by that time we had adapted to the heat. The heat barely even crossed my mind during the race.”
The Commonwealth Youth Games is not only a platform for showcasing athletic prowess, but also a celebration of unity and camaraderie amongst the athletes. Jess shared her experience, saying, “The games definitely felt like it was set up in a way to encourage different nations to make friends.
“All the athletes had been given their nations badge to trade with other nations, which got all the different countries talking and encouraged all of us to make friends and talk to people we wouldn’t have met otherwise. I thought that was brilliant and I made many international friends because of it.”
Drawing on from her journey, Jess offered insightful advice to young athletes aspiring to reach international levels of competition and represent Team England in the future. “My advice would be to just stick with it,” she encouraged. “It’s easy to get hyper focused on just one race / championships, getting disappointed and, if it doesn’t work out, forgetting the bigger picture.
“Disappointment is part of the sport and can be used as motivation as long as it’s managed well.”
Jess also expressed her gratitude for the pivotal figures who have supported her athletics journey. “My dad is definitely the person who, without a doubt, I would never have made it as far in athletics,” she acknowledged. “Both my dad and Mum know me so well and I’m so grateful to have them both by my side.”
Looking forward, Jess’s aspirations extend beyond personal achievements. “I want to make a career out of athletics,” she revealed. “I love training and getting to spend every day dedicated to this sport [athletics] would be a dream come true!”
Kukri would like to congratulate Jess and all of the Team England athletes on their fantastic achievements at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games.
We were proud to provide the kit that helped athletes to thrive in their sport and be honoured to represent their country.