Commonwealth Games England has announced that English weightlifter Rebekah Tiler will lead Team England out as the Official Flag Bearer at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.
Tiler, 16, was voted by Team England’s designated sport Team Leaders to carry England’s flag into the Opening Ceremony on 5 September in Samoa’s capital city of Apia.
Around 1,000 athletes, aged 14-18 will be competing for 107 gold medals in 9 sports over 5 days of competition in Samoa. Team England’s squad includes 60 athletes, representing eight sports (Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby 7s, Squash, Swimming and Weightlifting), plus coaching and support staff.
Having competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Tiler is widely regarded as one of England’s most exciting young talents and is currently the Women’s British record holder for the clean and jerk, having lifted 125kg. She narrowly missed out on a medal in Glasgow last year when she finished fourth, but will be able to use her experience to lead Team England’s young athletes in Samoa.
Tiler, from Keighley, West Yorkshire won Silver at the World Youth Championships earlier this year and, more recently, Gold in a record breaking performance at this month’s European Youth Championships, having previously won Gold in 2013 and Silver in 2014. Last year Tiler also became Britain’s youngest ever winner of the British Senior Championships when she won gold in the 69kg class, lifting a total of 205kg.
She said: “I’m so excited to have been chosen as Team England’s flag bearer; I was up against some great athletes so to get the news was a big surprise - I am really looking forward to the experience.
“Next month’s competition will be tough but my preparation has been going well and I’m happy with how I’ve been lifting in training and competition. Now I can’t wait to get out there and lead Team England out for the Opening Ceremony.”
Louise Bell, Team England’s Chef de Mission for the Commonwealth Youth Games said: “Rebekah is a definitely one to watch, she has already achieved a lot for an athlete of her age. We hope that Rebekah’s experience of competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will inspire other athletes and that this is another positive step on her development pathway.
“Huge congratulations to Rebekah, and to Weightlifting, and we look forward to welcoming Rebekah to Samoa in a few weeks’ time.”
Ashley Metcalfe, CEO of British Weightlifting said: “On behalf of everyone at British Weightlifting, I’d like to congratulate Rebekah – to have been chosen by the sports’ leaders from a list of very worthwhile candidates is a tremendous accolade and testament to her achievements over the last 18 months.
“Rebekah is an outstanding talent and her gold medal winning performance at this month’s European Youth Championships and her success in senior competitions – even at just 16 years old - proves she’s amongst the best in her weight category. We have no doubts that she will do Team England and British Weightlifting proud in Samoa and we wish her all the best for competition.”
The fifth Commonwealth Youth Games will take place in the Samoan capital city of Apia. England has competed in all previous Youth Games, always finishing within the top three nations.
Some of England’s highest profile sports stars have appeared at the Commonwealth Youth Games including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Beth Tweddle, Danny Cipriani, Zoe Smith and James DeGale. The Games provide a number of England’s emerging talent with their first exposure to an international, multi-sport environment.
To find out more about Samoa 2015, visit http://www.samoacyg2015.ws/