In the last few days, we have seen the 2018 Commonwealth Games get underway at the Gold Coast in Australia. The Games will go on until 15th April, with more than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories taking part. New sports including Women’s Rugby Sevens and the Para Triathlon are making their Commonwealth Games debuts this year.
I was particularly pleased to hear that Molly Caudery will be competing in the pole vault. Molly trains at Carn Brea Leisure Centre, and will be the youngest competitor in the English team.
You know you're getting older when you start sentences with "I knew her father" but Stuart Caudery was a highly accomplished decathlete (and pole vaulter) and was a member of Cornwall Athletic Club at the same time as me in the late 80's and early 90's. There would often be times when a small band of us from Cornwall would head off in the minibus at the crack of dawn, London bound, to hold our position in the Southern Athletics League. When you are thinly spread across lots of different events, a decathlete is an essential part of the team and Stuart was always kept busy!
I wish Molly the very best of luck in her debut at the highest level of international competition and Cornwall will be willing her on all the way.
Cornish athletes have often played a huge part in the success of our national teams. In 2012, Ben Ainslie won his event for the fourth time and Helen Glover took Britain’s first gold of the Olympic Games. She went on to win gold again in Rio. Paratriathlete Melissa Reid, from Porthtowan was selected to participate in the 2016 Paralympics.
The legacy from the London 2012 Olympics is often described as economic, encouraging trade, inward investment and tourism. However, I hope that the most important legacy is that a generation of young people has been inspired to take up sport thanks to the emergence of new role models to encourage young athletes to follow their passion.
I am supportive of the campaign to get every primary school in the UK running the Daily Mile. Several of our local schools have already signed up and some have even linked it to fundraising efforts for charity. It is a great way to get children in the habit of regular exercise from a young age.
Last week, the largest Olympic-style youth sports event in the region took place at Mount Hawke skate park. Lots of young people enjoyed the experience of competing at one of the UK's best skate parks and host of the Team GB Olympic Trials for Tokyo 2020. The Mount Hawke team took gold in both the scooter and skateboard team classes.
We have some fantastic sporting success stories here in Cornwall, and our local athletes have given us much to be proud of.