Podcast #55: Commonwealth Youth Games offers glimpse of next generation

In the latest England Athletics podcast, Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallists Maddie Down and Phoebe Gill join Team Leader Scott Grace and podcast host Alex Seftel to reflect on their experience in Trinidad and Tobago.

England won 24 medals to top the athletics table in August, with Down sealing T38 100m and long jump gold and Gill winning the 800m.

The Games have previously produced great senior athletes including Dina Asher-Smith, Jazmin Sawyers, Sophie McKinna and George Mills. In this episode, the 2023 cohort discuss the excitement around the future potential of those who have had their first taste of international athletics.

"Performance is always an important part, but actually the mindset, the professionalism was brilliant. This is the first Commonwealth Youth Games post-pandemic. A lot of these athletes went through extremely challenging times just to be able to train. I think the level of resilience we are starting to see is really exciting."

Scott Grace, CWYG 2023 Team Leader

"It was mostly an opportunity to get to meet loads of other para athletes I'd never met before and get to race against them as well," says Maddie Down, who also took part in the London Athletics Meet alongside mentor Sophie Hahn this year, having been motivated to get into athletics through Hahn's success. "Seeing someone with cerebral palsy or with a disability racing or doing really well...I hadn't had that before in my life."

Phoebe Gill is the UK under-17 record holder over two laps, having run 2:01.50 in Watford in August. She says 2011 Commonwealth Youth champion Dina Asher-Smith is someone she looks up to.

"She has had lots of highs and lows in her career. To watch on TV how she tackles this is incredible and inspiring to me and many other athletes. To know that she went to the same competition that I've been to and done well at, is a nice indication that hopefully my career is going the right way. She has a very kind aura about her and hasn't let all of her success get to her head."

Phoebe Gill, CWYG 2023 800m gold medallist

Listen to this podcast and catch up on previous episodes through your favourite podcast platform:

Read more about the Commonwealth Youth Games 2023