Commonwealth Youth Games: Guernsey name reduced squad

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Courtney Butcher
Courtney Butcher swam in four events at last summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Travel costs have been blamed for Guernsey's smallest Commonwealth Youth Games team since 2004.

Only four athletes will be making the trip to Samoa, along with two coaches.

Swimmers Courtney Butcher and Annalise Munro, plus tennis-playing brothers Jack and Brent Oldfield will compete.

"The cost of taking a team to Samoa is huge and the grant that we get from the Commonwealth Games Federation will only cover four athletes and two managers," said chef de mission David Harry.

Guernsey sent just two athletes to the 2004 Youth Games in Bendigo, Australia - the first time the island entered the event.

The Sarnians have only ever won gold on one occasion, current British number one tennis player Heather Watson taking the women's singles title in Pune in 2008.

Butcher, 17, swam at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and holds the Guernsey record for the 50m freestyle and backstroke.

Jack Oldfield attends the Sanchez Tennis Academy in Spain and will compete in the singles, before teaming up with his brother Brent for the doubles.

"I think the games are very important," added Harry, who will join up with the team after the Commonwealth Games General Assembly in Auckland.

"If you're someone who hopes to go on to greater things, it is very important because it introduces you to international competition and a games village environment.

"They are competing at a very high level in a very different environment, so it really is good training for them," Harry told BBC Sport.