Netball’s Karla Victor and cycling’s Ethan Kulsen have been named as flag bearers for Team SA and will lead the country’s athletes out at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Port of Spain on Thursday.
In making the announcement, the president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Barry Hendricks, said that it was a huge honour for the two teenagers.
“I am thrilled to be able to congratulate both Karla and Ethan. It is a privilege for them and a moment that they will remember for the rest of their lives. The Commonwealth Youth Games is a breeding ground for tomorrow’s stars, and we are reminded that the likes of Olympic and World champions like Chad le Clos and Caster Semenya were gold medallists at this event,” Hendricks said.
These Commonwealth Youth Games are the seventh in its existence and Team SA are represented by 49 athletes across seven sporting codes. Some 1 000 athletes and para-athletes between the ages of 14-18 have gathered in the Caribbean, where competitions will be held in Trinidad & Tobago.
Team SA are represented in athletics (including para-athletics), cycling, netball, rugby sevens, swimming, triathlon and volleyball.
Victor is well on her way to emulating Proteas current netball captain Bongi Msomi. Like Msomi, the 18-year-old plays in the centre position and first represented South Africa at the Under-20 Youth Games in Lesotho. She was also part of the squad that took part at the Region 5 Games in Lilongwe, Malawi at the end of last year. Here in Trinidad & Tobago, she will captain Team SA.
Kulsen is still 17 and is in Grade 12 at Klein Nederburg Secondary School in Paarl. He has long been considered one of the country’s top young cycling talents, with the potential to break through on the international stage.
The chef de mission for Team SA at these Commonwealth Youth Games is Danisha Mendes. “I also wish to congratulate Karla and Ethan on their achievements, not only being selected to be at these Games, but for the honour of carrying the country’s flag,” she said.
“We have brought a dynamic young team to Trinidad & Tobago and they are ambassadors for us on and off the field of play. And when it came to selecting the two flag bearers for the opening ceremony, we picked two bright talents who we feel have what it takes to represent the country in their respective codes in the years to come,” she added.
Photo: Roger Sedres