The Australian Youth Olympic Festival kicks off this Thursday at Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club in Sydney.
The 2013 AYOF will be the sixth edition of the Festival since the inaugural event in 2001. As a legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, this multi-sport youth event is a significant part of developing future Olympians and complements the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
The AYOF seeks to provide future Olympic athletes with an environment reminiscent of an Olympic Games and promote the Olympic ideals of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
The five day Festival embraces a high level of sports competition, and features elements of the Olympic Games model such as an Opening Ceremony, Medal Ceremonies and Village type accommodation for athletes and team officials.
Golf, which was contested at the 1900 and 1904 Olympic Games, will again be on the program in Rio 2016. The 2013 AYOF will herald its global debut as it emerges once again as an Olympic sport.
Golf will feature players from Australia, Great Britain, People’s Republic of China and New Zealand with players contesting 72 holes stroke play , with no cut and comprise a boys’ and girls’ individual competition with winning players eligible for gold, silver and bronze medals.
There will also be a team competition – gold, silver and bronze medals (two boys and two girls from each country, aggregate of all four scores from each round).
Australia will be represented Rebecca Kay (QLD), Bianca Ling (VIC), Frazer Droop (VIC) and David Micheluzzi (VIC) and Amy Walsh (QLD), Celina Yuan (NSW), Brett Coletta (VIC) and Kevin Yuan (NSW).
Rebecca Kay, from Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club, was the 2011 Queensland State Schools champion and finished in the top 10 at the Australian final of the Aaron Baddeley International. She is a former Athlete of the Year in the golf program at the Gold Coast Academy of Sport and ranked 20th on the National Junior Girls’ Rankings.
Bianca Ling, a member of Kingswood Golf Club, won the Victorian Junior Girls’ Masters in January - an Australian junior ranking event and finished third at the Girls’ Tamar Valley Cup in Tasmania. She is ranked 11th on the National Junior Girls’ Rankings.
Frazer Droop, from Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, finished runner up in this year’s Victorian Junior Masters. He finished third at the Northern Territory Junior Championship and fourth at the recent Aaron Baddeley International Junior – Australia final. He is ranked 14th in Australia on the National Junior Boys’ Rankings.
David Micheluzzi, a member of Cranbourne Golf Club, finished fifth at the Victorian Junior Championships and won the Portsea Junior Open and Latrobe Junior Open in Victoria in 2012. He is ranked 31 on the National Junior Boys’ rankings.
Amy Walsh, a member of Emerald Lakes Golf Club, finished 7th at the NSW Junior Championship in addition to three other top 13 finishes in junior ranking events. She finished 12th at the Australian Girls’ Amateur Championship and is ranked 16th in the National Junior Girls’ Rankings.
Celina and Kevin Yuan are siblings from Bankstown Golf Club. Kevin, the older of the pair, won the Srixon International Sub Junior Classic and finished fourth at the Subaru NSW State Age Championships.
Celina finished third at both the Jack Newton Junior Golf International and the NSW Junior Championship.
Brett Coletta, from Sandhurst Golf Club, won the Peninsula Junior Masters and is the Senior and Junior Club Champion at Sandhurst at the age of 16.
He was also selected to represent Victoria at the School Sport Australia Championship.
The tournament will be an official World Amateur Golf Ranking event.