Commonwealth Games Wales (CGW) have announced the appointment of Gerwyn Owen as Chef de Mission for the 2017 Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games.
Gerwyn will carry out the voluntary role in addition to his full time employment as Academy Manager for Disability Sport Wales based at Plas Menai near Caernarfon. He brings with him 14 years' experience of working in the field of sport and developing young talented athletes in Wales.
It will be a busy 2017 for Gerwyn, who has also been appointed to the senior management team for the next main Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. As Deputy Chef de Mission and General Team Manager, there is a busy year ahead preparing for Team Wales's involvement in the 2018 Games.
This won't be Gerwyn's first involvement with the Commonwealth Games - as Para Sport Manager within the HQ Team he worked alongside other high calibre Chefs de Mission during the Melbourne 2006, Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014 Games. Gerwyn will now be working closely with Professor Nicola Phillips, Chef de Mission for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to ensure that the Team Wales ethos, look and feel are mirrored at both Youth and Senior levels and to ensure athletes have similar support and experience at both events.
Gerwyn, who lives in Groeslon near Caernarfon with wife Katherine and son Tomos Glyn, reacted to the news of his appointment: "I am deeply honoured and humbled to be offered the role of Chef de Mission for Team Wales at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas this year. I am grateful to Commonwealth Games Wales for this opportunity, as well as my employers Disability Sport Wales for their support for this role over for the coming months.
"Ultimately my role is to lead Team Wales out in the Bahamas, and to create the right environment for them on and off the field. For most of the young people this will be their first multi-sport international event, and I want them to learn and benefit in many ways from it. I hope the experience I have accumulated over the years will hold me in good stead for this challenge."
Welsh-speaking Gerwyn added: "For any Welsh athlete, representing their country gives them the biggest sense of pride. I look forward to seeing that pride in our nationhood, culture and language manifested by our young athletes during the Youth Games this year."
Welcoming Gerwyn to Team Wales, Commonwealth Games Wales Chief Executive Chris Jenkins said: "We are really excited to have Gerwyn as our next Chef de Mission for Team Wales at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games. He has an excellent track record of working with up and coming Welsh athletes through his work with Disability Sport Wales as well as experience of working within a Games environment.
"The Commonwealth Youth Games play a major part in nurturing young talent, and gives young people the opportunity to compete for Wales in the international arena. Our young Welsh athletes performed excellently at the 2015 Youth Games in Samoa, bringing 9 medals home to Wales. With Gerwyn at the helm, I have no doubt that the 2017 team will enjoy the same level of success, if not greater. All of us at Commonwealth Games Wales welcome him on board and look forward to working with him."