European Olympic Youth Festival: Calderdale teens Isobel Kitchen and Luke Whitehouse included in 44-strong Team GB squad

Isobel Kitchen in action.
Isobel Kitchen in action.

Two teenagers from Calderdale have been selected as part of Team GB's 44-strong squad for the 2019 European Olympic Youth Festival in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Lightcliffe Academy pupil Isobel Kitchen is one of a 10-strong judo team that will make the trip to the far east of Europe.

Halifax gymnast Luke Whitehouse pictured second from left.

Halifax gymnast Luke Whitehouse pictured second from left.

Meanwhile, Halifax gymnast Luke Whitehouse will part of GB's Artistic Gymnastics team, which features six athletes.

Over 2,000 athletes from 48 different nations will attend the games which begin on July 21 and finish on July 27.

The pair will join the other GB athletes at Bisham Abbey prior to their flight to Baku on Thursday.

They will then have several days to acclimatise, take in the opening ceremony in the Olympic stadium before preparing for their respective events.

Isobel Kitchen stands on the number one podium spot in Germany.

Isobel Kitchen stands on the number one podium spot in Germany.

Kitchen's event is to be streamed live on July 25.

Baku is the 15th edition of the summer EYOF and Team GB have enjoyed a successful games at each.

Most recently, they won 10 medals two years ago at the games in Gyor, Hungary.

The festivals provide crucial multi-sport event experience for young athletes, with over 40 athletes graduating from a summer EYOF with Team GB going on to compete at the Beijing 2008, London 2012 or Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The likes of Becky Adlington, Pete Kennaugh, Sally Conway and Leeds gymnast Nile Wilson all had their first taste of an Olympic-style event at an EYOF before achieving success at senior Olympic level.

Overall, 2019 has been another successful year for Isobel as she climbed the under-57kg rankings to become Great Britain’s number one cadet.

Domestically she has won gold at the English, Scottish and Irish Open tournaments and is looking for a chance of the full set at the Welsh Open and British Championships, which will take place towards the end of the year.

She has also competed and had wins against strong opponents in each of her European cups in Spain, Germany and Portugal where she achieved placings amongst world ranking judoka.

This was also the case when selected for GB in the European Championships which were held in Poland at the end of June.

She is also hopeful that she will be selected through the GB performance programme for a prestigious training camp to Japan in October.