Ciara Mageean has been named as Northern Ireland’s athletics team captain for the Commonwealth Games, which begin on Wednesday.

Mageean, the 2016 European Championships 1500m bronze medallist, was confirmed in the role on Monday evening (April 2) on the 13-strong squad’s final night at their holding camp, before they move into the Athletes Village on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old, who is set to double up in the 800m and 1500m Down Under, has issued a rallying cry for the Commonwealth Games and admits she is honoured to lead the group into the track and field competition which begins this coming weekend.

“It is such a huge honour to be captain of such a fantastic group of athletes,” said Mageean. “The atmosphere so far in our holding camp has been brilliant and the whole Athletics Northern Ireland team, both athletes and coaches, have worked brilliantly together to help each and every one of us best prepare for the Games ahead.

“We are all excited to step out with our Northern Ireland vests on our backs and give our best for our wee country.”

Mageean’s leadership skills made her the natural choice for the role, admits Athletics NI team lead Jackie Newton. And the move to the Village will set everyone up to deliver their best performance after a build-up that has left the team well-prepared for the Games.

“Somerset College has provided the perfect environment for training and we couldn’t have found anywhere better than Royal Pines for comfort, recovery and team bonding,” said Newton. “We have also had good access to physiotherapy through the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council.

“Training has gone very well for all and the support that the athletes are giving each other is tremendous – a superb team spirit has been fostered. We are ready now to move to the Athletes Village where we will put the finishing touches to our preparations.”