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Scotland’s ‘next generation’ of Commonwealth Games competitors and coaches have been unveiled today (Tuesday 29 April) as part of an exclusive sports programme.
‘Achieve 2014’ will mentor promising young athletes, using the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a learning experience and a springboard for their emerging talent.
Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) and Search Consultancy – Glasgow 2014’s official recruitment agency – have worked together to identify athletes from 20 Commonwealth Games sports.
More than 70 athletes and coaches were announced today, with basketball, cycling and netball athletes still to be confirmed.
Selected athletes include 12-year-old Scottish artistic gymnastics champion Louise McColgan and swimmer Craig Bowman, who has just been selected to race at the European Junior Championships.
Heavyweight boxer Connall McDonald, ranked the best 91kg youth boxer in Britain and World U25 Bowls champion Carrie McLean have also been selected for ‘Achieve 2014’.
Emerging coaching talent - including badminton coach Matthew Carder and triathlon coach Rebecca Milnes, both currently working with national standard junior athletes - will also benefit from the programme.
The athletes and coaches will be given an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience of Glasgow 2014, led by experienced mentors, many of whom have competed at past Commonwealth Games.
The programme aims to propel young athletes onto sporting success by preparing them for the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in St Lucia and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.
First rolled out at the Delhi Games in 2010, many of the 28 athletes involved then have gone on to great sporting success, including long jumper Jade Nimmo, who has already been selected for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014. Several of the coaches and mentors from the Achieve programme in Delhi will play a prominent role with Team Scotland.
Former Scotland rugby captain Gavin Hastings, in his role as ‘Achieve 2014’ ambassador, launched ‘Achieve 2014’ in October last year.
Programme director Alan Lynn said: “There is a wealth of sporting talent in Scotland and it’s crucial that promising young athletes are inspired and motivated, and given every opportunity to succeed.
“The group we have selected are already equipped with sporting skills and determination. ‘Achieve 2014’ will harness this and propel them onto even greater heights in the future. Getting the inside track on the Games will give them a flavour of the Team Scotland ethos and inspire them onto future success.
“The inaugural programme in Delhi was a great success, and with the support of Search Consultancy, the continued investment and delivery of ‘Achieve 2014’ will further support our best young athletes and aspiring coaches at a crucial stage in their personal development.
“The knowledge and experience they gain as part of this programme will be the ideal preparation for them in their journey towards representing Scotland with distinction at future Games.”
CGS and Search Consultancy have worked in partnership to further develop and enhance the programme, ensuring it will provide the best possible support to Scotland’s future sporting talent.
Search managing director for Scotland Simone Lockhart said: “As the official recruitment consultancy for Glasgow 2014, we are very excited to now be able to, alongside Commonwealth Games Scotland, unveil the group of young athletes and coaches who will take part in the programme.
“It’s fantastic to see ‘Achieve 2014’ come to fruition and announcing those on the programme certainly builds on the excitement that’s already in the air as the nation eagerly awaits the start of the Games.
“We have worked closely with Commonwealth Games Scotland to enhance the programme and ensure it provides the best possible experience to Scotland’s next generation of sporting talent.
“This is a big sporting year for Scotland, and I am certain that the work that’s done as part of the Achieve programme will deliver sporting success for Scotland at future games."