Rugby stalwart Colin Gregor has been part of the International Sevens scene for many years yet still relishes the prospect of playing in front of a home crowd at a home Games, especially having seen the excitement around the London Olympics last year.
Colin said, “I think for an athlete the Home Games must the very pinnacle, especially when you watch the likes of London and you see the buzz that it initially got and what the whole country took from that. Then to think of that happening here and knowing how patriotic Glaswegians and Scots are at putting on a good event and to be participating at such an event would be a massive highlight of my career.”
Colin was part of the Sevens squad for Team Scotland at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games although admits they didn’t perform as well as they had hoped. Having not been released by Glasgow Warriors to compete in Delhi in 2010, he is looking forward to the roar of the crowd in Glasgow and knows how home support can make all the difference.
“It does make a huge difference. People say they don’t hear the crowd when they are playing or competing, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. It can definitely inspire you and lift you, not only when you first run out on to the pitch but as you get more and more tired they give you that lift that you need to just keep on pushing yourself. You know you want to succeed for yourself, your family and your team but you know that if you’ve got this huge crowd behind you, you sure as don’t want to let them down either.”
With Scotland finishing in the top eight at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, the Sevens squad are already guaranteed a place in Glasgow, but despite being part of the Sevens set-up since 2003, Colin is not taking his selection for granted.
He explains, “There is competition for places. Just now we’re a squad of 16 players who are full time and there’s a wider training squad of the same again. Only 12 are selected for the actual Games. Then there’s the added threat of players currently playing for Glasgow or Edinburgh being parachuted into the Sevens, which would undoubtedly strengthen the team, but that obviously means we have to be on the top of our game to be selected onto the squad.”
At 31 years of age Colin has achieved a great deal in his rugby career but remains ambitious about his future.
“The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is up there in terms of ambition. But Rugby Sevens has just been added to the Olympics so if I can continue going until then that would be a massive highlight, but for now I’m just focussing on Glasgow and seeing that as a pinnacle of my career.”
You can follow Colin on Twitter @colingregor
Photo Credit: Alistair Devine