As Scotland’s Shooting Team Manager, Donald McIntosh brings a lifetime’s experience to the Glasgow 2014 campaign and furthermore one of his charges will be his daughter Jen. On the last day of October, Jen McIntosh was one of eight shooters selected for Team Scotland next summer. However, raising a sharp shooter from a young age has had its ‘ups and downs’ admits Donald.
“You know what they say about Dad’s teaching daughters how to drive, well supporting a daughter through a shooting career is very similar!
“Jen engaged with shooting at Dollar Academy and the school has a great history of strong shooting teams as the cadet force has strong connections there. My coaching expertise is not with beginners, so I took a step back in the early days and Craig Stewart who runs it did a lot for her. He must take a lot of credit for how Jen has turned out.”
Jen definitely ‘turned out’ to be an extremely talented shooter, laying claim to being Scotland’s most successful female athlete at a single Commonwealth Games after winning three medals in Delhi 2010 – two gold and one bronze. She was also one of only two Scots to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.
Along with Donald’s management role with Team Scotland, he is also the Head Rifle Coach with Great Britain Shooting.
“I was Jen’s coach in London, it was an incredible experience. She was not that happy with her performance (finishing 42nd in the 10m Air Rifle) but she was the first British athlete to compete and the noise from the crowd, neither she nor I expected it, it blew my mind. The Australian coach sitting next to me actually told me to sit down and stop worrying about it, ‘you can’t stop it’ he said. Jen coped with it better than I did.”
With an Olympic Games and two Commonwealth Games under his belt as a coach, he understands that he has a different role this time around: “I’ve got to make a mental change in mind set compared to the last two Games. As the coach, I could focus on each athlete and coach them through the experience but as the Team Manager, that is not my place. I have a wider team to look after.”
Accompanied by his father, Donald started Shooting in Elgin as ’something to do in the evening’ when he was just 12. Despite finding the sport difficult at first, Donald stuck with it and went on to represent Team Scotland at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. His passion for the sport is more than matched by other family members, with Shirley, Donald’s wife the winner of four Commonwealth Games medals, whilst in her short career to date, Jen boasts three Commonwealth Games medals in her trophy cabinet. Unsurprisingly, the youngest McIntosh, Seonaid aged 17, also spends many an hour on the shooting range and has just been selected for the Fast Track programme, marking her as a prospect for the future and may yet also qualify for Glasgow 2014. The sport has played a major part in their lives and definitely unites this talented family of four.
You can follow Donald on Twitter @MacCoach10
Photo Credit: Donald McIntosh