The 12 girls that make up Scotland’s Netball Team are primed and ready to make their debut in the Commonwealth Games. Netball has been a core sport since 1998, and Scotland, currently ranked 11th in the world, will take to the court for the first time in front of a packed home crowd at the SECC.
The squad has climbed five places in the world rankings over the past two years and now sit within the top 12 – earning themselves a place in the Glasgow Games on merit. Head coach Gail Parata is proud of their achievements to date and says they are ready for the Games.
Gail said: “We are ready to go now. We’re all very excited and I’m pleased that we got into the village to have a look and get a taste of what to expect, and to get all of that excitement out early. The girls are buzzing and we all can’t wait to get going. All we’re focusing on now is putting in our best performances at the Games.”
The Glasgow 2014 Athletes’ Village officially opened on Sunday 13 July, and Scotland’s netballers were amongst the first athletes from around the Commonwealth to take a look inside. The squad also had their first training session at the SECC, and being in the venue has brought home just how far the team has come since the Games was awarded to Scotland in 2007.
“From May of last year to now, the girls are looking fitter and there has been a huge improvement all round”, says Gail. We have some good game-plans, and we’re not a big team physically so we have to play to our strengths. I have been really impressed with this group of girls and their work rate. We started the year with games against New Zealand and some of the other top teams and we put in some great performances.”
The team can expect a noisy atmosphere during competition, with netball tickets proving extremely popular with Games spectators. The prospect of playing in front of a home crowd is front of mind for the team and they are hoping to put in some strong performances for their fans.
Gail continued: “We went to the SECC and we were really impressed. All of our games are sold out and this will be the first time that some of the girls have played in front of a crowd of that size. Every time we’ve played in front of that home crowd we’ve performed beyond our expectations, and we just can’t wait to get going in the Commonwealth Games.”
Scotland will begin their campaign on Friday 25 July against St Lucia.
Photo credit: Netball Scotland