Squash player Harry Leitch has competed in three previous Commonwealth Games but feels that this week’s team preparation camp in Stirling is the best so far.
Speaking at the final pre competition media opportunity for the squash players this week the 29 year old doctor, who is studying stem cell research at University of Cambridge, said: “Melbourne was a really good team camp for a month but I was injured so that was pretty intense.
“Then at Delhi there was a media storm about the village and we arrived pretty late in the day. So this Games has certainly felt the easiest.
“We are being looked after really well and we all feel pretty pampered. It’s a great training environment and it’s great to have that singular focus on the Games.”
Leitch, will partner Alan Clyne in Men’s Doubles at the Scotstoun venue. The pair have already won the British Open Doubles Championships title and are keen to impress. The overriding aim now is to remain calm and conserve energy.
“We are going into the competition zone every day to train, then coming back here to Stirling and relaxing, ” said Leitch.
“It’s bubbling at the moment and I think that’s great because but you don’t want to get too up for it too soon which would be pretty exhausting
“This week is stepping up and I guess the opening ceremony will be when it really gets going.”
The Team Scotland squash player travelling the biggest distance to compete in Glasgow is Alexandra Clark, a 27 year from Edinburgh who makes her living in Philadelphia working as a squash professional.
Clark, who has put in the miles to qualify for the team and accumulate team training sessions, will compete in the women’s and mixed doubles.
“To qualify for the team I had to come across a lot for the test matches,” she said. “We were out in Australia last year and then there were a couple of test matches back here in Scotstoun.
“My doubles partner Kevin (Moran) came out to Philadelphia a while back and we did a lot of training. And every time I come back to the UK I stay a week or so around it to get some extra training in with the guys.”
Despite the distance from her team mates Clark believes her preparation for the Games has been good and is raring to get started.
“It’s the first Games for me and I’m ridiculously excited,” she said. “I’ve tried a couple of times to get in and this is the first time I’ve qualified so I’m really excited.
“I feel really prepared coming up to the Games, we have done everything we need to do to consolidate and I’m getting ready for competition.
“I’m a little nervous but I’m just looking forward to getting out there and doing my best.”
Photo credit: Rob Eyton-Jones