Scotland will field a team in the Rhythmic Gymnastics competition at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the first time since 1998. The three women gymnasts were announced by Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) today, along with three further squash players to represent Team Scotland this summer.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is a visually stunning sport in which competitors require flexibility, technical skill and grace as they perform routines to music using different pieces of apparatus.
First introduced to the Commonwealth Games programme in 1990, Glasgow 2014 includes a Team competition with each gymnast performing up to four routines using different apparatus. It also acts as the qualifier for the individual events with the top 16 going through to the Individual All-Around competition, and the top eight in each piece of apparatus progressing to the Individual Apparatus finals in Ball, Clubs, Hoop and Ribbon.
CGS, in conjunction with Scottish Gymnastics, confirmed the selection of rhythmic gymnasts Rebecca Bee, Lauren Brash and Victoria Clow who will represent Scotland in the Team Event and look to compete for honours in five further medal events at the SSE Hydro from Thursday 24 to Saturday 26 July, 2014.
Rebecca Bee lives, trains and studies in Aberdeen. The 19-year-old was crowned 2014 Scottish Senior All-Around Champion, scoring highest for ribbon, but also setting the selection standard in the ball, clubs and hoop. She started in artistic gymnastics, but turned her focus to rhythmic gymnastics aged seven and has been competing in the sport ever since.
At just 15, Lauren Brash is the youngest member of the trio and Team Scotland’s youngest team member so far. A pupil at Deans Community High School in Livingston, she competed for Team GB at the European Junior Championships in 2012 and at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival. She has impressed selectors throughout 2013, culminating in two silver medals – in ribbon and overall – and one bronze medal in ball at the 2013 British Championships.
Glasgow-born Victoria Clow made her debut for Team Scotland at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games as a 16-year-old, finishing 14th in the Individual All-Around Final. Serious injury problems shortly after Delhi hampered her progress, but the 19-year-old signalled her return to form in style, crowned 2013 Scottish Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics All-Around Champion. She is a member of Pentland Rhythmic Gymnastics Club in Edinburgh and is now based in Essex, where she is studying Acting & Stage Combat.
Marion Sands, Scottish Gymnastics Rhythmic Coach, said:”I would like to offer my congratulations to the gymnasts and their personal coaches who have worked tirelessly to achieve this success, their selection today is the result of absolute commitment and dedication over a number of years. I am delighted that Scotland will be represented in the team competition at Glasgow 2014, the first time since 1998. It is fitting this will happen at a home games and I am sure the gymnasts will receive a tremendous boost from the home crowd support”.
Also selected today onto Team Scotland, following their nomination by Scottish Squash and Racketball and ratification by CGS, are squash players Stuart Crawford, Greg Lobban and Kevin Moran. The trio complete the Scotland squash team, joining compatriots Alex Clark, Alan Clyne, Frania Gillen-Buchert and Harry Leitch, whose selection was confirmed in September.
Scotstoun Sports Campus will host 11 days of fast-paced squash action from Thursday 24 July to Sunday 3 August 2014, with five gold medal competitions in Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles and in Mixed Doubles.
Men’s Doubles talent Stuart Crawford, 33, hails from Irvine and is based in Edinburgh where he is the Assistant National Squash Coach. In an illustrious squash career, Crawford is a five-time Scottish Champion, most recently in 2011, and has amassed more than 70 international caps, competing at four World Championships. In 2012 and 2013, Crawford reached the semi-finals of the European Men’s Team Championships alongside Alan Clyne and Kevin Moran. Stuart will team up with Greg Lobban at Glasgow 2014 in the Men’s Doubles, building on their successful partnership as winners of the 2014 Scottish Open Doubles Championship and runners-up in the British Open Doubles Championship.
Greg Lobban, 21, from North Kessock, Inverness now lives and trains in Edinburgh having graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a Sports & Exercise Science and Sports Coaching degree. Lobban burst onto the scene in 2009, captaining Scotland U17 to a silver medal at the European Team Championships, Scotland’s best ever result at this level. Since then, has risen through the ranks, crowned Scottish U19 Champion in 2011, U21 Australian Open Champion in 2012 and Scottish Men’s Champion in 2013. On top of his doubles successes with Crawford, Lobban competes on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Circuit where he has won two titles, including the Geneva Open in March this year and reached a further five finals.
Paisley-born Kevin Moran, 23, is also based in Edinburgh and will compete in the Mixed Doubles event alongside Alex Clark. Moran narrowly missed out on selection for men’s doubles, but has shown his strength and depth in mixed doubles, having competed alongside a number of playing partners. Moran competes on the PSA Circuit and in 2013 he was crowned Scottish U23 Champion. He was also a member of the team which finished fourth in the European Men’s Team Championships in 2012 and 2013.
Scottish Squash National Coach Roger Flynn said: “The competition for Team Scotland’s second Men’s Doubles Squash pairing throughout the selection period has been fierce but the team of Greg Lobban and Stuart Crawford has been working extremely well together and their selection caps a wonderful year to date for them. Kevin Moran is another young star of the future who has shown that he is a natural at mixed doubles. Scotland has a reputation as one of the strongest nations in Doubles and will be looking to medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.”
Making the announcement Team Scotland Chef de Mission, Jon Doig said: “We’re delighted to announce our Rhythmic Gymnastics team, which has a fantastic blend of youth and experience. This is also the case for the trio of squash players named today and I am certain all six athletes will perform to their best, buoyed by fantastic home support. We are determined to deliver the biggest and best prepared Team Scotland of any Commonwealth Games to date.”
The Minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison said: “With another two squads announced, Team Scotland is really beginning to take shape. You can feel the anticipation building towards the Games. The Commonwealth Games is an opportunity for athletes to give their all for Scotland on the world stage and making the team is a great achievement. Years of practice, coaching and dedication – in the courts and with the apparatus – will be on show come July and I know the whole of Scotland will be behind our athletes all the way. I would like to congratulate the athletes on their selection and wish them all the best as they make their final preparations for the Games.”
The athletes announced today have benefited from the support of sportscotland the national agency for sport and in particular from the high performance support and expertise provided by the sportscotland institute of sport.
Welcoming the selections, Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland said: “I am delighted that Scotland will be competing in the Rhythmic Gymnastics team competition for the first time since 1998 and Rebecca, Lauren and Victoria should take great pride in their selection.
“Their inclusion, plus the addition of Stuart, Greg and Kevin to our squash team, confirm that Team Scotland is shaping up to provide Scotland’s best ever Commonwealth Games performance at what promises to be the best ever Games. The range of high performance support services the athletes receive from sportscotland is among the best in the world and we are preparing some of the best athletes in the world – we have much to be proud of and much to look forward to.”
Scotland will also enter athletes in the Artistic Gymnastics competition with selected athletes to be announced in May.
This is the second team announcement of 2014 and brings the total Team Scotland numbers selected so far to 52, with an anticipated final team size in the region of 270 athletes.
Name Event Born/ Lives
Rebecca Bee Team Competition Aberdeen/Aberdeen
Lauren Brash Team Competition Livingston/Livingston
Victoria Clow Team Competition Giffnock/Essex
Stuart Crawford Men’s Doubles Irvine/Edinburgh
Greg Lobban Men’s Doubles Inverness/Edinburgh
Kevin Moran Mixed Doubles Paisley/Edinburgh