Team Scotland wrestlers have been taking to the mats together as they get ready to grapple with success at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. All 14 wrestlers have been enjoying a quality block of final training at the Team Scotland Preparation Camp held at the University of Stirling.
Half of the team are set to make their Commonwealth debut when they step onto the mats at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) from Tuesday 29 July to Thursday 31 July, whilst the other half of the team bring a wealth of experience, including Donna and Fiona Robertson.
The twin sisters will both compete in the 48kg weight category at their second consecutive Commonwealth Games as wrestlers, having each previously won Commonwealth Judo medals.
“We’re all very excited. The preparation at Stirling has been excellent and the whole team is raring to go,” said Donna, who won Judo Bronze at the 1990 Auckland Games.
“The Commonwealth Games brings some of the strongest wrestling nations in the world together and we know we will need to fight out of our skin, but with the crowd behind us we will go for that medal,” added Fiona, who replicated her sister’s achievement at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Alongside the mat time with Team Scotland Wrestling Coach Volodymyr Gladkov, the wrestlers have access to support from Team doctors, nutritionists and physiotherapists, as well as specially prepared meals.
One athlete for whom food is high in his thoughts is Commonwealth debutant Brian Harper, who will compete in the 57kg weight category.
He said: “Normally before you go to a tournament, you want to be sitting above your weight. I used to compete at 55kg then they changed the weight categories. At that time I only weighed 54kg, so I was giving away weight to opponents. Now I’ve had to put on more, which was a struggle at first, but finally I made it.”
The 17-year-old is one of four wrestlers from the same Tullibody Club to make the Team and he and his Tullibody team-mates are already enjoying the experience.
“The experience in Stirling, I feel part of the Team,” added Brian. “We all talk away. You get to socialise with other people from different sports and learn about their sports. I hope to go to the next Commonwealth Games in Australia too, but right now I’m fully focused on competing in Glasgow.”
Photo credit: Commonwealth Games Scotland