They may be thousands of miles from home but having arrived in Samoa on Wednesday, Youth Team Scotland are already settling in well at the team hotel. Just minutes from the main sporting hub, the Orator Hotel will provide a home from home for Scotland’s 28 athletes for the duration of the Games.
The hotel has been transformed, with saltires fluttering from windows and balconies among the local forest of palm trees. Visitors to the hotel are met by images of former Youth Games athletes Charlie Flynn, Lynsey Sharp and Craig Benson; which will undoubtedly inspire the class of 2015 as they begin their own first step into Commonwealth competition.
General Team Manager, Elinor Middlemiss said: “Scotland has a great reputation when it comes to branding our Commonwealth Games accommodation and our athletes were proud to live in ‘Scotland Street’ during Glasgow 2014. The Youth Games are no different and it’s important that the experience here is as close to a senior Games as possible. We’ve tried to bring a little piece of Scotland to Samoa to make the athletes feel at home and even have the ‘Scotland Street’ sign up in the hotel.”
“We have had a fantastic welcome at the Orator Hotel and the staff have been really accommodating. The athletes are settling in well and have been using the social areas to learn more about each other and the different sports represented. It’s great to see the whole team working so well together less than 24 hours after arrival in Samoa.”
Tennis player Ewen Lumsden said: “It feels good to see all the flags up and to see other countries about as well. I’ve made some good friends since we got here and now I’m looking forward to competing.”
Weightlifter Jason Epton added: “The hotel is brilliant. I thought it would be like hotel rooms but it’s actually wee houses. It’s much better that way because you’ve got your own space and you can relax. Since we got here I’ve just been trying to rest and get ready for the competition.”
Bermuda are also staying in the Orator, giving the hotel a truly international feel. “It’s great our athletes are getting the chance to mix with their competitors from Bermuda”, says Elinor. “That’s just as it would be at a senior Games, with athletes from all nations living side by side. It’s all great experience for the team.”