Arriving in the Bahamas on Friday ahead of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, Team Scotland’s athletes are already settling in well at the team hotel. Situated a short drive from the main sporting hub, the Breezes Hotel will provide a home from home for Scotland and a host of other nations for the duration of the Games.
Team Scotland’s area of the hotel has been transformed, with banners and saltires fluttering from windows and balconies. Visitors are also met by images of former Youth Games athletes Charlie Flynn, Lynsey Sharp and Hannah Miley; which will undoubtedly inspire the class of 2017 as they begin their own Commonwealth Games journey.
General Team Manager, Colin Gregor said: “Team Scotland has a strong identity and it’s important that the branding around the hotel helps our athletes to feel part of that. We want the whole experience to be as close as possible to what they would encounter at a senior Commonwealth Games and it’s the little touches to make athletes feel at home that make a difference.
“We have had an incredibly warm welcome at the Breezes Hotel and the staff have been really accommodating. Everyone is settling in well and it’s fantastic to see athletes from different sports already forming friendships and learning more about each other’s training and events. It’s great to see the whole team working so well together less than 48 hours after arrival in the Bahamas.”
With Breezes acting as a main hub of the Athletes’ Village, many other nations are also starting to arrive, among them New Zealand, India and Vanuatu, giving the hotel a truly international feel.
“It’s great our athletes are getting the chance to mix with their competitors from around the Commonwealth”, said Colin. “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.”
Jennifer Lee, one half of Team Scotland’s first ever Youth Games beach volleyball pair, said: “We are absolutely loving the athlete’s village, it is a great environment and a really nice atmosphere with the whole of Team Scotland coming together. We are really enjoying the opportunity to speak with different athletes from different teams. It is a lot of fun!”
Boxer John Casey added: “This is the experience of a lifetime, I’ve waited for so long for this. To come away with a big squad of talented Scottish athletes from all the different sports is great, they’re all so friendly and we get on really well. The hotel is amazing and the buzz about the place is unreal. I was talking to a couple of Jamaican lads and they were asking about my experience and I was asking about theirs, it’s brilliant to interact with all the other countries.”
To shake off any tightness from the long flight, and start to acclimatise to conditions very different to the Scottish climate, the athletes gathered for a beach yoga session led by Team Scotland physiotherapists. They now move into their final sports specific preparation with competition due to start on Tuesday 18 July.