Athletes and staff for Team Scotland 2018 gathered in Dunblane for the final Team Camp before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. With the overwhelming majority of athletes in attendance, it was a first coming together of all 18 sports, with the Team Scotland ethos of ‘One Team’ central to proceedings.
Information ranging from travel, acclimatisation and health, to living in the Athletes’ Village and performing at a multi-sport Games was on the agenda. Athletes also learned life-saving skills with CPR workshops from Save a Life for Scotland. Team Scotland 2018 also had the opportunity to hear from past athletes as they shared their experiences and passed on their top tips for a successful Games, before the day ended with the all-important collection of the team kit.
Bowls duo Alex Marshall and Paul Foster, shooter Jen McIntosh and athlete Eilidh Doyle were named as nominees for the honour of leading Team Scotland into the Gold Coast 2018 Opening Ceremony as flagbearer. Marshall and Foster took gold in both the Pairs and Fours in Glasgow while McIntosh is Scotland’s most decorated female athlete at the Commonwealth Games and Doyle is Scottish Athletics’ most decorated athlete in history.
Joining the 207 athletes already announced on Team Scotland for Gold Coast were four new additions to the team; gymnast Sofia Ramzan and Squash players Kevin Moran, Lisa Aitken and Alison Thomson, bringing the number of athletes selected to 211.
Seventeen year-old Ramzan from Dundee took three individual silver medals, including the All-Around at the 2017 Scottish Artistic Gymnastics Championships and joins the recently announced Cara Kennedy, Shannon Archer and Isabella Tolometti in the Women’s Team Event. With Gold Coast her first experience of Commonwealth Games competition, she will look to build on recent international success having taken three medals at the Malar Cup International plus a gold and bronze at the Stormarn Cup in 2017.
Squash player Kevin Moran, part of Scotland’s bronze medal winning team at the 2016 European Team Championships, returns for his second Games having reached the last 16 of the Mixed Doubles at Glasgow 2014. He plays in the Singles event in Gold Coast and is joined in the Mixed Doubles by Lisa Aitken.
Aitken reached the quarter-finals of both Women’s and Mixed Doubles at the Delhi 2010 Games and returns to Team Scotland after an incredible comeback from serious illness. Dengue fever contracted while competing at the Malaysian Open in the summer of 2014 derailed her sporting ambitions for over two years, but she has made her mark in recent months winning her first World Tour title at the New Zealand Classic in June and adding a second at the PwC Open in October.
Aitken will also play Women’s Doubles in Gold Coast alongside 21 year-old Alison Thomson, reigning Scottish champion in both Women’s and Mixed Doubles. Thomson has had an excellent start to 2018, reaching the Singles quarter-finals at the Edinburgh Open and taking silver at the British U23 Open. Both Aitken and Thomson will also play in the Women’s Singles.
Jon Doig OBE, Team Scotland Chef de Mission said: “Today has been a fantastic opportunity for athletes and staff to get to know each other and come together as one team before heading to Australia over the coming weeks. The information they have received will stand them in great stead for Gold Coast and we hope they leave inspired and ready to perform with distinction, as we aim for our best overseas Games in history.”