On Friday 23 March the majority of Team Scotland completed their marathon journey to Australia, arriving into the pre-Games preparation camp on the Sunshine Coast to an unbelievable Australian welcome.
After a traditional aboriginal welcome to country, athletes were given the opportunity to hold koala bears, a little crocodile and a 10ft snake as they posed for pictures and conducted interviews with local TV.
The team were blown away by their welcome, with young gymnast David Weir commenting: “I don’t think there could have been anything better. We came off the plane a bit tired but it was amazing to meet the animals, although I’m not really too fond of snakes so when its head came at me it was a bit daunting! It was nice holding the koala though and the aboriginal dancers were cool too and it was nice to embrace a bit of their culture.”
Two hours north of the Games host city Gold Coast, the camp in Sunshine Coast will be the base for athletes and staff before they transition down to the Athletes Village, with the sporting action taking place from 5-15 April.
The athletes will use the preparation camp to get over the effects of jetlag and acclimatise to the heat and humidity ‘down under’, before getting down to some hard work and fine tuning their training ready for the big day.
Athletics and Boxing athletes were some of the first team members to arrive in Australia and are now picking up the pace in training. Preparing for his first Commonwealth Games, boxer Robbie McKechnie said: “Today has been our first real hard day, with a running session this morning and then a lot of pad work and some stuff on the bags this evening. We’ve shaken out all the jetlag, so now it’s down to hard work. The gym here is a cracking place to train in and the people are really welcoming. Everybody is looking good and it’s just about sharpening the tools before the Games now.”