Athletes Lead by Example on Commonwealth Day

March 14, 2011

Team Scotland athletes have been at the forefront of the Glasgow 2014 Sport Your Trainers campaign, which culminated today on Commonwealth Day, 14 March 2011, with more than 750,000 people across the country wearing their trainers to demonstrate their support for Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow in 2014.

The six week campaign was launched last month by Commonwealth Games gold medallist, swimmer Robbie Renwick and since then some 30 Team Scotland athletes have been taking part in online films and photocalls from Selkirk to Inverness to urge the Scottish public to lend their support to the campaign.

Team Scotland Athletics star Lee McConnell said: “Some of my best sporting memories are from the Commonwealth Games, from my silver medal in the 400m in Manchester in 2002 to my 400m hurdles bronze in Melbourne.

“I am particularly proud that the next Commonwealth Games will be hosted by my hometown and, although I will no longer be competing, I am really looking forward to joining the people of Scotland in welcoming the Games in 2014.

“I think ‘Sport Your Trainers’ is a fantastic way for the country to show its support for Scotland’s Games and, with Glasgow 2014 now less than four years away, there is a growing sense of excitement and anticipation amongst the athletes preparing to compete. I’ll definitely be wearing my trainers on March 14th. The people of Scotland are right behind 2014 and I hope they’ll join me in ‘Sporting their Trainers’ today on Commonwealth Day.”

2006 Badminton bronze medallist and current GB number one in singles, Susan Egelstaff also joined in the campaign and commented: “It’ll come as no surprise as a full-time athlete that I wear trainers on a daily basis!

“I’m really excited about the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow, and pleased to see so much activity to generate awareness and enthusiasm for the event so early on. The Glasgow 2014 “Sport Your Trainers” initiative is one I am happy to support. It sends a message across Scotland that the Games are for us all to get involved in.

“Although a few of us will be lucky enough to compete in the Games, the significance of Glasgow hosting the event is much wider than the two weeks of activities happening on the court, track, field, pitch or in the water!

My love for badminton started at primary school, I was good at other sports too – and not so good at some – but through trying I found one where I had talent. And, if the Commonwealth Games in 2014 can spur children into trying out different kind of sports, other than the traditional ones like football or hockey, who knows, Scotland may produce a future gold medallist.

“The opportunity the Games gives to showcase sports like badminton is fantastic. I’d be delighted if the Games produce the ‘Wimbledon Effect’ and we all get enthused about a sport we may not have played since school, or at all, because we’ve had the chance to watch and cheer for international athletes.”

Road Cyclist, Jane Barr is also encouraging people to get on their bikes and back the initiative and added: “Having competed in Delhi last year, I can’t wait for the Games to come to Scotland in 2014. For me personally, there’s a huge sense of achievement connected with completing a successful race when you’re being cheered on by friends, family and local supporters.

“There’s also a sporting advantage for us racing on home soil. In Scotland, there’s no need for me to acclimatise to the weather (as was the case in Delhi) and I am used to racing on the country’s notoriously hilly roads – something I’m hoping to capitalise on in 2014.

“Above all else, the main difference for us competing in Scotland will be the home support. Having a huge crowd behind us will really make a difference to all the athletes competing in the Games and I know, true to form, the Scottish people will turn out in high numbers and cheer us on all the way to the end.

“I think ‘Sport Your Trainers’ is a great idea and will help generate awareness of the Games throughout the whole country. I am ‘Sporting my Trainers’ today along with other members of Team Scotland and we hope the rest of the country will join us and get behind the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Thanks to all our athletes who have given up their time to support the campaign.

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