Glenrothes javelin thrower Lisa Glover was delighted to bear the flag for the 44 strong Scottish team in last night’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India (12-18 October 2008).
“To be able to represent Scotland in this competition is a huge honour and I’m enormously honoured and proud to be carrying the flag,” she said just before leading the team into the magnificent Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City athletics stadium. Lisa was nominated for the role by the team then given final approval by Commonwealth Games Scotland.
This season has been the best yet for the 18 year old, a second year Glasgow Caledonian radiography student. Highlights include setting a new Scottish under 20 record of 46.04 metres, followed by winning the Scottish Senior and the British Universities Championships.
Competing in her last event of the season in September she had experienced some ‘niggles’ from an old elbow injury but is now mended and raring to get started in the event which has attracted over 1300 entrants from all 71 Commonwealth countries.
“I didn’t have the best middle season leading up to this but I’ve been focussing more on footwork and rhythm rather than how far my javelin goes and I’m feeling really good,” she said.
“It’s really good to be here and see all the other countries and the atmosphere is amazing. It has been worth all the effort. It’s a massive competition, the biggest one I’ve been in and we’re all really excited about it.
“My competition is on Tuesday evening and I’d like to reach the level I was at earlier in the year, break my PB of 46.04 metres and win a medal.”
Joining her at the front of last night’s march-past was Denny wrestler, Connor Evans. The 15 year old, who has won hold the British Cadet (under 17s title) was nominated by the team then to carry a Quaich of water – Perthshire’s Highland Spring – to mix with water from every other team in a special fountain at the stadium.
“I really didn’t expect it, it’s a nice surprise,” said Connor, whose parents were waving a Saltire at the gates of the stadium when the Scottish team arrived on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s great to be here, I’m really excited and I can’t wait to compete. I wrestle next Thursday so before then I’ll train and hopefully watch some of the other events and take in some of the culture. It’s really good and much bigger than I thought it would be.”
Like the other 42 Scottish athletes competing in Pune this week, Connor and Lisa are both aiming to win medals. Yet the athletes all have an eye on the future are using this week’s experience to help them towards future Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Said Connor: “I’d really like to compete in Glasgow in 2014 and getting here is a big step towards that.”
Added Lisa: “I want to compete in Glasgow but 2010 in Delhi is first and I think it’s reachable for quite a few of us here.”