An article in today’s Herald by Kevin Ferrie made reference to allegations from an unnamed source, claiming that Scottish athletes were not sent to Delhi as a result of seats on the plane being taken up by Board members’ partners. These allegations are patently untrue and need to be corrected.
Commonwealth Games Scotland has a clear policy for athletes’ selection for the Commonwealth Games. The criteria are based on athletes meeting the agreed selection standards set in conjunction with each sport, which also takes into account the maximum number of entries available per event. The overall team size is therefore determined purely on these grounds. Since this general selection policy was introduced for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, there has never been a situation where an athlete who has met the required standard has been denied a place on the team through either a lack of funding or places being taken up by officials.
Any Board members attending the Games (in non-team staff roles) are allocated clear individual roles and responsibilities working on behalf of the CGS, which are performed in a voluntary capacity. These activities include specialist support services, representation at Commonwealth Games Federation meetings, working with governing bodies, sponsors and other partners whilst also contributing to operational support programmes such as Scotland House and the Achieve 2014 programme, all of which take administrative loads off the Games team staff. They are also reserve team staff in the event of emergencies. Furthermore in Delhi, with Scotland being the next Games hosts there were additional activities linking with our other 2014 Games partners to positively showcase the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Where Board members have been accompanied by their partner at the Games, they are also required to perform support roles in a voluntary capacity. In Delhi this equated to economy flight costs for three additional people, whilst three Board members had Team staff roles with costs met through the travel grant from the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee. All costs involved are met by CGS and does not involve funding from the public purse, which is provided solely for the core running costs of the organisation and does not contribute to the cost of the team’s participation at the Games themselves.
Finally with regard to the selection of team officials this is done through an open recruitment process in conjunction with each of the sport governing bodies and for technical staff is based on having the required skills and experience as measured against the job description.
Commonwealth Games Scotland has strong governance procedures in place and is committed to operating in a professional, open and transparent manner at all times.