Twenty-four hours before the XIX Commonwealth Games officially open in Delhi and Scotland’s athletes are “itching to compete,” says Jon Doig, the Team Scotland chef de mission.
First, though, comes the Opening Ceremony, which will involve a substantial contingent – but not everyone. “We introduced a policy that you don’t go to the ceremony if you’re competing on day one,” explained Doig.
“Taking part is emotionally draining and physically tiring, so it’s a blanket policy – you don’t take part.
“A lot of athletes are really looking beyond the opening ceremony now,” continued Doig, “because they’re all desperate for the Games to kick off.
“Once the competitions start on Monday, we’ll see athletes leaving in the morning and coming back after their events – and you can tell from their faces how they’ve got on. But it’s great – it’s what we’re all here for, and it’s a privilege to be involved.
“Everyone’s very happy, we have no problems to report; they’re settling into the village; and they’re happy with the venues.”
Doig also urged the athletes who make up Team Scotland to seize the opportunity presented by the Commonwealth Games to showcase their sport to a global audience.
“These Games represent a fantastic chance to bring attention and profile to sports that maybe don’t get much attention outside multi-sports games,” he said.
“We saw that in Melbourne, when our winning athletes really became well-known names back home, and there are huge benefits to their sports from their success.
“So everyone in the team has an opportunity here to put their sport in the spotlight, get some well-deserved recognition, and encourage some future champions.”