Commonwealth Games Scotland, with support from sportscotland, today announced a new initiative designed specifically to enhance the winning opportunities of Scottish athletes and coaches on the world stage. The Achieve 2014 programme has been created to offer a select number of talented athletes and coaches the opportunity to gain critical knowledge and experience of a multi-sport environment to assist their own preparations for medal success in Glasgow 2014 and beyond.
The project will cost up to £144,000 and includes funding from Commonwealth Games Scotland and an award of £20,000 from sportscotland, with discussions also ongoing with a number of other funders. The national agency for sport has also agreed to provide expertise to operate the programme, and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, World Champion and Olympian in Judo, Graeme Randall MBE has been appointed as the Achieve 2014 Director, part of his new role as a Partnership Manager at sportscotland.
Post Games studies and reports on athlete success at multi-sport Games have consistently highlighted that the environment experienced is significantly different to that which most athletes and staff encounter at their own single sport championships. However with prior multi-sport Games experience, team members are better able to cope with this unique environment and are more likely to perform and deliver to their full potential.
Achieve 2014 will offer targeted athletes and coaches identified by sports in the Glasgow 2014 programme, the opportunity to travel to the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games for a five or six day learning experience. Each team member will be afforded the opportunity to observe their own or similar sport in competition and, if time permitting, other sports competing during their stay. Each Achieve 2014 Team member will complete specific learning tasks, daily event logs and, upon return, complete a brief report on their personal experiences throughout the whole event.
Assigned to each Achieve 2014 Team member will be an athlete mentor or coach mentor who will work closely with the individual athletes and coaches prior to departure, during the 2010 Games in Delhi and afterwards to ensure the time spent in Delhi is utilised to achieve a robust, performance related outcome. Today the search started for the mentors who will be recruited by the end of April 2010.
Selection of athletes onto the Achieve 2014 Team will be through a nomination process in partnership with Scottish Governing Bodies of sport and sportscotland. It is anticipated that this opportunity will be offered to up to two athletes and/or one coach per sport.
Commenting on this exciting new initiative Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “I am absolutely delighted that this initiative has come to fruition in time for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October. As we have known for many years, some athletes rise to the big multi-sport occasion whilst others are overwhelmed by it and in 2014 competing on home soil will bring huge additional pressures.
“Commonwealth Games Scotland has always been at the forefront of development, innovation and looking to the future. We established the Commonwealth Youth Games back in 2000 and we believe that Achieve 2014 will build on this. We are confident that investing in our future talented athletes and coaches will be money well spent and will help to ensure that our athletes have the best preparation possible and can compete with distinction in 2014 and beyond.”
“Welcoming his role as the Achieve 2014 Director, Graeme Randall said: “This is a really exciting project and I am delighted to be able to use my years of experience as an athlete and a high performance coach to help others in the same position.
“Just getting a glimpse of the size and scale of a Commonwealth Games will help the selected athletes and coaches get a feel for what they will face and allow them to plan how they will deal with it to make the most of their winning opportunities.”
If successful the programme will run again in 2012 with athletes attending the London Olympic Games and then for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.