Team Scotland athletes at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games are set to draw on a wealth of sporting pedigree, with Olympic curling gold medallist Rhona Howie and World Indoorathletics silver medallist, Jamie Bowie, among five sport specific team managers announced today.
Commonwealth Games Scotland has worked closely with the governing bodies of Athletics, Lawn Bowls, Gymnastics, Netball and Squash to select the team managers who will lead these sports, both in the build-up and during competition at the Gold Coast Games. All five have a strong track record, with both Rhona and Jamie bringing their own experience as athletes, to sports outside those in which they made their names.
Millions watched as Rhona (then Rhona Martin) launched what became known as the ‘Stone of Destiny’ to win gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and she is set to bring that high performance expertise to the Lawn Bowls team in Gold Coast. Following her career as an athlete, Rhona amassed a wealth of team management experience at multi-sport events before joining Bowls Scotland as High Performance Manager in May 2015. She has worked extensively with the players who will represent Team Scotland and will make sure that they and the coaching team can focus on performance, as they look to build on a hugely successful home Games back in 2014.
“I am honoured to have been nominated as Team Manager for Lawn Bowls for the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games,” she said.
“Working with Lawn Bowls has been an exciting new challenge for me and within the recently named High Performance squad we have a strong mix of seasoned top level performers and up and coming prospects with great potential. I am looking forward to working closely with Commonwealth Games Scotland, Scottish Disability Sport and the performance support team to ensure we can give the athletes the best opportunities to perform in the Gold Coast.”
Jamie Bowie joined Scottish Gymnastics as Performance Manager last August, working across the men’s and women’s artistic national performance programme, but is better known as a track athlete, having represented Great Britain and Scotland since 2009. European U23 gold medallist with the GB 4x400m relay team in 2011, Jamie stepped up to replicate that success at senior level with relay silver at the 2014 World Indoor Championships. Listing his part in the Scottish record breaking 4x400m relay team at Glasgow 2014 as one of the highlights of his career, four years on, the 27-year-old will be back for Team Scotland, this time as team manager for gymnastics.
“For me it’s a really exciting transition away from competitive athlete into the performance and team management side of sport”, he said.
“We had to work hard to be selected for Glasgow 2014 and then focus on putting in a great performance. It was very special having family there, the whole of Scotland behind you, and feeling part of the bigger Team Scotland.
“I’ve always been really passionate about athletes and coaches getting the best out of themselves, delivering on the day. I hope my understanding of the pressures, through the journey of qualifying to competing on the Commonwealth stage will benefit our gymnasts and Team Scotland in 2018.”
Also drawing on personal international experience, as well as a proven track record in team management, is Karen McElveen, named as team manager for Netball. Capped 39 times for Scotland, she led the national team, the Thistles, for over seven years, including at two World Netball Championships. Now Franchise Director for the Sirens, Scotland’s brand new Netball Superleague team, she is enthusiastic about taking on the team manager role for Team Scotland at a second successive Commonwealth Games.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be part of Team Scotland as Netball Team Manager for 2018,” she said. “After an awesome experience at Glasgow 2014, I can’t wait to get started, especially in such exciting times for Netball Scotland. The Thistles are ranked in the top 10 in the world and the new Sirens franchise in the Superleague is giving Scottish players the opportunity to perform week in week out at almost international level. That kind of opportunity is only going to help our performance come Gold Coast.”
Assistant Team Manager for Athletics at Glasgow 2014, Julie Mollison, will now take on the role of Team Manager for Gold Coast, supporting Rodger Harkins as Head Coach. scottishathletics National Club Manager, Julie has been involved in various team manager roles within Scottish Athletics for the past 10 years. She now steps up to lead the team in Gold Coast and with Scottish athletes in record breaking form in recent months, is excited by their prospects in Australia in just over a year’s time.
“I’m delighted to accept the post of Athletics Team Manager for the Gold Coast, working with the other team staff in planning and preparation for our athletes as part of Team Scotland,” she said.
“Having performed a similar role in Glasgow I am now looking forward to the different challenges that planning for Australia will bring. It’s a great time to be involved in athletics in Scotland with brilliant results every month, and come next year my role with Team Scotland will be to create the best possible environment for our athletes to perform at their best in the Gold Coast”’
Named as team manager for Squash, Paul Bell has proven himself to be a talented young coaching prospect, leading both Ireland’s junior and women’s teams to feature in the world top ten before joining Scottish Squash in 2016.
“I’ve been in place as National Coach for almost a year now and we’ve had some good early results, including a win at the World Doubles, which is really encouraging moving towards Gold Coast. To work with the players at something on the scale of the Commonwealth Games is really exciting and I’m looking forward to maximising the opportunity of being part of Team Scotland.”
Jon Doig OBE, Team Scotland Chef de Mission for Gold Coast 2018 said: “The sport team managers play a vital role within both their sport and the wider team to create the best possible environment at the Games for athletes to excel. I’m delighted to have all five of these talented managers on board, as we come together as one Team Scotland with the aim of having our most successful overseas Games ever in Gold Coast.”
With the previous appointment of Lindsay Lewis as Aquatics team manager announced in December 2016, six sports now have their team manager in place. The other 12 sports on the Gold Coast 2018 programme will appoint their team managers over the next few months.