1 May 2009 marked the start of the selection period for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and today Sportscotland backed up athlete aspirations to make the team by investing over a million pounds of funding in Commonwealth Games sports.
Four Commonwealth Games sports will receive a share of the £1,139,490 of funding. Cycling, triathlon, wrestling and target shooting all gained from today’s announcement, with Scottish Cycling claiming the lion’s share.
Announcing the funding, Sportscotland Chair, Louise Martin CBE, said: “With the selection period for 2010 underway it is more important than ever to ensure that Scottish sports receive the funding and support they need to deliver on the world stage.
“However, our investment will also ensure that this key group of sports continues to develop on towards 2014, and indeed beyond. The programmes supported through our investment of £1,139,490 will provide more opportunities for Scots to participate in healthy, active lifestyles and to realise their own potential, up to the highest level.”
Sports Minister, Shona Robison added: “In the year of Homecoming, and looking ahead to the 2011 International Children’s Games in Lanarkshire, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup, this is an exciting time for sport in Scotland. This funding will not only ensure our athletes can continue to develop and be the very best they can be on the international stage, it will also encourage and enable more people to take up sport and physical activity as part of their daily lives”.
With the ‘Chris Hoy’ effect still boosting participation figures, Scottish Cycling, is developing a number of initiatives designed to capitalise on the feel good factor, supported by today’s investment of £527,960.
Graeme Herd, the man who coached the Scottish cycling team to Commonwealth Games medal success in 2002 and 2006 is back in the saddle to head up the new Elite Athlete Programme (EAP). EAP will support a small group of athletes who have the potential to medal at the Games in Delhi next year, and of course for the Glasgow Games in 2014.
While the athletes who will represent Scotland in 2010 are almost certainly already in the system, a new talent ID initiative has just been launched to discover the next generation of sporting stars. Headed up by Tony Stanger at the Sportscotland institute of sport, Gold4Glasgow held its first talent ID event last Sunday in a bid to find Scotland’s own Rebecca Romero. Girls between 16 and 27 were invited to participate in an open day to identify athletes from a range of sports with the potential to succeed in cycling.
Welcoming the investment, Jackie Davidson, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling said “The increased investment from Sportscotland will support the ongoing development of cycling across the whole sporting pathway from grassroots to elite.
“It is an extremely exciting time for the sport as we continue to build strong partnerships with local clubs, volunteers, local authorities and key agencies in each of our regions. The profile of cycling has never been higher and the opportunities to engage with the sport can only be increased through the investment provided by Sportscotland.”
Triathlon Scotland also benefitted from today’s announcement receiving £235,030 of funding to support the development of this rapidly growing sport. Triathlon will be the first event at the 2104 Commonwealth Games and a real opportunity to get the Scottish team off to a great start. Scotland already boasts the World Junior Champion in Kirsty McWilliam but there are also plans to boost the talent pool through the Sportscotland institute of sport’s talent transfer programme.
Providing further inspiration and a home advantage to aspiring triathletes, Scotland will host two major events in the triathlon calendar over the next year. 2014 venue Strathclyde Country Park welcomes the first British elite event of the year on 17 May while Edinburgh will be the venue for the 2011 World Duathlon Championships.
Jon Doig, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “CGS has been working closely with Sportscotland and the governing bodies of Commonwealth Games sports to finalise their high performance plans towards Delhi in 2010. It is great news that these plans are being reflected in the latest round of investments from Sportscotland.”
The other two sports to benefit from today’s announcement, target shooting and wrestling, will receive investment of £228,500 and £148,000 respectively.