Team Scotland’s Sport Focus on Squash has an action packed start as Scotland’s top players line up at the European Team Championships which begin today in Birmingham.
Having secured promotion to the top division last year, the Scottish women’s team begin their campaign with a tough match against top seeds and eight-time defending champions England. Leading the team as Scotland’s No. 1 is Lisa Aitken who is in the form of her life with numerous wins on the PSA World Tour, including her first victory in a $10k event in Delaware in January. She is joined by a trio of young players: Alison Thomson, who made her Commonwealth Games debut last year in Gold Coast; reigning British Junior champion Georgia Adderley and Scottish Universities champion Katriona Allen.
Scotland’s men’s team of Greg Lobban, Alan Clyne, Angus Gillams, Rory Stewart, Stuart George and Chris Leiper also have a tricky opening match as they face long-time rivals Germany in what could prove to be a decisive result in reaching the semi-finals and medal play-offs. Germany have won bronze in five of the last seven European Team Championships, with Scotland defeating them in 2016 to win their first European Team medal for 13 years. With top seeds and defending champions France also in Pool A, Scotland will have to be at their best to replicate their medal winning feat.
As part of our ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ theme, each month Team Scotland are putting one or two sports in the Sport Focus spotlight, featuring all 25 sports in which Scotland has competed in the Commonwealth Games.
Look out for all things Squash on Team Scotland’s website and social channels this month as the sport shares the spotlight with Hockey. Join us as we delve into the archives for tales of past success and also look ahead to the rising stars of the sport in Scotland.
Squash at the Commonwealth Games
Squash first appeared on the Commonwealth Games programme at Kuala Lumpur 1998 and, as a core sport, has appeared at each Games since. Australia top the all-time medal table with 11 gold medals and have won every discipline on the programme at least once with the exception of the Men’s Singles event.
Scotland have won two Squash medals to date, both coming at the 1998 Games. At these first Games for Squash, Scotland was represented by Peter Nicol, Stuart Cowie, Martin Heath, David Heath, Claire Waddell and Senga Macfie, with Nicol winning the Men’s Singles title, coming back from a game down to beat Jonathon Power of Canada in the final. He then teamed up with Cowie to take bronze in the Men’s Doubles.
While these remain Scotland’s only Commonwealth Games medals to date, there have been several near misses, including three fourth place finishes in a row for Alan Clyne in the Men’s Doubles, first with Harry Leitch in 2010 and 2014 and then with Greg Lobban in 2018. Leading into the Gold Coast Games Clyne and Lobban had medal success at the World Doubles Championships, winning gold in 2016 and silver in 2017.
Find out more about Squash in the Commonwealth Games on our dedicated Squash page.
Scotland at the Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is the only occasion where Scotland gets to compete in a multi-sport event as a nation in its own right and is one of only six countries to have competed in every Commonwealth Games since their inception in Hamilton in 1930. Represented by 15 athletes participating in six sports at those first Games, winning a very creditable 10 medals, Scotland have gone on to win medals at every Games since.
Edinburgh became the first city to hold the Games twice in 1970 and 1986 and also became the first city to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Scotland hosted the Games for a third time when Glasgow welcomed athletes and officials to the XXth Commonwealth Games which was held from 23rd July – 3rd August 2014. Team Scotland celebrated their most successful Games in history, winning a total of 53 medals and went on to record their highest overseas medal tally ever at Gold Coast 2018.
Find out more about the Commonwealth Games and Team Scotland’s past success in our Past Games section.