Eight rising stars of track and field are part of Team Scotland for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago this summer.
With just over a week to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Games, we caught up with two of our Athletics athletes, Corey Campbell and Amy Teasdale, who told us how it feels to be part of Team Scotland and what advice they would give to those looking to get involved in athletics.
Congratulations on becoming part of Team Scotland, how does it feel being chosen to represent your country at the Youth Games?
Corey: It feels great to be selected to represent Team Scotland at the Youth games and I look forward to competing out in Trinidad.
Amy: It’s a bit surreal because selection has been a goal that’s lingered in the back of my head for the past year when I first heard about the games but it has been one of those things that you feel will just stay in your head to help push you through the hard times. So having it actually materialise is still a bit crazy but it’s so exciting to have the opportunity to travel out with a multi-sport team and the ability to involve yourself in the other sports just through chatting with the team and hopefully spectating those also competing on Trinidad!
How have you been preparing for the games and what are you most looking forward to once you are out in Trinidad and Tobago?
Corey: Training has been going well recently. I have also been preparing for the extreme temperatures that we will experience out in Trinidad. I’m most looking forward to learning more about international competition and testing myself against some of the commonwealth’s best youth athletes.
Amy: Training has been going well and everyone around me has been so supportive in facilitating me getting to the games in one piece! My coach Sarah, has really put time and effort into our preparation and her boundless positivity is honestly so impressive as I am a bit guilty of stressing and overthinking the smallest things so her help definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed! Even just the sense of community and backing from my training group and gym took me by surprise when the people you train alongside every week seem so proud- it helps you remember that these opportunities are what you are putting in the work for.
My event isn’t until the end of the competition so I’m going to have a lot of time beforehand and I’ve made it my mission to try and just immerse myself in everything there is to do and see at the games in the lead up! Watching the other sports and training in a completely different format on the island isn’t something that I’m going to ever get to experience again in a youth games so I do just think I’m going to have to go with the flow and not focus solely on my race until the latter stages as to enjoy everything in the meantime!
What’s been a highlight of your sporting journey so far?
Corey: Being selected to represent GB last year for the European u18 Championships. Throughout the championships I gained valuable experience which I hope to bring with me to the CYG and beyond!
Amy: I’ve experienced being away with many teams within athletics and I think that’s made me appreciate the sport so much more because you learn about the work your competitors put in to be at the level we are at. This helps bonds which you carry through to every competition and trip while allowing you to see your competitors as friends rather than people to be fearful of!The moment I achieved the qualifying standard that secured my place in this team was very special. To have all the hard work pay off, after various setbacks this year, at our national 3k champs was just brilliant!
What piece of advice would you give to those wanting to get involved in Athletics?
Corey: Just throw yourself in by joining your local athletics club and remember that everyone starts somewhere. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and have fun.
Amy: For people wanting to get involved, there are so many ways into the sport through amateur clubs and groups where you will instantly find like-minded people to keep you motivated. The athletic community in Scotland feels very close so there are always people you know competing and progressing to keep you engaged and involved even if you are not the one competing!
2. Rugby 7s is a fast paced, high tempo game, played with 7s players a side, for two seven-minute halves, with a 2-minute break in between.
3. In a Rugby 7s game, it is 5 points for a try, and 2 points for the subsequent conversion kick. Players can kick a penalty for 3 points or kick a drop goal for 3 points.
4. The Men’s Rugby 7s competition will take place at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex on the island of Tobago and will be contested by Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Jamaica, Scotland, Fiji, and South Africa.
5. All 13 players selected for the Youth Games have been part of the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy or involved with SQ Performance Pathway.
Up next in our Trinbago 2023 Sport Focus series, we are very excited to be hearing from two of our Rugby athletes who have been selected to represent Team Scotland in the Men’s Rugby 7s competition at Trinbago 2023.
We caught up with captain Johnny Ventisei and Fergus Wood following their selection and asked them how they were feeling ahead of the games and what they love so much about Rugby 7s.
Not long to go until the start of the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, how are you feeling ahead of the games and how does it feel representing Scotland?
Fergus: Representing Scotland is always an honour and definitely the main aspiration for everyone involved that wants to develop themselves as a player. The squad is definitely building confidence, with every training session being a chance to excel as a team.
Johnny: I’m really excited to get started at the games. It’s obviously an incredible opportunity for everyone involved and one we are all really looking forward to. It’s wonderful to be involved in a game like rugby sevens which originates from Scotland. It’s always an honour representing your country at any level and one that brings a lot of pride, especially at a unique multi sport event such as the commonwealth games.
Rugby 7s is quite a bit different from the 15 a side we often see, what do you enjoy most about Rugby 7s and what makes it so exciting to watch?
Fergus: I think what makes sevens so exciting to watch is the fact that the game can turn at any moment, with everyone having to work hard on the pitch. I personally enjoy the freedom to play that sevens allows for.
Johnny: Rugby 7s is a very entertaining game, it’s very fast paced and played at an extremely high skill level which creates exciting, flowing, running rugby. It’s played on a full size rugby pitch meaning the amount of work and effort put in by each player is enormous, but this adds to the beauty of the game.
What has been a highlight of your Rugby career so far?
Fergus: The highlight of my career so far has definitely got to be representing Scotland at the Under-18 Six Nations festival in April.
Johnny: The highlight of my rugby career so far would be representing Scotland at the U18 six nations. Being able to sing the National anthem with friends at your side and family and friends watching is a very special feeling.
How have you and the team been preparing over the past couple of months ahead of the games?
Fergus: The team has been preparing really well, initially we laid the foundations of sevens and made it clear the style of rugby we want to play, but as we’ve built up the number of sessions, we’ve been able to raise the intensity and focus amongst the group which has been brilliant to be a part of.
Johnny: It’s been an intense period of training building up towards the games. Places for the squad were highly contested and as a squad we have worked really hard throughout the selection process and training. We have already seen great progress and togetherness. It’s all coming together really well for the final week of training to put us in the best place possible for the games.
1. The origin of Triathlon dates back over 100 years ago, however the history of Triathlon as we know it originated in the 1970s, with the first modern Triathlon event held in San Diego in 1974.
2. There are a variety of triathlon distances, with super sprint, sprint, Olympic, middle and long distance being the most popular race formats. At Trinbago 2023, athletes will super sprint which consists of 400m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run.
3. The Mixed Team Relay, featuring two men and two women, was introduced at Glasgow 2014 and sees each athlete complete a short triathlon before tagging their teammate. Each relay distance varies from event to event, depending on available lap distances. The relay event returned for Birmingham 2022 and will take place at Trinbago 2023.
4. The male, female and mixed relay Triathlon events at Trinbago 2023 will take place at Buccoo stadium on Tobago, which famously was originally used for Goat racing.
5. Across Scotland, there are over 50 Triathlon clubs, with opportunities for adults, students, juniors, and youth athletes to get involved and participate.
Up next in our Trinbago 2023 Sport Focus series, we are very excited to be hearing from our two Triathletes who have been selected to represent Team Scotland in the men’s, women’s, and mixed events at Trinbago 2023.
Triathlon makes its Commonwealth Youth Games debut at Trinbago 2023, and Alex and Jessica will be sure to step up to the challenge and aim to make their mark on the international stage.
Ahead of them heading out to Trinidad and Tobago we asked Alex and Jessica to tell us more about their sport and being selected for the Games:
Congratulations on becoming part of Team Scotland, how does it feel to be representing Scotland at your first Commonwealth Youth Games?
Alex: Obviously it’s a huge privilege to represent Scotland. It’s something I’ve worked extremely hard for, and I can’t wait to race and experience a big Games.
Jessica: I’m so excited to have been given the chance to represent Team Scotland in triathlon. For the opportunity to arise at such a big event makes me both nervous and excited and I just hope I can perform to the best of my ability and make the most of this chance.
How did you first get involved in Triathlon?
Alex: I started triathlon when I was 7 with Fusion Triathlon Club, the youngest age you were allowed to join. I remember seeing them training a few times and wanting to join in so badly, so naturally I was extremely excited when I was finally allowed to join. Meeting the minimum standard of being able to swim 2 lengths before being allowed to join provided me with that extra motivation in swimming lessons. From then I have progressed gradually through the performance pathway in place.
Jessica: I was a competitive swimmer from before I was 10. My mum started entering me for aquathons (swim then run) which I enjoyed participating in. Last year I took part in the Scottish National Youth Triathlon Championships and finished 4th. This year I decided to prioritise triathlon over swimming which I have enjoyed doing lots more than swimming on its own!
What’s been a highlight from your sporting journey so far?
Alex: My highlight so far has to be Super League Jersey in 2021. I raced the youth race, while in my first year of the 2-year age group and managed to win which was amazing. It was so cool to race on the same course as the pros did a few hours before and trying the new enduro format (three back-to-back mini triathlons) was also really fun and a great experience.
Jessica: Obviously getting selected for the Games is my number one highlight. Apart from that I’ve been taking part in the British Triathlon Super Series events and enjoyed the racing and moving up the rankings from the initial performance assessments and I have also enjoyed meeting new people.
How have you been training and preparing for the Games over the past weeks and months?
Alex: My training has been very disrupted having had a stress response in my ankle (which is ok now), and then a broken elbow which required surgery. I have been able to get in some heat training on the turbo while it was broken but I am only just getting back to swimming and running. However, I am confident I will be relatively fit in time for the race as I was in a similar situation last year and still managed to win the final British Triathlon Super Series race.
Jessica: This year I made a decision to prioritise triathlon over swimming and Tom my swimming coach, although probably disappointed, has been so supportive of that. I’m a member of a running club and have been to a few endurance cycles with a cycling club to familiarise myself with a bike, however because of my swimming times I don’t have much time to attend the training sessions of other clubs so my bike and run training is mainly self-directed. I’ll run before I go swimming and after I will cycle home with my mum driving behind me. Occasionally I give a swimming session up to attend the running club.
Beach Volleyball is making its second appearance at a Commonwealth Youth Games and with 18 countries competing at this summer’s Games, it is sure to be an exciting display of raw talent and power. The beautiful Pigeon Point Beach will be the competition’s home for the six days of competition, from 5-10 August.
For part two of our Beach Volleyball Sport Focus, here are 5 things you need to know about the sport at the Games and in Scotland:
1. Beach Volleyball is only a recent addition to the Commonwealth Games programme, making its Youth Games debut at Bahamas 2017 and senior Games debut at Gold Coast 2018.
2. A Beach Volleyball team is made up of two players, and the first team to reach 21 points, with a two-point lead, wins the set. Matches are best of three sets with third sets played to fifteen. Teams switch sides every seven points (five in the third set) so that any advantage from the wind is split.
3. While a Beach Volleyball side has two players instead of the six per side of the Indoor game, the court is just one metre shorter, and one metre narrower than an Indoor Volleyball court – that’s a lot of ground to cover per player!
4. Beach Volleyball is played all over Scotland on beaches in Troon, Ayr, St Andrews, Portobello, Aberdeen, as well as on inland (fake) beaches in Perth, Edinburgh, and Ayr.
5. Iona Bell and Sasha Clegg-Mckeown, the duo representing Team Scotland in Beach Volleyball at Trinbago 2023, both play out of West Coast Beach Volleyball Club, one of the four Beach Volleyball clubs in Scotland.
With just over a month to go until the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, the countdown has begun and the excitement is starting to build. Over the final few weeks until Team Scotland head out to Trinidad and Tobago, we will be taking a further look into each of our seven sports being represented at the Youth Games and chatting with the athletes competing.
Our first ‘Sport Focus’ of these Youth Games will be on Beach Volleyball, with Team Scotland being represented in the Women’s competition.
Meet Iona Bell and Sasha Clegg-Mckeown, who have been selected to represent Team Scotland in the Women’s Beach Volleyball at this summer’s 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago.
We spoke with Iona, 16, and Sasha, 14, ahead of the Team Camp, and they spoke of their excitement to represent their country on the world stage and how they want to encourage others to try out the sport:
Ahead of them heading out to Trinidad and Tobago we asked Iona and Sasha to tell us more about their sport and being selected for the Games:
Congratulations on becoming part of Team Scotland, what are you most looking forward to about the Youth Games?
Iona: I’m very excited to represent my country at such a big event and in such a cool location. It’s definitely a huge honour and it will be great to be among so many talented athletes within Team Scotland.
Sasha: I’m most looking forward to representing the whole of my country for the very first time on the beach and at such a young age.
Can you tell us what the biggest difference, as a player, is between Volleyball and Beach Volleyball?
Iona: Beach Volleyball is definitely more physically demanding than indoor as there are only two players to cover the whole court and playing on sand is tough. I also tend to play setter on indoor, so I enjoy getting more opportunities to attack on the beach.
Sasha: For me the difference between indoor and Beach Volleyball is that in Beach Volleyball you have to be very smart at your offence and tenacious and skilful at defence (one have to be a really smart and well-rounded player), when in Indoor Volleyball it’s more about power shots and being good at one or two specific skills.
Tell us an interesting fact about your sport that people may not know?
Iona: On average players jump 300 times in a Beach Volleyball game.
Sasha: Beach Volleyball players use secret signal to communicate with each other and unlike in Indoor Volleyball you can’t have substitutions in Beach Volleyball.
What would you say to people, particularly young people, to try and get them involved in Beach Volleyball?
Iona: I definitely think it’s worth giving a go. I won’t lie it’s not for everyone and you have to be willing to brave some grim weather and deal with the tough physical demand of the sport. However, of all the sports I’ve tried it’s definitely the most fun. It’s great to get outdoors in the summer and let off some steam.
Sasha: If you are full of energy and love running about, then Beach Volleyball is made for people like you. You even get to whack the ball as hard as you can, play as a team with your friends and keep fit. It’s a great fun game that everyone should try!
With 11 Commonwealth Games medals between them Alex Marshall and Paul Foster sit right at the top of Team Scotland’s list of all-time sporting greats. For our sport focus series we caught up with the pair to talk about their success, their friendship on and off the green and how they are keeping active through the lockdown period ready for a return to competitive action.
Their competitive record at the top of their sport is phenomenal, both individually and as a pair. Both have 18 World Indoor Championship medals to their name including four gold and two silver together in the Open Pairs since 2011. Alex has a record-breaking six World Indoor Singles titles with Paul just one behind on five.
Their record at the World Outdoor Championships is equally impressive, the championships in 2012 seeing them become the first pair ever to win World Indoor and Outdoor titles in the same year. Alex showed signs of what was to come with three gold medals in 1992 as the newcomer to a team that included names such as World and Commonwealth champions Richard Corsie and Willie Wood. Now with 14 medals, seven of them gold, he and Paul, with four medals from two championships, are the experience of the team.
So has how they approach a major championship changed at all on the back of their success and what is their secret to producing results time and time again?
“Myself and Alex have had a lot of success on the bowling green together, winning many gold medals and World titles,” says Paul. “It’s down to the friendship we have on and off the green, the support we have for each other is incredible. Being best mates makes each of our jobs on the green a lot easier, we encourage each other whether we play a good or a bad bowl and that has made us one of the most successful pairs ever.
“I’ve competed in four Commonwealth Games so far and many World Championships so I can relax when I go to these events as I know I have put in the practice time and effort to give it my best. I just tell my team mates to enjoy it and as long as you have given it 100% then the awards will come.”
“Myself and Paul know each other’s game inside out,” agrees Alex. “That has been a massive part of our success as we progressed over the years, and we’re also always in each others company off the green which makes us a formidable partnership.
“To be honest the experience has not changed from the start of my career, I still get the same buzz now as I used to. Yes, there is more expectation as you have been successful before, but that doesn’t affect me in any way as my approach to the game has not changed. I do pass on my experiences to the other players in the team, as the more they know the better it is for the team.”
Paul’s first Commonwealth Games was Melbourne 2006, Alex’s incredibly all the way back at Victoria 1994, and since their respective debuts they have steadily climbed the all-time medallist list. With five gold and one silver Alex is now Team Scotland’s most successful athlete in any sport while Paul, with four gold and a silver, sits third, with Olympic gold medallist sprinter Allan Wells between the two.
“It’s a great feeling being at the top of your sport, but for myself and Paul to be at the top of Team Scotland’s ladder for success is incredible,” says Alex. ” On the back of our successes I think it is great for our sport to be given the recognition it deserves.”
Paul echoes the sentiment: “Our recognition as top athletes for Team Scotland means everything, with Alex the most decorated Scottish athlete and myself sitting 3rd just behind Alan Wells. I think it means a great deal to our game of bowls and shows how far in the game you can go when you put your mind to it.”
Following Pairs gold in 2012 and bronze in 2016, the duo should have been back on the Commonwealth Games greens of Broadbeach, Gold Coast this month for the World Outdoor Championships. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the event being moved to 2021, meaning they must bide their time for another shot at the title.
“Obviously I was disappointed for World Bowls to be cancelled but we can all agree that everyone’s health comes first and is more important,” says Paul. “Bowls will always be there when we are ready to come back and knowing that the Championships have been rescheduled to May 2021 gives us something to look forward to, back in the Gold Coast where we were very successful at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“Covid-19 has certainly hit all sports hard, but I have been out running and walking and watching old matches where I have won Commonwealth titles and World titles, so it keeps my mentality in the right place. Losing weight as well makes you feel you are going in the right direction to be prepared for the tournaments ahead.”
“Nothing really changes with the Worlds,” adds Alex. “The new date is the same time in 2021, with the same team, so it gives the team another year to prepare and I’m looking forward to returning to the lovely greens at Broadbeach.
“It has been difficult times for everyone out there. I have kept myself occupied with exercises in the morning, going for walks, and every day keeping my delivery action in place, so when things do go back to normal I will be raring to go. I cannot wait to start the competitive side of the game.”
Also on the horizon is the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and another opportunity to cement their place in Team Scotland history. For Alex it would be a seventh Games appearance, just one behind Team Scotland’s most capped Commonwealth Games athlete, fellow bowler Willie Wood.
“I will be available for selection and hoping to be selected,” he says. “My ambitions are always to medal, and hopefully gold. I know Leamington very well and the greens will suit the Scottish team.”
Paul is also raring to go and hoping to add to his medal tally: “Birmingham 2022 is definitely in my plans and I will be putting in all the hard work, as soon as we return to the greens, to get myself in the frame for selection. If selected my ambitions will be to medal in both disciplines and fingers crossed it’s the right colour that I get. The greens in Leamington are similar to what we we play on, so it will not take us long to get into our rhythm.”
With their past track record we certainly wouldn’t bet against 2021 and 2022 being more bumper years for this impressive duo and look forward to seeing them back doing what they do best very soon.
As part of our Sport Focus on Lawn Bowls we take a look at Bowls Scotland’s Try Bowls initiative, helping Scotland’s 850 clubs bring the sport to a new audience and strengthen their links with their local communities.
Bowls Scotland’s international stars are a force to be reckoned with on the global stage with consistent podium finishes at World Championships and Commonwealth Games, but for the sport in Scotland their success is just the tip of the iceberg. With one of the highest levels of club membership of any sport in Scotland, the heart of the sport is the huge participation across all age groups and abilities, with many bowling clubs embedded in the life of the local town.
Created in 2016, Try Bowls is Bowls Scotland’s national campaign aimed at getting new people into bowls, creating stronger links with local communities and increasing membership in clubs. From fun activities that introduce young players to the basics, through to the full game there’s something for everyone.
Through a resource pack, advice and input from their development team, event promotion and access to equipment, Bowls Scotland supports clubs to hold Try Bowls events each year to introduce the sport to a new audience or reignite a love for the game in those who have played in the past. With the sport one that can be enjoyed by all ages, some events have even seen four generations of the same family take part – from children four years old up to great-granddad at 87.
The initiative has continued to go from strength to strength, with clubs reporting increased numbers attending their events and going on to join year on year. Lundin Bowling Club in East Fife has welcomed over 100 brand new bowlers to their club coaching sessions in the three years they have run Try Bowls events, including 47 in 2019 alone, while Nairn Bowling Club has seen interest grow from 22 attendees at their 2016 event to 122 in 2019.
The initiative has introduced hundreds of people to the sport with 1 in 5 people who attended a Try Bowls event in 2018 going on to join a club.
Rosslyn Bowling Club’s event was a huge success for the club, almost doubling their membership.
Head Coach Douglas Todman said: “Through holding the Try Bowls event we were able to attract 26 new bowlers, seven of which were juniors, and a further 14 new associate members. I’d highly recommend it, it was a really successful event, it got bowls out there into the town and there was a nice wee buzz around Rosslyn Bowling Club.”
While clubs’ Try Bowls plans for 2020 will be on hold for now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is some good news for Scotland’s 56,000 playing members, with Lawn Bowls named as one of the outdoor sports able to make a return this week as lockdown restrictions are eased.
While a long way from a return to full operations, this will allow clubs who are able to adhere to social distancing and safety protocols to open their doors as a first step in the sport making a phased return and a welcome boost to the physical activity and mental well-being of members across the country.
One of the original six sports as the Commonwealth Games (then the British Empire Games) began in 1930, Lawn Bowls has been contested at every Games since with the exception of 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica due to a lack of suitable greens. Scotland’s bowlers have been a regular feature on the podium, winning 37 medals including 18 gold. From record medal tallies to historic firsts, here are just some of the highlights from 90 years of Team Scotland success.
London 1934 – First Gold Medal
While bronze for the Men’s Fours team of William Lowe, Charles Tait, James Morrison and James Brown replicated the result of their predecessors from 1930, Robert Sprot became Scotland’s first Commonwealth Games bowls gold medallist, going undefeated across nine rounds in the Men’s Singles. Sprot was a three-time Scottish Singles champion and his father, George, won the first ever National title in 1894. The Men’s Pairs saw Alex and George Niven take fifth place with four wins and four losses.
The Games were originally awarded to Johannesburg, South Africa, but the venue was changed to London amid concerns about the treatment of black and Asian athletes by South African officials and fans. The Lawn Bowls events were held at Paddington Sports Club in Maida Vale and Temple Bowling Club, the latter nestled within a square of houses formed by Denmark Hill, Herne Hill Road, Ferndene Road and Sunset Road.
Brisbane 1982 – A Golden Double
Scotland’s bowlers put in an incredible performance to take two of the four titles on offer in Brisbane. Willie Wood improved on his Singles bronze from 1974 and Pairs silver from 1978 to triumph in the Men’s Singles while John Watson and David Gourlay took victory in the Men’s Pairs. Australia won the Men’s Fours and Zimbabwe the Women’s Triples, the first women’s lawn bowls event ever contested at a Commonwealth Games.
All events were decided by a Round Robin tournament. Willie Wood won 11 of his 12 matches to come out a deserving winner ahead of silver medallist Rob Parrella of Australia and bronze medallist Peter Belliss of New Zealand who both finished on 10 wins. It was a similarly close affair in the Men’s Pairs with Watson and Gourlay taking the title on shots with an identical record of 11 wins, one draw and two losses as eventual silver medallists Lyn Perkins and Spencer Wilshire of Wales. Alex McIntosh, John Harper, Brian Rattray and Jock Fleming took fifth place in the Men’s Fours while Jessie Adamson, Janet Menzies and Jessie Lawson made history as Scotland’s first female Lawn Bowls competitors at a Commonwealth Games, finishing 11th.
Victoria 1994 – A Games of Firsts
One of only two occasions on which Scotland’s bowlers have taken three gold medals at a single Games (the other being Glasgow 2014), Victoria stands out in its own right, but the Games was also notable for several ‘firsts’. Sarah Gourlay and Francis Whyte took Scotland’s first ever women’s title with gold in the Pairs, beating South Africa convincingly in the final after an incredibly close battle with England to top their group, while Robert Brand won the first ever Para-Sport title with victory in the VI Singles ahead of Robert Hubbard of Australia.
Richard Corsie took Men’s Singles gold after bronze at both Edinburgh 1986 and Auckland 1990, beating England’s reigning World Champion Tony Allcock in the final. Both Corsie and Allcock had topped their sections with nine wins and one loss before Corsie had the edge in the final 25-20 to take gold. Bronze for the Women’s Fours team of Dorothy Barr, Betty Forsyth, Elizabeth Dickson and Janice Maxwell made it a record tally of four medals.
Alex Marshall, competing at the first of his six Games to date, and Graham Robertson, competing in his final of three Games, took fourth place in their section in the Men’s Pairs, the same finishing position as Joyce Lindores in the Women’s Singles, while Gary Hood, Ian Laird, Willie Wood and Willie Hay just missed the Fours medals as they finished third in their group.
Glasgow 2014 – Golden Greens in Glasgow
At the iconic Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre, spectators were to bear witness to some of the most consistent and impressive bowling by Scotland in many a Games.
Alex Marshall and Paul Foster dominated Malaysia 20-3 with three ends to spare, to win Scotland’s record breaking 12th gold of the Glasgow Games with victory in the Men’s Pairs. The five-strong men’s bowling team went on to further success with Marshall and Foster adding a second gold in the Fours with teammates David Peacock and Neil Speirs beating England 16-8, whilst Darren Burnett controlled the Singles final beating Canada’s Ryan Bester, 21-9 to ensure they all went home with gold, as the action drew to a close at Kelvingrove.
The women’s team had contrasting fortunes. The Fours came close, but lost, 15-21 against New Zealand in the bronze medal match to finish a heart-breaking fourth. Scotland went out in the quarter-finals in both Singles and Triples, whilst the Pairs were unable to progress beyond the group stages.
Glasgow 2014 saw Scotland’s Para- Sport Lawn Bowlers compete in the Games for the first time since 2002. The Para-Sport bowlers were also on form and got the Lawn Bowls medal tally off the ground. Mixed Pairs B2/B3 competitors Robert Conway and Irene Edgar, together with their directors Ron McArthur and David Thomas, had to settle for silver after losing 14-10 to South Africa in the final while Scotland’s Para Open Triples B6/B7/B8 team of Billy Allan, Michael Simpson and Kevin Wallace narrowly missed out on the bronze medal to England.
The total of four medals (three gold and a silver), was double the Lawn Bowls pre-Games medal target and resulted in their most successful Games ever.
Gold Coast 2018 – Record Breakers
The competition got underway on day one of the Games at the Broadbeach Bowls Club, a world-class venue which is regular host to the Australian National Championships and a range of top level
international events. And it proved to be an incredible nine days for Scotland’s bowlers on the hard baked greens, with 10 of them returning home with medals as they steadily accumulated two gold, two silver and a bronze, to become the most successful nation of all-time in Commonwealth Games Lawn Bowls.
There was a first ever medal for the Women’s Triples team, with Kay Moran, Stacey McDougall and Caroline Brown winning silver, and there was a bronze for Lesley Doig and Claire Johnston in the Women’s Pairs. Ronnie Duncan and Derek Oliver both made perfect Games debuts, being crowned double gold medallists. They won gold in the Men’s Triples, with 2014 Men’s Singles gold medallist Darren Burnett then in the Men’s Fours with Alex Marshall and Paul Foster.
Alex Marshall soon overcame the disappointment of losing out to Wales in the Pairs gold medal match, winning gold in the Fours to take his career tally to five gold and one silver and become Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete of all time, with teammate Paul Foster only just behind him with four gold and a silver, moving up to third.
Team Scotland also had entries in both para-sport Lawn Bowls events. Irene Edgar and her Director, David Thomas made a return to Team Scotland having won silver in Glasgow in the B2/B3 Mixed Pairs and teamed up this time around with Robert Barr, directed by Sarah Jane Ewing. They came agonisingly close to the medals, missing out 13-12 to Wales in the bronze medal match. In the B6/B7/B8 Open Triples, Michael Simpson was the sole returning member of the team that took fourth place in Glasgow and was joined by Mike Nicoll and Garry Brown. The trio finished fifth in the group stages, with the top four advancing to the semi-finals.