After much excitement, anticipation and preparation, the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games are set to get underway in the Bahamas tomorrow. Team Scotland’s 40 athletes will march out together at Tuesday night’s Opening Ceremony which will take place at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, centrepiece of the main Youth Games sports hub.
The team, who will compete in seven of the nine sports on the Bahamas 2017 programme, will be led out by Boxing’s Lewis Johnstone, who was nominated as the 2017 flag bearer by his fellow athletes at the team’s preparation camp in July.
Johnstone, who will take to the ring for his first bout on Wednesday is looking forward to carrying the flag for his country and added: “The last few days have been absolutely amazing, seeing all of the other teams arriving has made the whole thing become a reality for me.
“I keep saying it, but this is really going to be one of the proudest moments in my sporting career. I have been talking to all of the different sports in Team Scotland which is a lot of fun. Normally at boxing events we keep to ourselves but it is great fun being part of a bigger team.”
Judo and Beach Volleyball will kick off the sporting action for Team Scotland on the first day of the Games, with both sports making their Commonwealth Youth Games debut at Bahamas 2017. It will be a busy day for Scotland’s top young Judo players, who will compete throughout the day on Tuesday before joining in the opening celebrations at the National Stadium.
The Judo team have been working hard since arriving on the island and, with multiple training sessions already under their belt, Emma Forrest is confident the team can be successful: “We have been working extremely hard in preparation for this competition and now it’s just a case of getting out there and showing that the hard work has been worth it for us. It has taken some adjusting since arriving, with the temperature and conditions being different to home. Now I am just really looking forward to the competition and representing Team Scotland.”
Scotland’s Beach Volleyball pair will also be in action on the first day as they take to the sand for their opening fixture against Vanuatu. Emma Waldie will partner with Jennifer Lee and is excited about what the next five days might hold for them: “We cannot wait to get the tournament started, we know that we have been grouped with Jamaica and Vanuatu in the first round so we have two challenging games ahead. We don’t know either of the teams extremely well but we will be taking it one game at a time and are hoping we can do Scotland proud.”
The rest of Team Scotland will be in action from Wednesday onwards with Scotland being represented in Aquatics, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling and Tennis.
General Team Manager, Colin Gregor, said: “It will be such a proud moment for each and every member of Team Scotland to march out in the Opening Ceremony alongside their peers from around the Commonwealth. The excitement is building ahead of the start of the Games and I’m sure the whole team will be right behind our Judo and Beach Volleyball athletes as they take to the competitive arena tomorrow.
“I wish all our athletes the best of luck over the next six days of competition and I know that they will do themselves and Scotland proud.”