On Saturday (13 September 2008) the 44 athletes selected to represent Scotland at the third Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India 11-18 October 2008 gathered in Stirling to make their final preparations. The highlight for many was collecting their Commonwealth Youth Games kit, a symbol of the first time they will represent Scotland in a multi-sport Games and hopefully a taste of things to come.
Amongst those keen to get their hands on the kit, produced by Kukri specially for the team, were the three daughters of the past Commonwealth Games medallists Eilish McColgan (athletics 1500m), Lynsey Sharp (athletics 800m) and Jennifer McIntosh (shooting).
Enthusing about the kit and the forthcoming Games Eilish McColgan said: “The kit is in nice colours, it is good quality and it is great that it has the name of the event we’re going to and that we’re all wearing the same kit no matter what sport we’re competing in. It helps me feel part of the team.
“I’m really pleased to be selected, it’s a great achievement to be representing your country and it’s the highest standard of event that I’ve ever taken part in. I’ve never competed in a multi-sport event with an athletes’ village. It will be a good experience towards competing in the Commonwealth Games in future years, obviously with Glasgow 2014 as a target.”
Fellow athlete Lindsay Sharp is hoping to make up for disappointments earlier in the season when she goes to the Commonwealth Youth Games. “I did World Juniors this year but that was for GB. This feel s a bit more special because it’s Scotland, I feel more part of a team and representing Scotland I feel very proud. I did the 800m and got to the semis, I probably should have made the finals. I was disappointed there and so I want to make up for that in India.”
Shooter, Jennifer McIntosh is also looking forward to Pune: “This is the most important event of the year, I have been working towards it for two years and it means a lot to be selected, I’m really pleased to be in the team. I want to shoot well in India and after that hopefully go to Delhi and after that 2012 with any luck.
“I wanted to shoot at a really high standard since I was about three when my Mum won her medal.”
It is anticipated that many of the Scottish athletes, all of whom are under 18 years of age, who compete and win medals in Pune will go on to compete for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 and Glasgow 2014 and for Team GB in London 2012 when they should be at their competitive peak.
The team will leave for Pune from Glasgow Airport with Emirates Airlines on Friday 10 October 2008.