Alisha Rees has described her selection for Birmingham 2022 as ‘full circle’ after racing for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Youth Games as a teenager.
The Scottish Women’s 100m Record holder has been picked for the short sprint at the Alexander Stadium and as part of a first female 4x100m relay team for 36 years.
Rees broke Helen Golden’s mark to clinch a qualifying standard for the individual event and has revealed she would love to continue to be a role model for young athletes back at her first club, Banchory Stonehaven AC, and indeed others across the athletics community in Scotland.
‘Being selected to represent Scotland at the Commonwealths has been my main aim this season so it was great when the team was confirmed,’ said Alisha, who is coached by Leon Baptiste.
‘I cannot wait to go out there and represent Team Scotland in Birmingham as I think it is going to be a really special occasion.
‘I have come full circle. Ever since I went to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in 2015, it felt as if the next big step would be to go to a full Team Scotland selection for a Commonwealth Games. So I am really happy I have managed to achieve selection.
‘I can’t wait to get out there and showing everyone what I’ve got.’
Alisha captained Scotland at the DNA International at the Emirates Arena back in February and she broke her own 60m Record during the Indoor Season.
Outdoors, Golden’s 11.40 mark was a big target.
‘It has been my best ever year and very positive,’ added the 23-year-old.
‘Looking back already and I was at DNA and named Scotland captain and then I broke the Scottish Women’s Record at 100m, held by Helen Golden.
‘That was something I had in mind for quite some time and when I ran it I also got the Commonwealth Games qualifying time.
‘It’s pretty cool to be known as the fastest Scottish female sprinter ever! But I think I can improve on that. There were windy times at the British Champs but I still ran fast – and it was three solid races in a row which was good to put together.’
Alisha in action at the Commonwealth Youth Games
Eilish McColgan was among the pre-selected athletes after strong performances at the Olympics and mentioned at that time that Team Scotland would be ‘friends reunited‘.
It seems it will apply across the sprint division as well as endurance . . .
‘Beth Dobbin and I are very good friends in Loughborough and we were excited awaiting the Team Scotland selection news.
‘We were aware the calls were going in to athletes who had made it and we were messaging each other ‘are you selected?’
‘It’s so good we are both there. I look up to Beth for what she has achieved and she is a friend I can go to all the time and when I am struggling with my athletics or need help then she is there for me.
‘Carys (McAulay) is there for the 4x400m Relay, too, and we were at those Commonwealth Youth Games together a number of years ago.
‘Prior to that I was with Banchory Stonehaven and being coached by Willie Russell. We trained on a grass track!
‘I am still close to the club and I always go and see Willie when I am back home. I am always happy to talk to young athlete there and if I am inspiring them then that’s another bonus from selection.
‘You can always make steps up – even from a smaller club and a grass track.’
Alisha Rees and Beth Dobbin at Loughborough earlier this summer, after competing in the Birmingham Diamond League the previous day (photo by Bobby Gavin)