‘No overnight successes in our eight Scots for Budapest’ – Mark Pollard

Sunday 30th July 2023

Flashback . . . Eilish McColgan and Laura Muir compete at the Scottish Unis event at Grangemouth back in April 2012 (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Eight Scots picked for World Champs

Mark Pollard has hailed the eight-strong Scottish representation on the British team for the World Champs in Budapest as a huge positive for our sport.

And the scottishathletics Head of Performance again under-lined how selections for global events are earned by athletes after many years of hard work – with coaches and clubs influental on the pathway, too.

‘I think it is a really positive representation for athletics in Scotland and ourselves (as governing body) in terms of Scots on a GB and NI team for the World Champs,’ said Mark.

‘It is just good to see a strong combination of established, seasoned international athletes alongside a couple of younger ones making their debut at this kind of level in track and field.

‘I think it is huge for athletics in Scotland.

‘We always make the point on these occasions around selections that it is not an overnight success.

‘If you look at some of the established names there then they have been operating at a high level for the best part of a decade, really. They have been putting in the hard graft year upon year upon year. That is what it takes.

‘Coaches are integral to that, of course, and the clubs and support teams at all points along the way. There have been key coaches on that journey at clubs and then current set-ups who are influential, too.

‘So there are a number of factors at play and then, with younger ones like Megan and Alyson, it is about seizing the opportunity almost immediately after winning medals at the European U23 Champs in Finland. They won medals there and picked up important international experience.

‘We have Scots now who have won medals at major championships and competed really well in any company. There will be a few there heading to Budapest very firmly believing they can contend for the podium.

‘The likes of the GAA Miler Meets are important on the pathway. Jemma, Josh, Neil and Laura were here at one stage in their journey.

‘It is a great stepping stone.

‘We’ve appointed Sam O’Kane now to the new role of National Manager for Field and Combined Events. We want to try and stimulate progress in those other event groups and help it to grow over the coming years.’


Tags: Budapest, Mark Pollard

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