Alexander Stadium photo courtesy of Birmingham 2022
Jenny Selman spoke for all of our 33-strong Team Scotland cohort for the Commonwealth Games when she thanked the athletics community in Scotland for awesome support.
Expectations are running high for Birmingham 2022 with a strong team set to compete in track and field from Tuesday through to Sunday night.
And our #SALtogether ethos has very much been in evidence across our social channels, and even wider, since the Team Scotland selection announcement and then the final countdown over the past few days.
Head Coach Mark Pollard and Team Manager Julie Mollison head the staff group giving close-up practical backing to the athletes
Supporting Mark and Julie in key roles on the Team Staff are: Alison Grey, Robert Hawkins, Pamela Robson and Allan Scott.
Further scottishathletics staff were involved in the Holding Camp at Grangemouth over the past 10 days or so.
And Jenny stressed how the feelgood factor from further afield is having an impact.
‘I feel like the whole of the athletics community in Scotland is right behind every athlete with Team Scotland,’ said the Fife AC 800m runner, who is making her Commonwealth debut.
‘It has been lovely to get so many congratulations messages over the past couple of months. A lot of people are getting very excited!
‘Even just myself I know a large number of people who have made plans to travel down to Birmingham to support Scotland.
‘It’s great for us, as we complete the final preparations, to know we have that support both in person and online on social channels.’
Mark Pollard feels the Games offers another ‘moment of opportunity’ in the careers of athletes who have performed superbly to reach the required levels despite all the interruptions forced by the global pandemic.
‘We have a strong group of athletes who will go there with ambitions,’ he said.
‘There are no guarantees in elite sport – no ‘givens’ if you like – but they will go there seeking to do their very best for Scotland.
‘We’re looking to see as many as possible qualify for finals and then see how they can perform in that arena.
‘There may be three or four looking to give the best representation of themselves with ‘fire in the belly’ after Eugene – if they did not meet their own expectation there.
‘We have a congested calendar of international athletics this summer with all sorts of opportunity. The Worlds have just finished the Commonwealths are almost upon us and the Europeans are there in August.’
Mark Pollard and Julie Mollison (photos by Jeff Holmes)
Jake Wightman, Laura Muir and Nicole Yeargin flew to Britain with precious cargo after winning medals in Oregon and Mark feels that success can rub off on others.
‘It was a fantastic set of performances in Oregon from a number of the Scots with GB and NI.
‘We had Scots picking up individual medals at that level for the first time in over 30 years and we had others making finals and semi-finals.
‘Overall it was very positive to take through to Birmingham 2022 with the rest of the athletics team.
‘In athletics we are always looking for athletes to try and achieve a Personal Best at the right moment – in the final at the appointed hour and minute.
‘The current crop seem capable of that and Jake is the best example of that: he ran his lifetime best in Oregon to win the World Champs final.’
Photo by British Athletics/Getty Images
Photo by Jeff Holmes
Eilish McColgan is in her third Commonwealths with Team Scotland and is set to compete in both the 5000m and the 10,000m.
‘For us in Scotland the Commonwealth Games are important,’ said Eilish.
‘It’s special, it’s unique, it’s different and something we all want to do.
‘The standard in Scotland at distance events is getting stronger and stronger. A lot of us have grown up together – that’s part of what makes being part of Team Scotland a little bit special.
‘We have travelled the length and breadth of the country together, grown up together and we’re still here, still running fast and the standard is continuing to improve.’