Commonwealth Games: Achieve 2014 targets emerging talent

By Keir MurrayBBC Sport Scotland
Interviews: Achieve 2014 programme director Alan Lynn, lawn bowler Carrie McLean and swimmer Craig Bowman

Commonwealth Games Scotland has launched a programme to help young athletes and their coaches benefit from Glasgow hosting the Games this summer.

Achieve 2014 is intended to build on the success of the scheme instigated at the Delhi Games four years ago.

"We're up to about 90 athletes and coaches at the moment," programme director Alan Lynn told BBC Scotland.

"And we're close to double figures of mentors who will be assisting their learning process throughout the Games."

The programme is targeting sporting success at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa and in St Lucia two years later, plus the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast.

The Achieve programme involved 28 Scottish athletes when it was first rolled out at the Delhi Games in 2010.

"The Delhi version of Achieve proved to be very successful and we are expecting similar success with Achieve 2014," said Lynn.

"Weightlifter Georgi Black, long jumper Jade Nimmo, Michael Bremner, who is hoping to make the hockey squad, Ross Muir in the swimming team - they were with the Achieve programme in Delhi.

"Several of the coaches who were there are now head coaches and several of the mentors are now team managers."

Among the athletes at the launch in Glasgow were 12-year-old Scottish artistic gymnastics champion Louise McColgan, swimmer Craig Bowman, who has been selected to race at the European Junior Championships, Connall McDonald, ranked the best 91kg youth boxer in Britain, and world under-25 bowls champion Carrie McLean.

Bowman, who left school this week, came within 0.4 seconds of qualifying for Team Scotland for this year's Games but retains hopes of making the qualifying time.

"There's another chance to qualify in five weeks' time at the North District Grand Prix so I'll give that my best shot," said the 100m butterfly specialist.

"With Achieve 2014 I'll get to watch how the top athletes perform.

"Hopefully I'll get to pick up some tips from the best, which will allow me to improve my performances."

The programme is being funded by Commonwealth Games Scotland and sponsor Search Consultancy, who worked together to identify athletes from the Games sports.

Lynn promised that Bowman and his fellow Achieve athletes would "get a unique experience" this summer.

He said: "They will either get to the opening ceremony or the closing ceremony, they will see their own sport and various other sports during the Games and, probably the highlight for all, will be the visit to the Commonwealth Games village where they will get to meet the Scotland team, see the dining hall and see the array of stars from across the Commonwealth.

"That is an opportunity that no-one else will get until they make the team."

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