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WILL CLARK – Highland clubs should take pride in Commonwealth Games athletes success

By Will Clark

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THE Commonwealth Games ends tonight and it was particularly a big success for Highland athletes who took home a combined haul of five medals.

Ellie Stone won silver and bronze medal.
Ellie Stone won silver and bronze medal.

Aviemore cyclist Ellie Stone was the most successful athlete as she claimed two medals from the velodrome.

Acting as a pilot for partially sighted para-athlete Aileen McGlynn, they won a silver medal in the B tandem sprint as well the bronze in the tandem B 1000 metre time trial.

It was a dream debut at the Games for the former Inverness Harriers sprint athlete.

But she was not the only one to leave the Commonwealth Games with a medal around her neck.

Malin Wilson.
Malin Wilson.

Ullapool judo athlete Malin Wilson claimed a bronze medal at the Coventry Arena after scoring a golden point in an epic encounter with Lele Nairne from England.

Wilson previously trained at clubs at Ullapool, Invergordon, Alness and Inverness, before moving to Edinburgh to train full-time with Judo Scotland and now lives in Spain.

The medal haul continued on the final two days.

Finn Crockett
Finn Crockett

Strathpeffer cyclist Finn Crockett won a bronze in the men’s road race on Sunday.

He started his career at Square Wheels Cycling Club in Strathpeffer and Ben Wyvis Cycling Club before going on to compete with road racing teams at a national level.

The medal haul was completed yesterday morning when squash star Greg Lobban from North Kessock won a bronze medal in the men’s doubles with Rory Stewart from Perth.

Squash player Greg Lobban. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Squash player Greg Lobban. Picture: Callum Mackay..

Lobban, along with Munlochy’s Alan Clyne who also competed at the Games, both started their careers at Inverness Squash Club.

A total of 14 athletes from the Highlands and Moray took part at the Commonwealth Games.

They included Dingwall’s Jacob Henry and Paddy Kelly from Inverness in the rugby sevens, helping Scotland reach the quarter finals of the tournament.

Munlochy athlete Kirsty Law finished in seventh place in the discus final at the Alexander Stadium.

Hammer thrower Mark Dry from Burghead was also at the athletics stadium when he finished in 10th place.

Alness cyclist Kyle Gordon’s games finished early when he suffered a shoulder injury after being involved in a pile up in the men’s 15km race.

Forres cyclist Lauren Bell was also in action in the velodrome, with Keith sprinter Rebecca Matheson was in the Scotland team in the 4x100 metres final.

Elgin couple Cameron Main and Sophia Green both represented Scotland in triathlon.

Whether athletes came home with a medal or not, they should all prove an inspiration to aspiring athletes in the north.

Despite geography, young athletes should look at what they have achieved and not see location as a barrier.

Yes, athletes eventually may leave the area to progress their careers where there are greater opportunities, but clubs in the Highlands and Moray should be seen as the perfect platform to launch their careers.

Sports clubs in the Highlands and Moray should take great pride in helping these athletes on the way to what they have achieved.

Hopefully it will inspire future stars to go as far as they can reach too.

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