Och tosh! Scots test out Coast for Commonwealth training
THE Sunshine Coast is making a tilt for the kilt, as Scottish officials entertain basing themselves here in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Scottish team officials already have made one trip to the Coast, and their chief medical officer returned this week for a second round of reconnaissance as the Scots scouted the Coast as a possible training base for the Gold Coast Games.
Councillor Jason O'Pray said early discussions with Scottish officials had been positive, and a meeting with medical chief Dr Niall Elliott yesterday also was optimistic.
"We're trying our guts out to capitalise on it. We've got the Scottish welcome mat out," Cr O'Pray said.
"We've had two decision-makers come out and do a reccy and we've shown them facilities, and since then they've sent out a representative from their medical team with their head doctor who's in town at the moment.
"We haven't got them yet, but we're trying to get them.
"It's absolutely a positive thing that they've sent more staff out."
He said Scotland was one of several teams on the Coast's hitlist.
Others included New Zealand, England, Canada and South Africa.
A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman yesterday confirmed they had been working on Commonwealth Games-related opportunities on the Coast for the past 18 months.
"As part of a broader strategy to encourage sporting teams to train here in the lead-up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Council hosted members of the Scottish Commonwealth Games Association a few weeks ago," the spokesman said.
" This week its chief medical officer viewed a range facilities here on the Sunshine Coast. "However we are four years out from the Games, so it is still very early days.
"We have a lot of work to do with Scotland and other nations to get their teams to train here."
Commonwealth Games Forum member and University of the Sunshine Coast sports science professor Brendan Burkett agreed talks were moving along nicely, after meeting Dr Elliott yesterday.
"The CMO went around for his second visit today (Friday) and they were more than impressed," Prof Burkett said.
"It was very positive. They were blown away by our [USC] sports science facilities and staff."
Scotland had a 310-strong contingent at its home Games in Glasgow earlier this year, and if its athletes did stay on the Coast, they could drag up to five times that number abroad with them.
"Say their (Scotland's) team is about 300-strong, maybe a little less, they can bring up to 1000-1500 people with them," Cr O'Pray said.
"Once you count up staff, medical teams and family and friends, it's not just the 300 athletes."
The Daily was unable to contact Dr Elliott yesterday.
It was believed he was headed back to Scotland.
Comm Games countries Cr O'Pray would like to see on the Coast
- New Zealand,
- South Africa