A University of Stirling sports staff member has been selected for the Youth Team Scotland general management team for the 4th Commonwealth Youth Games.
Sports Participation Co-ordinator Gail Niven will fulfil the role of Deputy General Team Manager at the Games in the Isle of Man from 7-13 September 2011.
Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) announced the nine volunteer support staff, which includes Gail as one of two deputy managers working alongside Youth Team Manager Vicky Strange to support the 43 Scottish athletes aged 14-18.
“I will be supporting the Team Manager to ensure the athletes and coaches can perform to their highest level,” explained Gail, who joined the University of Stirling in 1995, completing a Masters degree in Education whilst working at the Gannochy Sports Centre.
“I am really looking forward to be part of Team Scotland and to use my skills to support young athletes to achieve their goals. The Games represent an exciting stepping stone for them looking ahead to Glasgow 2014 and it is up to us to ensure they have a positive experience.”
Gail, originally from Dumfries, co-ordinates the many weekly sports classes at the University whilst also running a strength and conditioning programme for the men’s performance footballers.
And having previously acted as team co-ordinator for a number of trips abroad, including the Stirling women’s golfers visit to Florida for the 2010 Orange Blossom Tour, she has plenty of ‘tour’ experience.
She added: “The key will be in preparing fully before we head out to the Games themselves. It is a really exciting opportunity and it fits in well with the work I’ve been doing at the University. Hopefully I can play a part in supporting these athletes along the development pathway.”
Scottish athletes have won more than 100 medals at the three previous games in Edinburgh, Bendigo in Australia and Pune in India. Many have gone on to compete and win medals for the senior team, including 2010 Delhi swimmers Hannah Miley, Robbie Renwick and shooting star Kay Copland.
The 2011 Games comprise seven sports: Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Swimming and Rugby 7s. Commonwealth Games Scotland is currently working with the sports to confirm selection policies for athletes, while it also hopes to confirm sports leaders and coaches early in the New Year.
Sports Participation Manager Judith Ramsay welcomed Gail’s selection. She said: “We are delighted Gail has been selected. She has worked with a number of young high performance athletes at the University of Stirling and this will be a fantastic experience to support them as they compete in the international arena.”
Jon Doig, CGS Chief Executive, said: “We were extremely impressed with the number and quality of applicants for these posts. We had a difficult job, but we are confident we have selected a strong, experienced team which will also give a number of people new to Commonwealth Games an important development opportunity.”