Wednesday, 3 October 2012
While this morning's papers report on Chris Hoy's delight at having a brand new velodrome emblazoned with his name and ready well in advance of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, my thoughts turned to another sport.
It's tennis. Scotland has the best tennis player since records began yet tennis isn't included in the list of sports for Glasgow 2014. For years it's been on the list of approved optional sports and has featured in every Commonwealth Youth Games programme, but it didn't make an appearance in a full Games programme until the 2010 Commonwealth Games when Jocelyn Rae and Colin Fleming (both Scotland) won gold in the mixed doubles. Then a total of 23 nations were represented by at least one player in either the men's singles, women's singles or mixed doubles. Scotland provided 2 in the singles and 2 in the doubles.
There may be problems achieving the attendance of the 'big' players owing to their 12-month international schedules, but surely that should not have deterred the decision makers from including the sport in the Glasgow programme. Sadly Rae and Fleming will now not be able to defend their title.
Cycling is, like tennis, another optional sport. In 2010 Scotland won one gold, one silver and one bronze and on the back of that result a new velodrome was built.
I admit I'm an ardent fan of Andy Murray but I'm saddened to note that his own country decided not to include his sport in the 2014 programme. It doesn't say much for the politicians and others who have recently been standing in line to praise Andy's superb achievements does it?