Chris Baillie

Date: 26/02/2014

Chris Baillie is a Scottish hurdler from Old Kilpatrick who brought home silver for Team Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. He has since competed in Delhi 2010 and hopes to represent his country again in 2014.

Hurdler Chris Baillie's first foray into a big multi-sport event was the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Just four years later, he secured silver for Team Scotland in Melbourne 2006, arriving home to a hero's welcome.

He said: "I was only 21 when I went to my first Commonwealth Games in Manchester so the whole thing really did inspire me. It was fantastic to be part of such a massive event and I knew I wanted to have that experience again.

"I worked hard on my training to get to Melbourne and although it was a long road, it was definitely worth it for that silver medal. Standing on the podium for Scotland was a big moment for me and to then come back home to a cheering crowd at the airport showed just how much we achieved. It was amazing."

Growing up in the small town of Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire, sport was always a big part of Chris' life and something his whole family were passionate about.

Joining his first athletics club in nearby Clydebank aged just nine, the keen athlete tried out many different sports before making the decision to focus on hurdles in his late teens.

And despite it now being seven years since his medal win in Melbourne, Chris remembers the day as if it was yesterday.

He continued: "I had actually been injured in the run up to 2006 so to actually be there at all was huge. In fact, I was really nervous about even getting through the heats so when I did and broke a Scottish Record in the process, I started to feel more confident.

"There was an eight hour gap between the heats and the final which was tough but I tried to keep as calm as possible and when I walked out to the 80,000 strong crowd, it was unbelievable, there were so many Scottish flags around the stadium!

"I enjoyed the moment but as soon as I stepped on the start line, all I could think about was crossing that finish line as quickly as I could and luckily I managed it. To get that medal, not just for me but for my country was incredible, it felt so much bigger than anything else I had done before."

Since his win in 2006, Chris has continued to compete at an international level and again represented Team Scotland in Delhi 2010. As an athletics coach, he has also continued to take great enjoyment from sharing his experiences with young athletes and constantly gives back to the sport which has given him so much.

Having been involved in the Glasgow bid from the start, Chris now has his sights very much set on 2014. He doesn't just hope to be there as a contender himself but that Scots on the whole feel inspired by the Games coming here and choose to be part of it.

He said: "I would absolutely love to go to the 2014 Games and knowing that they are going to be on home soil is definitely pushing me on to try and qualify.

"From my own experience in coaching, I see the Games are already proving a big motivation amongst young athletes and I hope this drive is shared across the country on the back of the event itself. Sport really can give you so much more than just fitness, it's about learning how to set goals, building a positive attitude and striving to achieve. These are all important attributes in life and I hope more Scots recognise how beneficial sport can be and make sure to get involved in the opportunities arising from hosting the Games here."