Dan Travers

Date: 20/03/2014

Dan was part of Scotland's first ever Commonwealth badminton team to win a gold medal at the 1986 home Games in Edinburgh. He has since successfully coached the 2002 Scottish badminton squad to Commonwealth Games bronze and is a current coach some of Badminton Scotland's junior squad.

In being one of only a few Scottish athletes to be crowned Commonwealth champion on home turf, Dan Travers knows just how big the buzz of a home Games can be.

And for Dan whose record-breaking performance with partner Billy Gilliland saw the pair bring home Scotland's first ever badminton team gold in Edinburgh in 1986, the Commonwealth Games will always remain the highlight of his career.

He said: "I still remember stepping off the plane in Canada in 1978 at my first Commonwealth Games. The excitement of being part of such a big event was like nothing I had ever experienced before and I knew that this would only be the start of my Commonwealth journey. The whole thing absolutely blew me away.

"But the highlight of my entire career was undoubtedly winning gold at the 1986 Edinburgh Games, although the pressure was huge, being in front of a home crowd when we did win was phenomenal. There was immediate euphoria from everyone involved and to share that joy with friends and family was just incredible. I can't even put it into words."

Growing up in Glasgow, Dan first found badminton upon joining a local sports group at St Paul's Church Hall in the city's east end.

Despite some ups and downs in his formative training years, at the age of eighteen and with several junior titles under his belt, Dan made the decision to dedicate his life to the sport and his career quickly gained momentum:

"It took me a bit of time to fully realise that I wanted to follow a sporting career but when I did, I gave it my all. It was when I teamed up with Billy Gilliland after the returning from the Games in '78, that things really started to happen for us. We travelled all over the world and had a lot of success but the pinnacle really was representing Scotland and securing that gold in 1986."

And while Dan still sees his home win as his most memorable achievement, his Commonwealth journey has seen him go on to create a personal legacy in the sporting world too - coaching the Scottish team to Commonwealth bronze in 2002 and now showing Badminton Scotland's junior squad the ropes in how they can succeed in the sport.

He said: "It has been a real pleasure for me to work with up and coming players and tell them my story, it's a fantastic to be able to give back to the sport that has given me so much and I hope that it helps show these young players that success really is achievable.

I'm sure the Games coming to Scotland will only go to inspire even more people to get active too. For minority sports in particular, the Commonwealth Games showcases that there are so many options out there. I think opening the nation's eyes to what is available right on our doorstep will inspire more people to get out and get active and that is the best way to create a legacy from these Games. Nobody does it better than Scotland - I can't wait!"