Scotland will field a team in the Rhythmic Gymnastics competition at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the first time since 1998. The three women gymnasts were announced by Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) today, along with three further squash players to represent Team Scotland this summer.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is a visually stunning sport in which competitors require flexibility, technical skill and grace as they perform routines to music using different pieces of apparatus.
First introduced to the Commonwealth Games programme in 1990, Glasgow 2014 includes a Team competition with each gymnast performing up to four routines using different apparatus. It also acts as the qualifier for the individual events with the top 16 going through to the Individual All-Around competition, and the top eight in each piece of apparatus progressing to the Individual Apparatus finals in Ball, Clubs, Hoop and Ribbon.
CGS, in conjunction with Scottish Gymnastics, confirmed the selection of rhythmic gymnasts Rebecca Bee, Lauren Brash and Victoria Clow who will represent Scotland in the Team Event and look to compete for honours in five further medal events at the SSE Hydro from Thursday 24 to Saturday 26 July, 2014.
Rebecca Bee lives, trains and studies in Aberdeen. The 19-year-old was crowned 2014 Scottish Senior All-Around Champion, scoring highest for ribbon, but also setting the selection standard in the ball, clubs and hoop. She started in artistic gymnastics, but turned her focus to rhythmic gymnastics aged seven and has been competing in the sport ever since.
At just 15, Lauren Brash is the youngest member of the trio and Team Scotland’s youngest team member so far. A pupil at Deans Community High School in Livingston, she competed for Team GB at the European Junior Championships in 2012 and at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival. She has impressed selectors throughout 2013, culminating in two silver medals – in ribbon and overall - and one bronze medal in ball at the 2013 British Championships.
Glasgow-born Victoria Clow made her debut for Team Scotland at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games as a 16-year-old, finishing 14th in the Individual All-Around Final. Serious injury problems shortly after Delhi hampered her progress, but the 19-year-old signalled her return to form in style, crowned 2013 Scottish Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics All-Around Champion. She is a member of Pentland Rhythmic Gymnastics Club in Edinburgh andis now based in Essex, where she is studying Acting & Stage Combat.
Marion Sands, Scottish Gymnastics Rhythmic Coach, said:"I would like to offer my congratulations to the gymnasts and their personal coaches who have worked tirelessly to achieve this success, their selection today is the result of absolute commitment and dedication over a number of years. I am delighted that Scotland will be represented in the team competition at Glasgow 2014, the first time since 1998. It is fitting this will happen at a home games and I am sure the gymnasts will receive a tremendous boost from the home crowd support".
Photo credit: Alistair Devine