"Enoy yourself, enjoy the experience .. go with an open head and take it all in". That's the advice world champion and Commonwealth gold medallist Liz McColgan has given her daughter Eilish as she heads for London to join the British Olympic team.
Eilish, 21, will compete in the 3,000 metre steeplechase in early August. But as her proud mum says "There is no pressure on her, she just needs to run to the best of her ability and her best result will be getting to the final." Eilish only achieved the qualifying A standard this year after recovering from injury and her place in the team was not confirmed until earlier this month.
Happily STV cameras had been following her preparations, along those of five other young Scots hopefuls for the Olympic and Paralympic games, all the way along for a one-off programme, The Scots Going For Gold, sponsored by Bank of Scotland, which is broadcast tonight on STV on Wednesday 25 July at 8pm.
The other five are swimmer Craig Benson; lightweight boxer Josh Taylor; handball player Lynn McCafferty; canoeist Tim Baillie and wheelchair rugby player Mike Kerr. Gaining an insight into their demanding training sessions, we witness first hand the effort, ambition and determination it takes to compete at the very top level. All six athletes have been selected to represent Team GB or ParalympicsGB for the first time.
The Scots Going For Gold shows the trials and tribulations that the athletes and their families face as they gear up for the Games. Craig can’t drive, so his parents have to rise with the sun to drive him to his training sessions at 5am each morning. Lynn and her husband Gary have never actually lived together properly since they got married six years ago. They are planning a long overdue honeymoon after the Games. Tim was unsuccessful in qualifying for the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games and he and his parents reflect on the time effort and money dedicated to getting him on the GB Team. All have their stories
The programme delves into the challenges our hopefuls face as they strive to compete at the biggest event of their lives. As the clock runs down to the Games, The Scots Going For Gold shows us exactly why these six athletes made the team!
Liz, who recently appeared in STV's Too Good to Waste programme and will be seen again in a new programme called Coached off the Couch later in the year, promised that Eilish would learn a lot simply by being part of the build-up, the procedures and just running with people who are 30 seconds faster her over the 3,000 metres.
"I expect her to be a podium athlete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in two years time and we are looking forward to Rio in four years time by whcih time she will be four years older, a different person, a different athlete," she said.
As part of Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland is Proud Partner for Scotland of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Sarah Cran, head of sponsorship, Bank of Scotland said: “Bank of Scotland is proud to support Team GB and ParalympicsGB. The Scots Going For Gold is testament to the skill and dedication required of those athletes who have been selected to represent their country at London 2012. We’re also delighted to see so many of our Bank of Scotland Local Heroes selected for Team GB and ParalympicsGB and wish all GB athletes the very best of luck.”
Follow The Scots Going for Gold on Twitter #scotsgold.
The Scots Going For Gold – 8pm, Wednesday 25 July 2012 on STV