As Rhona Callander, Dylan Hughes and Stephen Dent get prepared for the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas next week we spoke to Grant Ferguson in between Mountain Bike World Cups to reminisce on his Youth Games experience…
The Scottish Mountain Biker hasn’t always competed in the discipline – riding the Time Trial, Road, and Criterium events for Team Scotland in 2011 on the Isle of Man – he didn’t fair too badly, coming 11th ,5th and 6th.
“The Youth Games was a brilliant experience, I was in my 2nd year as a Junior when I was selected to go and had just finished school. I was racing a lot that summer, in Spain, at World Cups and European Championships – I was pretty much racing every weekend.
Four of us went in the cycling team, Jack Barrett, Taylor Johnson, Stuart McCluskey and me – looking back we were young, no room for nerves because we were so excited. It is also such a relaxing atmosphere being part of Team Scotland!”
Grant is no stranger to travelling, racing and pretty major events – and with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Rio Olympics under his belt he has a pretty good idea of what multi-sport events are like.
“Multi-sport events have a totally different atmosphere to when you go to your own discipline championships, for example. You meet so many different people from different sports; I made so many friends in the Isle of Man that I still speak to now. I also remember getting to do a tour of the island after competition was finished!
Charlie Flynn was competing at the Youth Games boxing, I still remember watching and being in awe! He then smashed it at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games which was amazing!
The Youth Games definitely helped me in my preparation for Glasgow 2014 and meant I had already experienced the village atmosphere so I couldn’t let it distract me. I really enjoy representing Scotland – there is something so special about it.”
With the next Commonwealth Games only 8 months away, Grant has already been working towards booking his place on the flight to the Gold Coast.
“I have already done two qualifying runs in the last two World Cups to meet the selection criteria for Team Scotland next year – I have been slowly getting faster as the season has gone on and with two World Cups to go this season, I am feeling pretty good.”
…And advice for Rhona, Dylan and Stephen?
“Learn as much as possible – you already know how to race, it is just enjoying the different atmosphere of a multi-sport games without it distracting you from competition. Good luck!”
Quick fire question time
|You watch…||Star Wars||Ermmm…Still Star Wars|
|You listen to…||My iPod!||Nothing…(my iPod broke!)|
|You eat..||A LOT||Still A LOT (but much healthier)|
|Sporting role model||Chris Hoy||Chris Hoy (I am a fan!)|
|Dream holiday destination||Everywhere||Probably Hawaii, I haven’t been there yet…|
You can find out more about the Youth Games, and find out how Rhona, Dylan and Stephen answered the same questions above by clicking here.