Globe-trotter Hazel Ross has flown halfway round the world to compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International – and wear the Scotland vest.
For Aberdeen-based middle distance runner, Myles Edwards, an appearance at the Emirates Arena will meanwhile complete a personal journey which has spanned 17 years in athletics.
And teenagers Cameron Tindle and Kelsey Stewart have been excused from a gathering of the scottishathletics Youth Academy at Celtic Park in the morning, because they are on Senior International duty across the road at the Emirates in Glasgow’s east end.
A youthful and inexperienced Scotland team will take on GB and NI, France and Germany with one of the main targets being for each athlete to try and achieve a PB or SB in front of a packed stadium.
For sprint hurdler Ross, there’s a huge incentive to do well – with the Vancouver student set to fly back to Canada on Sunday morning!
‘I am really looking forward to wearing the Scotland vest and am excited about it,’ said Ross, who will compete in the 60m hurdles. The VP-Glasgow athlete won the Scottish 100m hurdles title at Kilmarnock last summer.
‘I am studying at Trinity Western University in Canada at the moment. When the offer to run came through, I was in Vancouver with my coach and due to head to training in Arizona.
‘It was a big decision with some of the expense involved but my parents are helping me out and I wanted to do it if I could – after running for Scotland in Loughborough last May for the first time.
‘I went to Arizona and then was back in Canada on January 8 to resume classes and earlier this week I flew back to Glasgow for the competition. I’m on a plane again on Sunday morning after the race on Saturday – it will be about a 16-hour journey!’
Aberdeen AAC athlete Edwards was handed his 1500m chance when Cameron Boyek had to withdraw through injury.
‘I was dancing around the room when I got the message asking me to compete for Scotland,’ Myles, 26, told the Press and Journal newspaper. He once ran in the Mini Marathon in London as a 12-year-old but now makes a Senior debut.
‘I didn’t expect it because Cameron had been selected. The call-up will only make me even more determined to work harder and keep trying to improve.’
Earlier this week, Edwards was training on a treadmill in his garage and tweeted:
‘Since I joined Aberdeen AAC at the age of nine I have dreamed of competing for Scotland.’
scottishathletics Director of Coaching Rodger Harkins wants the team to feed off the enthusiasm of their selections and the crowd at the Emirates and see if they can land personal best sof season’s bests against tough opposition.
‘I see Saturday as a real opportunity for athletes to gain experience at this kind of level,’ said Harkins.
‘We don’t compete all that often as a Scotland team internationally other than the Commonwealth Games, which of course only comes around once in a four-year cycle.
‘So we have to look to take advantage of an event like the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International and see if people can come up with a Personal Best or a Season’s Best via the platform of competing against top athletes from countries like Germany and France.
‘Yes, we’ve a couple of teenagers in there but those promising youngsters have merited selection. We’ve also already seen some very good indoor performances by Scottish athletes this winter so that gives some of them something to try and improve on come Saturday.
‘For the athletics public in Scotland, I think it is a good opportunity to see people they know from our clubs and from National events competing in an International context. That should be exciting as we take on GB and NI, France and Germany.’
*Legacy will happen at the Emirates across the weekend with around one thousand young Scottish athletes set to compete there over the two days. Saturday’s International combines with Scottish Junior Club:Connect Relays at U13, U15 and U17 with 156 teams entered.
Then, the following day, more than 400 U12s from the length and breadth of Scotland will compete in the superTEAMS event which sees each child take part in four different events.