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Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2005, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Cash boosts Commonwealth athletes
The Queen with the Commonwealth Games baton
The Commonwealth Games baton left Buckingham Palace in March
The quest for Scottish Commonwealth Games medal winners has received a timely million-pound boost.

A sportscotland grant of 1.4m has been unveiled to improve the chances of success at the 2006 event.

The money will be spent on ensuring athletes undertake the best possible training and preparation programmes ahead of the Melbourne championships.

Badminton, bowls, boxing, squash, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting, will all benefit from extra funding.

It will also help support the core infrastructure of each of the sports' governing bodies.

Countdown begins

Sports Minister Patricia Ferguson announced the award on Monday during a visit to the Commonwealth Boxing Championships at the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in Glasgow.

She said: "This funding will provide vital support to our top Commonwealth athletes, and along with additional medal enhancement funding it will help to maximise Scotland's medal winning potential for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne next year.

"As the countdown to London 2012 begins, we want to increase participation in sport at all levels.

"I am also delighted that some of this money will be used to support the development of grassroots sport, helping to create many more generations of inspired young athletes."

This will help ensure the athletes selected for the Scottish team have the right support in place when they embark on their quest for success down under
Louise Martin
Commonwealth Games Council

Julia Bracewell, chair of sportscotland, added: "We are delighted to award over 1m to these seven sports which will all feature heavily in the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

"With such an important year ahead for all these athletes, I am sure the Athlete Support funding, complemented by the medal enhancement funding will make a significant contribution to enable them to undertake the best possible training and preparation programme ahead of Melbourne."

Louise Martin, chair of Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland, described the funding as a "real boost at a key time when athletes are trying to meet Commonwealth Games selection standards."

She added: "In particular, this will help the Games Council continue its own preparations to ensure the athletes selected for the Scottish team have the right support in place when they embark on their quest for success down under."

The Queen handed the Commonwealth Games 2006 baton to supermodel Elle McPherson in March, launching the world's longest relay from Buckingham Palace.

The baton, carried by thousands of runners, will travel 110,000 miles through 71 countries on its way to Melbourne, Australia, for the games.

It contains a message from the Queen which will be read out at the opening ceremony on 15 March 2006.

The Queen's baton relay has been part of the games since 1958.


SEE ALSO:
Bid to put Scots athletes in lead
10 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Glasgow leads Scottish Games bid
24 Sep 04 |  Scotland
Sport's multi-million pound bonus
29 Jul 04 |  Scotland


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