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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 14:36 GMT
Athletics becoming sport's hot ticket
Geoff Wightman, chief executive of Scottish Athletics, sets out his vision of what the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will mean for the sport and for Scotland as a whole.

Scottish Athletics home page
Congratulations to the Glasgow 2014 Bid team.

I watched the Sri Lanka announcement with our Performance Manager, Nigel Hetherington, on BBC TV in the lobby of sportscotland's HQ.

That gathering was different to most of the party venues around Scotland because it comprised some of the governing bodies of the sports that will be central to 2014.

We are the ones that are tasked with delivering Scottish teams that will produce the stadium roars seven years from now.

That little envelope contained the biggest challenge of our working lives.

As the number one sport and hottest ticket at both Olympic and Commonwealth level, athletics will be the most geared up to take a lead on this.

Total representation

We have been working towards this opportunity for some time. Our Board and Management Committee has a straightforward vision and ambition for 2014.

It is to have 100% Scottish representation in every athletics discipline in Glasgow.

That is a huge aspiration for our sport, especially in events where we have historically been under-represented.

In Edinburgh 1986, with fewer competing teams, Scotland had 56 athletes. To get double that number into the team on merit would mean that medals would follow.

Geoff Wightman
It will require a huge collective effort from our sport to deliver on our potential. Be part of it

For the past two Commonwealth Games, we have relied heavily for our occasional finalists and medallists heavily on the generation that school PE forgot, without the depth of performance across the sport to back their efforts up.

The good news is that the young guns are already on their way.

The current teenage generation of Scottish athletes is already beginning to make its mark and this announcement will be an incredible motivation to all of them.

Between 1973 and 1980, Seb Coe went from national schools champion to Olympic champion.

We all have a responsibility to create an environment where more of Scotland's coaches and athletes are able to make a similar seven-year journey.

Between now and then, there is another Commonwealth Games, numerous World and European Championships in different age groups and disciplines, as well as two Olympic Games.

Each of them will help shape the Scotland team that will step into Hampden in August 2014.

It will require a huge collective effort from our sport to deliver on our potential. Be part of it.

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