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Support for Scots in Tokyo

The support system behind the Scots on Team GB

Scottish athletes will once again take centre stage over the coming weeks as Team GB go for gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

An incredible 53 Scottish athletes (32 female and 21 male) – the most ever at an overseas Olympic Games – will play their part for Team GB over 17 days of world-class action. Their participation at the delayed Games follows years of training and is testament to the hard work, dedication, skill and commitment of a range of people including coaches, family and friends and support staff.

Support delivers success

The continued success of Scottish athletes on the global stage follows years of investment and support from a range of organisations including sportscotland, UK Sport and a variety of Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport (SGBs). A total of 154 Scottish athletes are currently on UK Sport World Class programmes, which covers all funded summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic sports, underlining the strength of the system.

Also supporting the athletes has been the Team Behind the Team at the sportscotland institute of sport including physiotherapists, nutritionists, and sport scientists funded in part by The National Lottery and Scottish Government. Thanks to the continued support of The National Lottery and its players, £36million is raised each week to support good causes including sport at all levels from grassroots through to performance. 

Strengthening connections in sport

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many Scottish athletes taking part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after what has been an incredibly difficult period for everyone involved due to the pandemic.

“For many years we have been working with our partners to build a world-class sporting system in Scotland from grassroots right up to the highest levels such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"By strengthening the connections between school, club and community, and performance sport, pathways are developing to help athletes progress."

“That hard work will continue beyond the Games but for now the focus is rightly on all the competing athletes in Tokyo. I want to wish all the athletes and their support teams the very best of luck for what I’m sure will be another unforgettable event. 

Home grown talent

Director of High Performance at sportscotland, Mike Whittingham, said: “Performance athletes do not magically appear, it takes a whole support system of families, communities, coaches, volunteers, clubs, schools, sports, and sports scientists to create a Laura Muir or a Duncan Scott. 

“What is exciting to see is that so many of our stars are now home grown. Thanks to strategic investment of Scottish Government and National Lottery funding in facilities, coaching and sport science, they can train in their local communities, inspiring the next generation to achieve their personal best, at whatever level that might be.

“This will be a Games like no other. The athletes, coaches and support staff have faced significant disruption to their preparations for Tokyo, but they have risen to the challenge and are ready to deliver on the world stage.”

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