Commonwealth Games: Midlothian athletes hoping to sparkle

Ellie Russell part of handful of Midlothian athletes competing at Gold Coast (picture:PSB Photography)
Ellie Russell part of handful of Midlothian athletes competing at Gold Coast (picture:PSB Photography)

For Midlothian’s top sportsmen and women the waiting is finally over as they get set to compete in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Flying the flag for the area are bowlers Ronnie Duncan and Stacey McDougall, beach volleyball star Robin Miedzybrodzki and talented teenage gymnast Ellie Russell.

Ellie (15) is the youngest of the Midlothian participants and will be competing in the artistic gymnastics after achieving qualification standard and being nominated for selection.

The talented teenager from Newbattle High is part of the national performance programme, was the Scottish junior women’s all-around champion for the last two years and qualified for two apparatus finals in the same age category at last year’s British Championships.

Her stock continues to rise, winning gold on vault and silver on asymmetric bars and beam in her first time competing at senior level at the Scottish national artistic gymnastic championships in March.

Ellie’s coach is Sandy Richardson from West Lothian Artistic Gymnastics Club and she also has a mentor at school in maths teacher Emma Bruce who helps with co-ordinating her schooling and training schedule.

In lawn bowls Bonnyrigg’s Ronnie and Dalkeith’s Stacey will take to the greens at Broadbeach Bowling Club.

Both Ronnie and Stacey are no strangers to winning titles and have successfully competed in many major tournament in recent years.

Ronnie (34) finished third in the 2017 World Cup singles, he was the 2016 Scottish Indoor singles champion and he was runner-up in the 2016 World Indoor pairs. He was also the 2015 British Isles indoor pairs champion.

Stacey (27), who also competes for Midlothian Indoor BC, holds winners titles for the 2015 British and Scottish Junior singles, the 2015 British and Scottish Junior Fours, and the 2015 Atlantic Rim fours.

Robin (33) will be making history at the Gold Coast as he becomes one of the first Commonwealth Games athletes to compete in beach volleyball when the sport makes its debut.

Robin, from Loanhead, will partner Seain Cook at the Coolangatta Beachfront. Robin and Seain beat Cypriot opponents in September to qualify for these Games.

Robin said: “It is the cumulation of years of hard work and I can’t wait to get on court and pull on the Scotland vest.”