George Watson’s College interest in the Commonwealth Games was at many levels, as spectators, sportsmen and women and as volunteers.
Pupils, members of staff, former pupils and parents all displayed some ex corde caritas or love from the heart and joined in volunteering as Clydesiders to help make Glasgow 2014 such a success, or took part in the Opening Ceremony.
Former pupils were out in force for Team Scotland. Craig Hamilton (Class of 2009) won a silver medal in 4 x 200m Swimming freestyle relay; Harry Leitch (Class of 2003) reached the bronze medal play-off in the Squash men’s doubles (with a broken foot); Athlete Jayne Nisbet (Class of 2006) qualified for the high jump final ending up in tenth position; Sarah Jones (Class of 2001) reached the bronze medal play-off in the Wrestling (69kg); and Patrick Dawson (Class of 2006) reached the bronze medal contests in Judo (73kg).
Watson’s has enjoyed a great deal of success at hockey over the last few years and we were delighted when we found out that both Scotland’s hockey teams were to be captained by Watsonians. PE Teacher Linda Clement captained the Women’s team to finish sixth in the tournament, and then announced her retirement from international hockey after an awesome 241 caps. Meanwhile, Chris Grassick (Class of 2008) led his team to eighth position in the competition.
But it was Diving at the Royal Commonwealth Pool where much of the Watson’s interest was focussed, as the two Scotland divers were our pupils – Grace Reid, who as a member of the Class of 2014 had only left at the start of the summer and James Heatly (now in S6).
Both took part in both the 1m and 3m springboard disciplines, and dived consistently against strong competition.
James was up first and was the youngest in the competition. He qualified for the 1m springboard final after setting a personal best of 317.65 in the qualifying competition in the morning. A further personal best of 345.60 in the final put him in ninth place. The next morning he was in action in the 3m springboard competition scoring 397.65 and qualifying in fifth place. 393.35 points in the final resulted in eighth place.
Grace, a veteran of Commonwealth Games having participated in Delhi 2010 as the youngest member of Team Scotland at age 14, started her competitions with a personal best of 257.90 and seventh position in the qualifying round of the 1m springboard. Later that day she came fifth in the final with 269.40 points. 281.80 in the preliminary round of the 3m springboard meant Grace qualified for the final in tenth place. Consistent diving in the final resulted in 297.50 points and ninth position.
All-in-all a great summer of sport, and a wonderful celebration of what it is to be a Watsonian, both on and off the field.