Ross Murdoch will be well remembered, especially by fellow Scots, for his gold medal winning performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In the 200m breaststroke final he beat Olympic silver medallist and fellow Scot Michael Jamieson as the spectators roared their encouragement and delight at the then 20-year-old’s triumph.
In 2015, Ross, who is from Balloch and now lives in Stirling, struck gold again as part of the winning GB squad in the mixed 4 x 100m medley relay at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. At the same championships, he took bronze in the individual 100m breaststroke event.
Ross, who has been swimming competitively since the age of eight, also qualified for the 100m breaststroke for the Great Britain team in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He later won his first European title with a gold medal in the 200m breaststroke, a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and a bronze in the 50m breaststroke.
As a full-time swimmer and university student, Ross relies on funding, sponsorship and “a few odd jobs”. He says: “It is very challenging to balance the need for full-time training and competing with earning a living. I have lived on my own in Stirling since I was 18 so I have had to manage my own income and outgoings.
“There is limited funding for swimmers and it is based on performance, among other factors. After Rio I lost funding although I hope to regain some of that going forward and based on recent competition results. It can be very hard to make ends meet.
“Therefore, I am very grateful to ACT for offering me some sponsorship and it will certainly make things a bit easier for me. For example, I need to run a car to get to and from training sessions and I want to ensure I eat good quality food to maintain optimum health.
“Being a swimmer is not the road to great riches but it’s my passion and I want to take it as far as I can.”
The Commonwealth Games 2018 in Australia is next on Ross’s competitive timetable before the European Championships, which take place next year in Glasgow. “After that there’s the next Olympics in Toyko,” he says. “There is a lot to look forward to and I am really positive about how my swimming is going.”