It’s fair to say that ACT Construction (UK) Ltd has been a little less industrious than usual over the past fortnight. With five of the company’s sponsored athletes competing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, many staff have spent more time than usual glued to BBC Sport.
The dedication has seen some staying up to the early hours of the morning to watch the heats and finals live. The highs and lows of Scottish swimming, hockey and netball have featured in many office conversations and the atmosphere has been very up-beat.
ACT sponsors Scottish champion swimmer Ross Murdoch and Scottish hockey players Kareena Cuthbert and Robyn Collins. The company also gives financial support to Nicola McCleery and Emily Nicholl through their Glasgow-based team UWS Sirens, which is Scotland’s only professional netball team.
Anna Smrckova, ACT’s Business Development and Client Manager, said: “We have lived and breathed the Gold Coast 2018 action from start to finish. It has been fantastic to watch the athletes take part in an experience of a lifetime and compete against world class opponents.
“There have been so many great moments and triumphs for Team Scotland and TEAM ACT. I have loved following and cheering the athletes on from home.
“I am gutted that the games are all over but looking forward to catching up with them all when they get home to Scotland.”
Ken Godsman, ACT managing director, said: “The Games have been extremely exciting from start to finish and I have personally enjoyed watching many of the races and competitions.
“It’s my pride and pleasure to support elite athletes to perform as part of Team Scotland during the Gold Coast 2018. Together, with the other Scottish athletes, they have made our nation proud. It was an honour to watch them compete and perform on the world stage representing Scotland.”
Swimmer Ross wins silver at GC2018
Swimmer Ross Murdoch won a silver medal in the 200m men’s breaststroke, narrowly missing out on gold after a fine swim by England’s James Wilby. Ross had been the fastest qualifier in the heats and was defending his title after winning gold in Glasgow 2014.
Although disappointed not to win, Ross said (on the Scottish Swimming website): “It’s the fastest I’ve swam at this time of the year by around 0.6 seconds and that bodes well for the European Championships later this year.
“It was a really close final and I’m just delighted to contribute to Team Scotland’s medal tally.”
In the 100m breaststroke final, Ross took fifth place after a tough race in which England’s Adam Peaty and Wilby took gold and silver medals.
Ross was part of the team line-up for the final of the 4x100m Medley Relay. The Scottish team narrowly missed a medal, coming home fourth in an exciting and nail-biting race. Their superb 3:35.15 is a new Scottish record.
As tradition now has it, on the final day of the Commonwealth Games swimming competitions, the Scottish team wore their kilts to the side of the pool.
After racing, Ross said: “I’m really proud of what we did tonight. There was an outside chance of a medal and we put ourselves on the line trying to secure it, but it wasn’t to be.
“We wore our kilts as if to go into battle and I’m incredibly proud to do that and be part of this team.”
7th place for Scottish Hockey ladies
There has not been a single photograph of ACT sponsored hockey players Kareena Cuthbert and Robyn Collins when they have not been smiling broadly. Along with the rest of the team, the ladies appear to have thoroughly enjoyed their experience on the Gold Coast.
The competition was fierce and their pool B included New Zealand and Australia, ranked fourth and fifth in the world respectively.
The matches played out with a 5-0 win against Ghana, a nil-all drawer against Canada and two losses, 1-6 to New Zealand and 0-2 to Australia. They won their play off for seventh or eighth place against Malaysia 4-2.
Kareena said (on Instagram): “Gold Coast you have been truly special. Thank you to the Scottish Hockey women for being the best team and all those at home who cheered us on.
“This has been the most successful overseas Games for us yet. It has been amazing.”
Scottish Netball take 9th place at Games
UWS Sirens’ players Nicola McCleery and Emily Nicholl, are also members of the national side, the Scottish Thistles. At Gold Coast 2018, their pool included New Zealand and England, ranked second and third in the world respectively.
In their heat, the Scottish team won against Wales (51–47), but lost their other three games: 28–74 against England; 29-60 against New Zealand and a very close 50-51 against Malawi.
The support for the Scottish Thistle went crazy on Twitter following this final match. They then played for 9th and 10th place and were delighted to win against a very strong Barbados team.
Nicola McCleery said (on Instagram): “That final performance…just wow! 9th in the world secured, I am so proud of every single one of these girls. Time to celebrate!”
Emily Nicholl said (on Instagram): “It’s be a pleasure Gold Coast 2018, coming back with the best memories and a slightly more tanned team.”
Anna added: “It has truly been an incredible 11 days for Team Scotland with 44 medals in total – the highest ever tally at an overseas Games. They have inspired the next generation and made Scotland proud.”