Netball player Nicola McCleery plays centre and wing attack with UWS Sirens, Scotland’s only professional netball team, and she is also part of Scotland’s national team, the Scottish Thistles.

She is from East Kilbride and has been playing netball since Primary 6. This season will be her second year competing for the UWS Sirens. She also works as a PE teacher.

Nicola comes form a sporting family. Her sister represented Scotland in football at the International Children’s Games. She says: “I believe due to my massively supportive family and the opportunities they have facilitated for both myself and my sister that elite sport has always been destined for us.”

Nicola has enjoyed some great successes in her sport including competing at the World Youth Netball Champs 2013, captaining the Scotland Squad at all age groups at European Championships: U17/U19/U21.

She will be part of the Netball Scotland team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, alongside another of ACT’s sponsored athletes Emily Nicholl.

Nicola said: “I am so looking forward to getting out to the Gold Coast. Being part of a multi-sport competition is so exciting and I cannot wait to both compete in my own sport but also support the rest of my Team Scotland team mates.”

Nicola is passionate about her sport. She said: “I have played for the national side for seven years and I’ve made some friends for life throughout my time.

“I love working alongside people who value hard-work and commitment as much as I do and who push me to be the best athlete I can possibly be.”

Scottish Thistles team. Nicola is front, second from left.

As well as aiming for at least a top eight finish at GC2018, Nicola hopes the team can continue to build their world ranking positions and make it into the top eight teams.

She adds: “I also have a goal of competing in the World Championships 2019 and working towards a successful 2022 CWG in Birmingham. We have a lot to look forward to.”

ACT are helping to support Nicola – and Emily – with personal sponsorship. This means a lot to both women. Nicola said: “Not only will this take some financial stress away but this opportunity will also allow for brand awareness and the ability to raise the profile of netball for myself as a UWS Siren and Scottish Thistle national athlete.”