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Team Scotland's youngest athlete aims to soak up Commonwealth experience

Sixteen-year-old Holly McGill is eagerly anticipating Birmingham 2022.

Team Scotland’s youngest athlete aims to soak up Commonwealth experience STV News
The Scottish swimmer qualified for the Games while studying for her Highers.

Scotland’s youngest athlete in the Commonwealth Games team says she’s still pinching herself that she’s heading to Birmingham.

Holly McGill, who is just 16 years old, was still sitting her exams when she qualified for the games. Now, she’s preparing to compete in the 100m and 200m backstroke this summer.

She told STV: “The trials happened about two or three weeks before my first exam, so it was like after trials I was still swimming but it was put on hold and school was the priority.

“They were finished by the middle of May though, so the swimming has been the main priority.”

McGill has been swimming since she was seven years old and progressed through to compete in the Scottish and then British national championships.

The young athlete says her main goal for the year was reaching the European Junior Championships but that she swam better than she could have thought in the Commonwealth trials and now wants to learn everything she can from the Games.

“It’s just to take everything I can out of the experience because I don’t know how I’ll deal with the pressure and how loud it is,” McGill said. “Just experience it, soak it all up and I’ll learn from it. Even if it goes badly, I’ll learn from it.”

And having made her family proud by qualifying for Team Scotland, she’ll now look forward to having their backing when she travels to Brimingham next month.

“They’re really happy,” she said. “They’re coming down to watch, which I think is even better.

“My friends were pretty excited when I told them. And the teachers, especially the PE teachers.

“They’re just really excited for me to take everything I can from the experience.”