Scott Ready For GB Debut
Duncan Scott Is Still At School But He Is Already Making Big Waves In Scottish Swimming.
Duncan Scott is just 15 but he has already qualified to swim for GB – at next month’s European Youth Olympics in Utrecht in the Netherlands – and will be aiming to become one of the youngest members of the Scottish team at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Scott underlined his huge promise at the recent Scottish Gas Scottish Age Group Championships, winning eight Gold medals and setting a Scottish junior and British 15-year-old record in the 50m Freestyle at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool.
Scott started swimming when he was just five and his family lived in Kilmarnock. Now he is an all-round talent - the age group wins came in the two Medleys and all four strokes.
Last year, he swam for Scotland at the UK School Games and in the Schools’ International and he made another appearance for his country at the Tri Nations International.
Scott and his family moved to Alloa at the age of eight and he switched to the Falkirk-based F.I.R.S.T. Club. It was then that his talents were spotted by Strathallan School and he was awarded a sports scholarship at the Perthshire establishment. He is now a boarder.
He has found the school/club situation to be the perfect fit. He is jointly coached by F.I.R.S.T.’s Steven Tigg and Strathallan’s Elaine Johnstone, who swam under her maiden name of Gilfillan (she was one of three sisters) at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
“I started coaching swimming at Strathallan ten years ago and it has gone from virtually nothing to having someone as good as Duncan,” explained Johnstone.
“Steven and I work very well together. He trains with me in term time and we share a lot of feedback."
“We have a four lane 25 yard pool at Strathallan and Duncan trains 14 hours a week and also gets extra gym and conditioning work. He has been taken into the Scottish Institute of Sport programme and that is great in terms of back-up facilities."
“Duncan swam really well at the Age Group Championships, He’s really the perfect student. He works hard, is very grounded and doesn’t seem to get fazed by pressure.”
In his fifth form at Strathallan, Duncan has just completed his GCSE exams and then will have to try and decide how best to fit in either Highers or A levels around his swimming ambitions.
He is very young, but next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are an enticing carrot.
“I’m certainly thinking about the Games,” he admitted. “I’m not sure which event might be best, probably the medleys I haven’t been specifically training for freestyle so setting the 50m record at the Age Group Championship really was a bit of a surprise.”
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