And they’re off! After a couple of weeks settling in and acclimatising, (helped by a truly Scottish welcome to the Games village from a tartan clad Piper), it’s all go for Team Scotland. We’ve been receiving updates from Olympic and Commonwealth Games medal winner Dan Wallace: “The first two weeks on our holding camp have been great. We’ve adapted to the climate and everyone here is feeling great. So far everything is going swimmingly and I’ve even managed to catch a slight tan. There’s a great buzz around ‘Scotland Drive’ here in the village. It’s shaping up to be a great week.”
And, as you’ve probably noticed, they’re all sporting the exciting new tartan team kit. This was specially designed for this years Games, to spur the team on and make them stand out.
So, why tartan?
Of course the answer should always be, “Why not tartan?” But, just to be sure, we asked Dan why tartan and sport are such a good match. “I think that’s because it’s such a Scottish thing and when you wear tartan, you feel very proud to be Scottish. I’m proud to be representing Scotland with my kit. I think that every time you put on either your national kit or your national tartan, it makes you feel very proud to be Scottish.”
The tartan spirit is also embodied in the Aquatics team’s values: “We are proud, humble, ambitious, fierce and quietly arrogant.” These were worked out by the team at a camp of staff and swimmers in December, to represent how they should present themselves as a team going out to Australia.
And, even across the world, tartan reminds the team of who they are and what they’re representing. As Dan explains, “It’s such a traditional thing, it really takes you back to your roots and there’s a lot of history behind it. When I wear the Scotland logo on the swimming cap, I feel the same sense of pride as I do when I put on a tartan suit or a tartan kilt.”
Of course, hidden away in Dan’s bag is his own very special tartan suit. And once he’s completed his last race, Dan the Man will be celebrating in true tartan style.
In the meantime, he’ll have to make do with the excitement of competing: “I’m itching to go, and that’s before putting my kilt on…ha.”