Lauren Bell will be taking in valuable advice from her Team Scotland teammates when she makes her Commonwealth Games debut this week.
Forres cycling star, Bell, will be in action at the Lea Valley VeloPark in what will be her biggest competition to date and her first multisport championships.
The 23-year-old will be competing in the keirin, sprint and 500m time trial as well as the women’s team sprint and hopes the experience of some of her teammates will help her enjoy the experience.
With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Bell hopes sharing her story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.
Bell is one of over than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing her to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science, and medical support.
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“I’m going in just trying to have a good time, take in the experience and enjoy it. Because it’s probably the biggest competition I’ve ever done, this is going to feel quite big,” said Bell.
“I just want to go in with the goal of enjoying myself and taking it all in, and hopefully we’ll just see what happens.
“I think there’s lots of difference in the levels of people in the team. There are people like Jack Carlin, Mark Stewart, and Neah Evans, so many people who have been here before and are role models for the team. They can help us first-timers out a little bit.
“The fact that you see they’re quite chilled in certain environments and not getting stressed, I think it keeps you more relaxed and it’s nice having someone to look to and even ask little stupid questions.
“It just makes you so much more relaxed, just being able to enjoy it I guess.”
This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise of over 250 athletes, and having secured her place on the squad, Bell is looking for medal success.
While she will be competing individually in three events it is the team sprint - alongside Lusia Steele and Iona Moir - that she is most looking forward to.
With it being the first time since 2010 that Scotland have had a women’s team at the event, Bell hopes the squad can set a positive example for young cyclists.
She added: “From a team perspective, Iona, she’s had her A-Level exams. We’ve kind of been missing her for a little bit but we all went to Bordeaux last week for two weeks, so we got to train a lot as a team there. Now we’re doing lots of stuff together. So far, I think my training has been going well which is a massive positive.
“I think it’s positive. I think it shows the female side has been improving with lots of people coming up. I think hopefully it can inspire other girls to get into track cycling, because I know there was a dip in female participation.
“It’s just really positive to show that Scotland’s now got a female squad and team that they can enter.”
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