Cumbernauld teenager earns place in Commonwealth wrestling team

Cumbernauld wrestler Ross Connelly is off to the Gold Coast in April.
Cumbernauld wrestler Ross Connelly is off to the Gold Coast in April.

Cumbernauld teenager Ross Connelly is off to the Gold Coast after gaining a place in Scotland’s wrestling team for the Commonwealth Games.

The 18-year-old, from Abronhill, was thrilled after being his place in the team was confirmed last week.

And he’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of dad David who also represented Scotland at two Commonwealth Games, winning a bronze medal in Edinburgh in 1986.

However the level-headed youngster knows how difficult that will be - and is hoping to use the experience of the Gold Coast as a platform for future successes.

He said: “I didn’t really know what to say when I got the call. I was just delighted.

“It was something I was hoping for. It was my aim from Glasgow, from the last Games when I had only just turned 15.

“I had it in my sights, but there was a lot of hard work to get to selection.

“I obviously want to fight to the best of my ability and also want to learn from it and just enjoy it and work towards the next Games in Birmingham.

“To win a medal would be very, very difficult but it’s in my sights. I need to be aiming for a medal, but I’ll just prepare the best I can and hopefully I can perform on the day.”

Although still eligible for junior tournaments until he is 20, Ross has been trying to compete in as manuy senior competitioons as he can to up his chances of selection.

And that hard work has paid off. Not only has he booked his place on the plane to Australia but he has enjoyed success at national and international level.

Last year he won bronze in the English Men’s Championships last year, won the British Closed Championships and got second at the British Open.

And he already has a Commonwealth medal to his name after taking bronze in the Commonwealth Championships in Johannesburg, where he was competing against some of the wrestlers likely to be among his rivals in Australia.

Ross, who trains at The Tryst in Cumbernauld and fights in the 57kg division, heads out to Australia on March 21 for a pre-Games camp in Brisbane.