SWIMMER Cameron Brodie carries the Vale’s hopes at the Commonwealth Games — although he will be representing the host nation.
The talented 21-year-old Stirling University sports studies student will take to the pool for Scotland in Glasgow as their national champion.
But he started off in the sport at Evesham Swimming Club after moving down to the town when he was aged nine.
Brodie, who finished 11th in the Delhi games four years ago, hopes to challenge for medals this time around in his favoured stroke of the 200-metre butterfly on Saturday.
The games, which started yesterday, will be his biggest test yet and offer a great opportunity for him to pitch his skills against top swimmers.
Brodie, who was born in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, said: “I watched the opening ceremony from the athletes’ village.
“It’s unfortunate but there is a lot of standing around at the ceremony, which is not good preparation for the swimming events that are at the start of the games.
“My event is on Saturday, with the heats in the morning and the finals in the evening. I can’t wait for the day to come along.”
Having been a Scottish team member four years ago, Brodie gained great experience in Delhi, finishing just outside the 200m butterfly top 10.
It was a fair representation of his ability for a boy who was still at school, but he has come on a long way since his last Commonwealth outing.
The Glasgow venue this time around offers him a great opportunity to make his mark on world swimming. Brodie has worked hard since the 2013 summer break, and his efforts in gruelling winter training sessions have paid dividends, with impressive results in international competitions in France and Belgium.
All his training was aimed at April’s British Championships and his third place in a personal best time of one minute 57.96 seconds was less than a second behind the gold and silver medal positions.
The games’ standard will be high and many may remember one of Brodie’s rivals Chad le Clos from South Africa, who beat Michael Phelps in the London Olympics.
The Australian team always have a strong representation in swimming — but Brodie knows he is in fine form with a solid season of training behind him.