Published: 23/02/2018 12:53 - Updated: 23/02/2018 12:57

Commonwealth star Megan will be swinging in Ukraine

Written byCraig Christie

Commonwealth boxer Megan Gordon with her pet dog Peanut
Commonwealth boxer Megan Gordon with her pet dog Peanut
A TEAM Scotland training camp in Ukraine will prepare Moray boxer Megan Gordon for her shot at Commonwealth Games glory in Australia.

The Elgin Boxing Club star jetted out to Kiev yesterday morning to begin the build up for her gold quest on the Gold Coast.

Megan (18) is one of two Scottish girls making sporting history in Queensland by becoming the first female boxers to fight for their country in a Commonwealth Games.

Already she is the first to box for Scotland in any Commonwealth competition when she competed at the Youth Games in the Bahamas last year, and became the first to medal as she took home a bronze.

Now the pride of Speyside, known as 'Princess Meg' as she is coached by dad Paul at the club where she is nicknamed 'daddy's little princess', can't wait for her Aussie adventure to begin.

"It's been so busy since it was announced I was in the team," she said.

"I've been up and down the road to Glasgow at the Boxing Scotland institute, spending Tuesday to Thursday there and most weekends.

"I've been down at a team camp in Stirling this week, then back home to get ready to fly out to Ukraine on Thursday."

Kitted out in her brand new Team Scotland gear, a full suitcase of jackets, tracksuits, leggings, cases and backpacks, the official team kilt and even branded hand gels, her selection for a major Games is finally beginning to sink in.

"We've been given all our media training and all the dos and don'ts, speaking to athletes from past Games telling us what it is like and how to deal with the pressures," she said.

"We've had team meetings to explain everything that goes on in the Commonwealth Games village.

"Training has been hard and we've been told we have to take five days rest. That's been quite hard as well to not do anything but it will definitely be worth it because Ukraine is meant to be quite high tempo for your body.

"We're going there to get you ready for Australia where we have a six-day camp to get used to the heat."

Travel will become a big part of sporting life for Megan, who has travelled to the likes of Poland, Scandinavia and Ireland in the past to compete during her six years in the sport.

But she will be thrilled to have her parents, brother and uncle in Australia to support her when the fights begin in the Oxenford film and TV studios in Queensland.

"They all booked pretty much the day after I found out. We got told family are not allowed in the village but there's rest days and I'll see them at the venue itself.

"It's been really good, everyone has been so supportive. There's been so many people congratulating me on Facebook and it's been really good to get all that support."

Megan has had to overcome plenty obstacles to achieve her dream of Games selection.

She broke her hand while winning a bout in an international tournament in Poland last September, putting her out of action for the rest of the year.

With her Commonwealth Games target sliding further and further away, she accepted a job as a dental nurse at a local surgery but then had to turn down the position when the news was broken that she had been picked for Team Scotland.

Now she has fully recovered from her injury and ready to step up her training in Eastern Europe starting this week.

"We fly to Kiev and it's an hour and a half by bus to the camp where we are going.

"We're in Ukraine for a ten-day training camp then I've got a test match spar at the end with a Ukrainian girl.

"When I come back on the 3rd I'll spend most of my time in Glasgow, and ten days later we fly out to Australia. It's all been pretty rushed and busy, but it's been good."

The Commonwealth Games begin with an opening ceremony on Wednesday, April 4, and the following day a week of preliminary boxing bouts get underway.

The venue at Oxenford is a studio owned by Village Roadshow where blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Chronicles of Narnia and the recent Thor: Ragnarok films were shot.

Megan won't find out the full details of the competition until she returns from Ukraine, but hopes to go the distance and reach the semi-finals on April 13, and who knows, maybe the gold medal fight the following day.

She admits she misses her fellow fighters at Elgin Boxing Club, where she has only been able to train twice since the Games announcement. And she is certain to miss her pet dog, border terrier Peanut who was named after her love for peanut butter – the super-fit boxer's one food 'vice'.

While Peanut will be back home in Rothes, the rest of Megan's home area will be cheering her on as one of Moray's hopefuls Down Under.

Burghead hammer thrower Mark Dry will be competing in his third Commonwealth Games after Delhi 2010 and Glasgow four years ago, where he won a bronze medal.

And in next week's Northern Scot we speak to Moray College lecturer and Elgin table tennis Club coach Stephen Gertsen, who is going to the Gold Coast as the Scottish table tennis team's head coach.

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