Glasgow 2014: Lauren has the world at her feet

Lauren Brash
Lauren Brash
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LIZ McNEILL, coach of West Lothian Rhythmic Gymnastics Club, is adamant that the hall will be brought to its feet when 15-year-old local hope Lauren Brash, the youngest member of Team Scotland, takes to the floor at the Commonwealth Games.

Asked about the prodigy she has trained for the past eight years, Mrs McNeill said: “It’s maybe the ball but her routine with the clubs will set the crowd going. I can’t say anything more than that!”

It’s understood the routine will have a particularly Scottish theme and what is certain is Lauren will have left no stone unturned.

“Lauren is totally enthusiastic and a very hard-working gymnast who is really motivated,” says Liz, adding: “She is one of the hardest working gymnasts I have worked with and in addition she has real charisma.

“That matters because if you take the floor with good posture, as Lauren has, and smiling, it is so much better than looking down at your feet!

“I’m hoping she’ll get to the final. Recently she went to a competition in Bulgaria and did well. Hopeully that augurs well.”

At last year’s British championships Lauren, pictured, claimed two silver medals and a bronze while she travelled to Australia two years ago with the GB youth squad.

Now in her first year as a senior, Lauren has to travel to Kirkcaldy for some training because her club based at Craigshill High School lacks the space in which some disciplines have to be practised.

“We are talking ropes, ribbons – for me the hardest discipline because of trying to control a six metre length – and hoops so there has to be a certain amount of roof height,” said Liz, whose involvement in the sport began 30 years ago when she went to a meeting complaining of limited facilities for West Lothian youngsters.

“I talked myself into doing something and although self-taught as a coach, I’ve been to Commonwwealth Games in both Victoria and Kuala Lumpur as a judge.

“Hopefully, we can start to build up our club membership after the Games because so much has been based on providing as much space as possible for Lauren to prepare in.”