Games dream for Kimberley Reed – if only she could sleep

Kimberley Reed with Kirsty Yates pictured below
Kimberley Reed with Kirsty Yates pictured below
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Edinburgh hammer thrower Kimberley Reed insists the current sleepless nights will be worth it if she manages to secure a spot on Scotland’s team for this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

According to competition rules, Scottish Athletics can offer up to three places in the women’s hammer event, with those selected having achieved the qualifying mark of 61m at least twice between April 2013 and June this year.

Kirsty Yates

Kirsty Yates

A 2011 Commonwealth Games Youth silver medallist, Reed took a major step closer to her dream last month when she set a new personal best distance of 61.51m in finishing runner-up at the Scottish University & College Championships in Grangemouth.

Just last week, she bettered that effort to 61.77 metres at the British Universities Championship at Bedford.

With a number of girls competing for the trio of places Reed, who altered her throwing technique last winter with the aim of improving her distances, admits the pressure is on to maintain that form.

“I’ve been quite lucky in everything I’ve achieved before but now, because the Commonwealths could be my first big senior competition, I’m starting to get nervous before competitions,” said the 19-year-old Edinburgh Athletic Club star.

“I’m finding it hard to sleep at night, although I did feel more relaxed after I got my first qualifying distance recently. I’ve got the Loughborough International this weekend and hopefully I can get another good distance there.

“To be on the team is everything you have worked for, to be on the Scotland team in a Scottish Commonwealth Games, you are never going to get that again.

“I’ve been trying out a new technique which is much better and more powerful, and if I can get it right I will absolutely smash it. The next few weeks will be tough but worth it in the end if I get on the team.”

Reed is not the only Edinburgh-based field athlete bidding to make it to Glasgow this summer with shot putter Kirsty Yates also in the frame.

The Edinburgh Athletic Club member recorded her second qualifying mark in February to leave her in pole position for selection and hopes that appearing in the Games can inspire other girls to take up the sport.

“Thankfully, I got the second qualifying distance recently and it has taken the pressure off coming into the outdoor season,” said Yates who, like Reed, benefits from the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes Programme.

“I’m not officially picked yet, but I’m feeling good, it would mean a huge amount to be there, and the experience you are going to build from it will be crazy.

“The wee girls looking at shot put, they think you need to be huge, but you don’t need to be. I’m hoping to raise the profile and it would be brilliant to do it if I am in Glasgow.”

• The Bank of Scotland Local Heroes programme, in partnership with SportsAid, continues to provide support and funding to emerging Scottish athletes. Nearly 240 Local Heroes have benefited from the programme since 2008. Follow Scotland’s future stars at