2014 Team Scotland Is Biggest Ever

The home team for this summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has been finalised, with a record number of medals targeted for the athletes.

Netball, hockey and table tennis players were added to Team Scotland today, taking the number of athletes to a highest-ever 310.

Scotland won 33 medals the last time the Commonwealth Games were held in the country - in Edinburgh in 1986 - and coaches have set a target of at least 34 medals across the 17 sports at Glasgow 2014.

About a third of the latest team competed at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi, winning 15 of the Scottish total of 26 medals.

More than 100 members of Team Scotland gathered at Stirling Castle today for the final squad announcement and everyone believes the medal benchmark is achievable with just over a month to the start of the Games.

Team Scotland chef de mission Jon Doig said: "We're looking for our most successful ever team and that would be 34-plus medals.

"From what we've seen with the athletes and how they're performing, we think that's achievable and we want to get past that total, but nothing is guaranteed in sport and you have to wait and see the draws, who else is competing in the events and who performs on the day.

"Our most-ever medals was 33 but in those Games we won three gold medals. We won 29 in Melbourne but there were 11 golds within that, so there are different aspects.

"It's always difficult in this aspect because the number and types of sports change over the years. We've got judo back in the Games this time and that was a great event for us in Manchester in 2002.

"All I know is that everyone here is ready and pleased to be selected, and focusing on performing at the Games.

"It's no longer good enough to come along and say 'I've picked up the team kit', everyone here is ready to hit their personal goals, and for a number of athletes that means medals.''

Much has been made of the impact of a home crowd and how it can urge the athletes on to success.

Hockey player Iain Scholefield said: "Over the last month the stands have been going up in Glasgow Green and you get a really good feeling of what it's going to be like.

"There are around 5,000 seats and compared to a football stadium it's not that much, but for hockey it's going to be really loud and really passionate, and we're definitely looking forward to playing there.

"We' don't get to play tournaments in Scotland that much, so being able to have friends and family come along who don't normally get to see you play is going to be great for support.''

With Scotland's biggest-ever team some athletes will be performing in international competition for the first time, and so the more experienced team members will be lending some words of advice.

At 58, Margaret Letham is the eldest member of the team and is happy to pass on her wealth of experience.

"I'll certainly pass on a few tips or hints, whether they're accepted by the rest of the team is another matter,'' the lawn bowls player said.

"The other girls in the bowls team are very experienced as well, they played at the last Games and there's only one girl who hasn't been before, so she'll possibly sit and listen to what I have to say but I will just be telling them to enjoy the moment and do your best.

"Age isn't relevant, especially in bowls. If you feel up to it and playing to the best of your ability, there's no reason why you can't represent your country. That's what I've been selected on - it's my ability, not my age.''

Ms Letham hinted that it could be her last appearance at the Games and she wants to go out on a high.

She said: "If this was my last Games then to win a gold medal would be amazing because I won gold at my first Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

"If it is to be my last and I win another Commonwealth gold medal then it would be a major achievement and one that I'd love to have round my neck.''