Local Games heroes are an inspiration

A total of 4,500 competitors – from 71 countries – contesting medals in 17 different sports over the next 11 days means the Commonwealth Games promise some fantastic sporting heroics.

And right at its heart will be the 12 Borderers selected as part of Team Scotland for what will be a major never-to-be-forgotten highlight of their sporting careers.

And the Borders will also be represented by a number of Games officials and volunteers giving up their time for free to make sure this huge sporting occasion is something that all of Scotland – not just Glasgow – can be proud of. So it is time for all of us, including the naysayers and doom-and-gloom merchants, to get behind our athletes, Games staff and Glasgow, and take pride in an event – delivered on time and within budget – which will be watched by a global audience of more than a billion.

To our dozen local sportsmen and women – Lee Jones, Stuart Hogg, Scott Wight, Jak Scott, Lucy Hope, Sarah Robertson, Chris O’Hare, Guy Learmonth, Libby Clegg, Sam Kinghorn, Grant Ferguson and Jo Pettitt – we say good luck and we will be cheering you all on to do your best.

But whether any of you manage to earn a coveted medal podium place or not, please be confident in the knowledge that you are an inspiration and source of great pride to the rest of us here in the Borders.