Karen’s world dream
Local netball coach will take Team Scotland all the way
A Rutherglen netball coach insists Team Scotland will improve their world status in the next Commonwealth Games.
Burnside’s Karen McElveen has been tasked with leading the national netball squad to glory at the Gold Coast games in 2018.
And with less than 286 days to go before the opening ceremony in Queensland, Australia, 44-year-old team manager Karen is hopeful her girls can go a few steps further than last time.
At Glasgow 2014, Scotland fielded a netball team for the first time having jumped up the rankings in previous years and finished in ninth place. They also performed well at the 2015 netball world cup where the Scots tabled 12th.
However, playing in the nation where netball is the most popular sport for women, Karen knows it was never going to be that easy down under.
“We’ve got our own targets for our sport and as Team Scotland we are looking for it to be the best away games ever,” she told the Reformer.
“We are number 10 in the world right now and we’re looking to continue going up those world rankings as we have done in the past couple of years.
“Our target was to be in the top eight in Glasgow and we want to improve our position this time around. It’s all about improving in the world rankings.”
Karen, who has stayed in Rutherglen for 14 years, was chosen as team manager for the national netball side back in February - following a previous stint in 2014 - to lead the team to the 2018 games.
After being capped 39 times for Scotland, she led the national team, the Thistles, for over seven years, including at two World Netball Championships.
Now franchise director for the Sirens, Scotland’s brand new netball Superleague team, the former King’s Park Secondary pupil is enthusiastic about taking on her role again in less than a year’s time.
With training fully under way, Karen is feeling optimistic. She said: “It feels fantastic [to be named team manager again]. It will mean this will be my tenth year involved in the sport and having been fortunate to have been involved in Glasgow 2014, which was Scotland’s first experience in a multisport environment, it was just amazing.
“To be in your country never mind home city for the 2014 games was just phenomenal. Now we have the opportunity to go to the Gold Coast in Australia where netball is the number one sport for women so it’s going to be absolutely fantastic.
“The squad for netball has been fortunate enough to get a franchise for a semi-professional netball league.
“We’ve just finished our first season so training is under way and it’s a chance to recap and get the national squad together at the end of this month.”
Team boss Karen McElveen