The Sunday Post (Dundee)
The Oriam ‘will make us tournament regulars’
SCOTLAND’S athletes have done themselves – and the country – proud in Rio, now they’re being offered a platform to do even better.
The country’s new £33 million sports performance centre (£25 million came from the Scottish Government) is finally set to open its doors and provide a home for future generations of Olympic stars.
The Oriam complex, on the campus of Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, will serve as a new base camp for Basketball Scotland, Netball Scotland, Scottish Handball, and Scottish Squash & Racketball.
It will also be used by the Scottish national football and rugby teams.
But while the Scottish rugby squad is expected to use Oriam in the run up to and during their November test series, the national football team is not expected to pitch up until construction of an on-site hotel is completed next summer.
For Oriam chief executive, Catriona McAllister, that means the venue is unlikely to play a decisive role in Scotland’s impending World Cup qualification campaign.
But she believes that the elite level facilities at our national team’s disposal should help us win back our former status as major tournament regulars.
She said: “The next World Cup may be too soon given the squad probably won’t move here until halfway through that campaign, but getting to the stage where we regularly qualify for tournaments is what this is all about.”
Project leaders drew inspiration from elite level facilities across the world, including the French national institute of sport, INSEP, in Paris, its Dutch equivalent at Papendal, and the English FA’s St George’s Park facility.
Craig Faill, East & Central Regional Performance Manager for the national institute of sport, SportScotland, said: “We want to develop a world-class sporting system, and this allows us to touch on the performance side in a way we haven’t done before.”