Inverness table tennis coach called up to Scotland Commonwealth Games squad
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Inverness Table Tennis Club head coach Stephen Gertsen has been named as one of 17 team managers for Scotland ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Gertsen is one of six team managers returning to their roles after filling them on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018, with announcements still to come on hockey and women’s cricket.
After only coming on board as team manager a few months beforehand two years ago though, this process has been far more arduous – and in turn far more satisfying.
“This one was a little bit different, it was a really tough process to get this role,” Gertsen explained.
“I went through quite an ordeal, I had to do an application and then I had to do an online assessment.
“Then, I had to do a five-hour assessment day as well, so it was quite rewarding to get this one.
“I put a lot of time and a lot of effort into the process, so it was quite rewarding to be announced as one of the team managers.”
A team manger is responsible for taking care of the logistical side of the Commonwealth Games so that athletes and coaches can focus purely on performing at the right time.
For the first time, Team Scotland are putting their 2020 cohort through various training modules to ensure that their managers are in the best possible place to work with their teams.
However, even with so many steps in place, there is no guarantee that Gertsen will be going to Birmingham in two years’ time.
“It’s funny, I’ve been through this whole process but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll be there,” he admitted.
“It still very much depends on getting a men’s and a women’s team, and disability players as well, because they’ve all got to meet the selection criteria – it could be that we end up with no teams that qualify.
“Potentially, they’re looking at only inviting 12 countries to compete – 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams.
“That hasn’t been approved yet, but it could put a spanner in the works potentially.”
Team Scotland Chef de Mission for Birmingham 2022, Elinor Middlemiss, believes they have put together and excellent management team to prepare for next year’s games.
She said: “The sport team managers play a vital role creating the best possible environment for athletes and staff from each sport to excel at the Games, as well as bringing them all together as one Team Scotland.