Squash player Frania Gillen-Buchert represented Scotland at the Melbourne 2006 and the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games – events which she names as her greatest achievements as an athlete to date.
After coming out of retirement, Frania was amongst the first set of Scottish athletes chosen to compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Next year she’ll be aiming for medal glory in the Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
We chatted to Frania about her squash career so far, and her excitement at the prospect of playing in front of a home crowd at Scotland’s biggest ever celebration of sport and culture.
How does it feel to be selected for Team Scotland?
The Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle of squash for me. To compete in that tournament, at home, in front of friends and family, will be a real honour.
What made you decide to come out of retirement?
A number of factors contributed, and then Alan Clyne and I won the Scottish Open doubles competition in March 2013. That sealed my decision!
How has your training regime changed since Delhi 2010?
The new courts at Scotstoun Sports Campus are the first doubles courts in mainland Scotland, so this has greatly reduced the weeks of travelling and given us valuable court time on doubles specific courts.
When and why did you first get into squash?
I started playing squash when I was five years old. My mother was a squash coach so I joined her lessons.
What is the hardest thing you have overcome in your sporting career?
Injury. I destroyed my ankle in the finals of the National Championships, but I came back in better shape after rehab than before!
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in sport, what would it be?
Have no regrets and do the best you can with what you have.
What sport (apart from the Squash competition) would you most like to see at Glasgow 2014?
Personally, I would like to see the Judo competition.
I see the athletes train really hard on a daily basis when I’m working at Judo Scotland as an Events and Communications Executive, and so I’m looking forward to watching them fight for medals at Glasgow 2014!