Could GAVIN Lowe join Mike Adamson on plane to Rio ?
Cumnock Chronicle reveals
MAUCHLINE could be set to have its own Olympic star this summer.
Last week we reported on Mark Bennett's chances of going to the Rio Olympics with the Team GB Sevens Rugby squad. The Scottish internationalist might, however, have a familiar face beside him, because, there is a second local, who played with Mark as a youngster at Cumnock Rugby Club.
He is 21-year-old Mauchline man, Gavin Lowe, who has also been named in the 25-strong Team GB long list, from which the final 12-strong Rio squad will be picked.
Gavin, whose father Kevin, a prison officer, works beside Mark Bennett's dad Stuart, and his mother Winnie, met as pupils at Cumnock Academy. Gavin's Papa Robert, is the well-known former music teacher and power behind CAMPS.
Gavin, spends little time locally these days. Since December 2014, he has been a full time member of the Scotland Sevens Squad, which competes in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, a tournament with involves globe-trotting to tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town, Wellington, Sydney, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and London, where, albeit without Gavin, Scotland won their first-ever World Sevens Series tournament at the weekend.
Olympic long list selection was a major boost for Gavin, who has been out for six weeks with an ankle ligament injury which he picked-up in Hong Kong. But, he is now fit again and looking forward to linking up with Team GB in London next week.
"It's a huge honour to be named in the preliminary squad", said Gavin. "We meet in London, then go to Moscow, where we will play as two separate squads in the first of two warm-up tournaments, after which we go into a five-week training block, at the end of which the final 12-man squad for Rio will be selected.
"It's great that Mark and I both have a chance of going to the Olympics, it's a great boost for the district and Cumnock Rugby Club that we are both named".
All-rounder Gavin might also have starred at football, he played for Auchinleck Academy and for the Scottish Cup-winning East Ayrshire Schools squad in 2010, the year after he was Scottish Schools doubles champion.
He was capped by Scotland's Under-18 rugby team in 2012 and 2013, before going into the Scottish Rugby Academy set-up. He was attached to Glasgow Warriors during his time at the Academy, playing for Glasgow Hawks for six months and Ayr for 18-months, prior to transferring to the Sevens squad.
Updated 07:44 - 30 May 2016 by Hugh Barrow
"Obviously with the globe-trotting commitment of Sevens, I don't get to spend a lot of time in Mauchline," Gavin admitted. "I live in Glasgow and my training when in Scotland is split between Ravenscraig and Murrayfield. It's great, however, to be getting paid to play rugby and to travel the world at the same time. Although I missed out on the London win, it was a great boost for all of us, not just skipper Scott Wight and the boys and a real reward for the hard work we have put in.
"Going to the Olympics is pretty much out of my hands, but, I can only do my best during the preparation period and hope to be picked, it's certainly a great goal to have, and, wouldn't it be wonderful if Mark and me, two guys, who first met playing mini-rugby at Cumnock, could find ourselves in Rio in August".