AS the curtain came down on Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, those on the Team Scotland Achieve programme were treated to one more sporting experience.

As a full squad we took the youngsters to the morning session of athletics in the Alexander Stadium. Most of them hadn’t been to live athletics before and seeing them soak up the energy as they walked into the stadium made the week worth every second.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get to see Laura Muir’s run to win her gold medal in the 1500m which would have been unreal.

Muir is the perfect role model for these young athletes and after missing the last Games to finish her veterinary exams, to win gold here was a very special moment for Scotland’s track star.

I would have loved to have been in the stadium to witness this, but to end the programme seeing the Alexander Stadium full was the perfect send off for the young athletes that will hopefully feature in four years’ time at the next Commonwealth Games.

With 15 mentors, 18 coaches and 49 athletes across 27 sports, it’s been a very special experience for each of us involved.

As the bus pulled out of Birmingham to drive back to Scotland it was a moment of reflection for all involved.

For Kevin Moran, who was the programme’s director and a former Achieve athlete himself who went on to compete in squash at Glasgow 2014, this was clearly a very rewarding Games.

Supported by Scotland’s Olympic basketball star Kieron Achara they delivered an incredible experience to these coaches and athletes, and as a mentor I was proud to be part of this team.

I can’t imagine how it felt for the young athletes to experience this.

To see Team Scotland win 51 medals, to meet some of those who made the podium at Scotland House and the support staff from the Scottish Institute of Sport really is a unique opportunity.

It gave me massive inspiration to put my sports psychology masters to use and lit a fire in me to work in sport and maybe even pursue a PhD in sports psychology.

Leaving a Games is always hard, especially when you have been immersed in the bubble of sport.

Our last day had been full of energy – it started at 7am with us mentors being put through a boxing session by one of the Scottish boxing coaches.

A great way to start the day, I found myself facing off with one of the young judo athletes in a sparring session.

I felt so alive and blessed that after all the struggles to stay alive over the last 12 years, here I was sparring with my paralysed body against a young athlete who has all the makings of a future champion.

Leaving Birmingham full of inspiration and with the news that Scottish rider Finn Crockett had won bronze in the road race I could not wait to get out on my bike on the roads back in Aviemore.

I remember seeing a young Finn at time trials back home as a junior in the highlands and now the Stirling University Ribble Weldtite cyclist has just ridden the race of his life to beat some of the sport’s biggest names.

In the process, he added another medal for Stirling University and Team Scotland.