Maxwell aims for Commonwealth Games glory after becoming mum

·3-min read
Claire Maxwell is excited for her first Commonwealth Games since the birth of her daughter Lucy
Claire Maxwell is excited for her first Commonwealth Games since the birth of her daughter Lucy

By Tom Harle, Sportsbeat

You can’t outpace Claire Maxwell on a netball court but one-year-old daughter Lucy is certainly giving her the run-around.

The Aberdeen star has been named to Team Scotland for her third Commonwealth Games and second as captain having led her country to Gold Coast 2018. It will be her first as a mum.

“[Being a mum] completely changed my life and it’s changed me as an athlete and a person,” she said.

“You can be quite selfish as an athlete, you train when you want, but now everything revolves around Lucy.

“She’s only just turned one but she’s certainly running about. She can pick up and kick a ball, she’ll definitely be sporty and active.

“It’s very exciting but it’s about the people who support me to fulfil my dreams on the netball court.”

With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Maxwell hopes sharing her story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.

Maxwell spent early 2021 in a coaching role with Scottish club Strathclyde Sirens in the Vitality Netball Superleague, waiting for Lucy to be born.

She arrived in April and before the year was out, mum was back on the court skippering Scotland in Test matches against Commonwealth rivals Barbados.

Scotland will be an exciting prospect under former England guru Tamsin Greenway, hitting as high as seventh in the world rankings since Gold Coast 2018.

“I’ve been with the squad for coming up to 14 years and there’s been a huge amount of growth,” she said.

“But we don’t want to stop here, we want to keep building and moving forward. We’ve got staff who are ambitious and driven and they give us the opportunities.

“Sirens and the pathway structure is allowing us to go on and achieve the results we want to achieve on the world stage.”

Barbados are among Scotland’s group stage rivals with Australia, Jamaica, South Africa and Wales making up the rest of Group A.

Scotland finished ninth four years ago in a disappointing campaign and the aim for Maxwell and company is to upgrade that result.

This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise over 250 athletes, and having secured her place on the squad, Maxwell is looking for success.

“We’ve fallen short of top eight in the past so that’s our aim,” said Maxwell.

“Anything more than that would be a bonus. We’re confident we can do that with the team we’ve got.

“There’s no easy opponents, the 12 teams in the Commonwealth Games are the top 12 in the world.

“We’ve got Australia first which will be a yardstick and help us get a feel for the atmosphere - then Wales and Barbados are the crunch games.”

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