London ball

Maxwell aims for Commonwealth Games glory after becoming a mum

You can’t outrun Claire Maxwell on a netball court, but her one-year-old daughter Lucy certainly makes her dizzy.

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

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

“You can be quite selfish as an athlete, you train whenever you want, but now it’s all about Lucy.

“She just turned one, but she’s definitely running around. She can pick up and kick a ball, she will definitely be sporty and active.

“It’s very exciting, but it’s about the people supporting me to achieve 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 inspire others to get involved in the 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, awaiting the birth of Lucy.

She arrived in April and before the end of the year mum was back on the pitch skippering Scotland in test matches against Commonwealth rivals Barbados.

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

“I’ve been with the team for 14 years and there’s been huge growth,” she said.

“But we don’t want to stop here, we want to keep building and moving forward. We have ambitious and motivated employees who offer us opportunities.

“The sirens and lane structure allow us to continue 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 improve on that result.

This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funds raised by National Lottery players, will be competing over 250 athletes, and after securing his place on the team, Maxwell is on the hunt for success.

“We haven’t been able to get into the top eight in the past, so that’s our goal,” Maxwell said.

“Anything more than that would be a bonus. We are confident that we can do it with the team we have.

“There are no easy opponents, the 12 Commonwealth Games teams are the 12 best in the world.

“First we have Australia which will be a yardstick and will help us get a sense of the atmosphere – then Wales and Barbados will be the deciders.”

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