Just Google “Jen McIntosh Dollar Academy”. You know that you are on the right track when the Search Engine produces a hit on the first page. You also know it is something quite significant if the top hit on the first page relates to your search, but it has to be something quite significant before you dominate the first page and get a picture as well! Jennifer McIntosh has done just that!!
Jen McIntosh, yesterday, became Scotland's most successful athlete of the Delhi Commonwealth Games, firing her way to gold in the 50m prone singles to match her pairs display with Kay Copland, and her 3P pairs bronze. Jen recorded a near faultless score of 597 ex 600 over six cards to record a new Games record, smashing the previous score by a significant seven points and equaling the current World Record. Jen completed her six card marathon in under 32 minutes, but had to wait a further 43 minutes before success was guaranteed. Putting 57 shots in the ten ring, which is the size of a five pence, from a distance half the length of a rugby pitch, finishing first off the range and first overall are significant achievements.
We benefited here in Dollar from up to the minute news from Seonaid (F3) her sister, also a very capable marksman, and from her mum, Shirley (FP1983), herself a double medalist from the Canadian Commonwealth Games in 1994 and again in the Malaysian Games in 1998. Emotions ran high as everyone that knew her and understand the sport followed her results with interest. Her performance here has helped place shooting as the most successful Scottish sport of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Jen made the decision when leaving school to become a full time athlete: “Forget the studying and Gap Year thing; that’s what everyone else is doing. I want to win some medals.” This focus and single minded determination is what she is all about. She has always shown a level of maturity that belies her age and experience. Jen's will to win, constant training and meticulous preparation has helped her achieve her goals. There are lessons for us all here.
Alongside the effort and hard work is a wicked sense of humor. If you read the news articles there have been stories of purple socks and lucky pants. She dealt with the media attention well: “we are talking knickers here”, said Jen with a laugh. Yet she quickly turns the subject back to the sport she loves and excels in, describing it as “simply awesome” and continues to make comment: "It's not just about what shooting can do for me personally. In our case, it's a chance to show our country what our sport is really about. I have got so much out of my sport, it amazes even me sometimes. It's taught me a discipline and an approach to life that I didn't have before. It's given me a chance to travel the world. I've met a lot of interesting people and made an awful lot of very good friends, often people I wouldn't have met if it weren't for this sport. I was never very good at the 'conventional' sports at school - rugby was for boys; I had pretty poor hand-eye co-ordination so hockey and tennis were out and I was far too gangly for gymnastics. The only sport I was ever any good at was basketball but I really didn't thrive in a team. Fortunately, because of my parents, I got a chance to try something that most people don't. My school, Dollar Academy, was better than most when it came to offering a wide range of activities for everyone and I probably would have fallen into shooting even without my parents' help because of that, but not to the same level. So I was lucky, but not everyone is. I think everyone should be given the chance to find the sport that they're good at, because sport teaches you something that you can't learn in the classroom. I think these Games can help kids do this because they'll have a chance to see these elite athletes up close. I think these Games have the potential to inspire a generation. I've been all around the world with my sport but I think the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games could be one of the most important competitions of my life and I can't wait!"