Australian Jackaroo Kelsey Cottrell says next year’s home Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast will have a unique feel on both a personal and collective front.
Cottrell, 27, will partake in her third Games after representing Australia in Delhi (2010) and Glasgow (2014) and will do so on the back of a remarkable year personally, having had her first child Sienna in August and being named an ambassador for the Games.
“It definitely has a different feel to the others,” she said.
“It’s slowly sinking in. We have a camp next week (Monday) and I think that will make it feel real.
“I was probably starting to feel like it (third Games) was getting a little bit out of reach. The fact that I’m going to be there is a massive achievement in itself.
“It’s exciting to know that my daughter is going to be there and I think about if I win and I’m standing up there with gold, ‘I wonder if they’ll let me have my daughter up there on the podium?’.”
Having tasted bronze (Delhi) and silver (Glasgow) on the Games stage, Cottrell was part of the Australian triples side which went down to England 22-4 in the gold medal match in Scotland four years ago.
The Sunshine Coast local product says the taste of defeat in her last Games outing is a massive motivator heading into Gold Coast next year, but admitted it took some time to apply such a positive outlook on that defeat.
“Sometimes it’s harder when you’ve got it in your grasp, so Glasgow was obviously a very difficult pill to swallow,” she said.
“Walking away with silver, it took a long time to actually view that as an achievement as opposed to a loss.
“Delhi, I had to play off for bronze so my last game was a win, whereas Glasgow my last game was a loss and it was a pretty bad loss so it was something that took a bit longer to overcome.
“Once you get back and look at that as an achievement especially in the northern hemisphere, you just want to have another crack I guess.”
When trying to quantify just how big an advantage having the Games on home soil is, Cottrell says comparing her past two World Championship outings in Adelaide and Christchurch is the best yardstick.
“It had a different feel about it,” she said.
“I looked at it as an advantage… That people were worried about playing Australia because we were the home team.
“For me, it was kind of relaxing as well. Knowing the greens so well and having family there, it just felt like another big exciting event. You felt a sense of confidence being at home.”