The outlook for the Commonwealth Games isn’t getting any brighter.
A few months after Victoria pulled out as hosts for 2026, the Gold Coast have decided that they’re not in a position to step in.
Over the last couple of decades it has been a dwindling pool of countries able to stage the event.
It’s been styled as a mini-Olympics – which has been great for TV and attendances in the venues – but only really Britain and Australia have had the money and the inclination to step-up.
I’ve said in the past that, if the Games do come to an end, Scottish athletes will really feel the disappointment.
Not everyone gets the chance to compete in an Olympics.
And, even if you do, there’s something special about having Scottish colours on your back at a multi-sport Games.
Just ask world class athletes like Sir Chris Hoy and Liz McColgan.
There’s talk of the Commonwealth Games being broken up and taking place in different countries.
But if it comes to that, you’ve got to ask yourself what it’s supposed to be about in the first place.
In my eyes, it’s the intimacy that makes it special.
Spreading it across a country or more than one country would end that.
It’s good to see the R&A and the USGA announcing significant changes to golf ball specifications.
Something had to be done to protect the world’s greatest courses.
Particularly over here at iconic links courses, it’s become more and more problematic.
When you’ve got the option to put the brakes on technology, surely that’s preferable to the likes of the Old Course becoming too easy a test for the top players.
The advancement of equipment is a big part of golf as it is in Formula One, for example.
But there’s one big difference.
In F1 they don’t have to change their racing tracks when cars are getting faster.
I was thrilled for my friend Katie Robertson getting her first GB hockey cap this week.
She’s out in Argentina playing in a pro-league – two games against the hosts and two against Holland.
The first one was a draw with Argentina. Both got a point but Argentina got one extra after winning the penalty shoot-out.
Katie has earned her spot in the GB set-up quite late in the Olympic cycle but she’s thrown everything into trying to earn selection for next summer’s Games and has moved down south.
It was a big decision but I think she was right to think that she would have regretted it if she didn’t give it everything she’s got.
Even if Katie doesn’t get to Paris, winning your first GB cap is pretty special and can never be taken away from you.
🔥 MILESTONE 🔥
Massive Congratulations to Katie Robertson on her 1st GB Cap🎓
— Great Britain Hockey (@GBHockey) December 7, 2023
She’s already played 64 times for Scotland.
And women’s hockey in this country is very strong.
They won bronze at the last Olympics and gold in Rio.
It must be one of the hardest teams in the country to get into.
Katie won’t have long home for Christmas because GB have a big Olympic qualifying event in Spain in January.
Then selection for Paris will be quite close to the Games, I think.