30 Under 30: Eilidh Doyle

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Eilidh Doyle wears Scottish flag

Not gonna lie, there’s a solid chance that we could write a profile of 29 year old sportstar Eilidh Doyle that contained nothing but award titles and records, and it would still be one of the longest on the list.

Eilidh Doyle relaxing off of the track.If you don’t believe us, have a peek at the stats on her profile. Fortunately for us, someone has already done that, so we can have a little bit more fun (phew!)

There’s a small chance that you might not recognise the name Eilidh Doyle. That’s fair – she did get married less than a year ago (congrats, Eilidh!). But if you’re unfamiliar with her maiden name, Eilidh Child, the only logical explanation is that you were hibernating for the last two years (in which case, welcome back! You’ll be interested to know there’s an upside-down face emoji now).

Quick breakdown: Eilidh is from Perth, and has basically been a total track and field star for at least the last 6 years. She’s won silver medals at two Commonwealth Games, including Glasgow’s, obvs, because home advantage. Oh yeah, and she captained the Scottish athletics team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, too.

She was a 2014 European Champion – the first British woman to win the gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the European Championships since Sally Gunnell in 1994 – and was a semi-finallist at the 2012 Olympics in London. She was Scottish Athlete of the Year 2014 (and 2009, 2010, 2013…), and was the Scottish Women in Sport Sportswoman of the Year 2014, among a host of other awards and nominations.

Eilidh Doyle at the Doha Diamond League, May 2016So she’s come rather far since her mum spotted her jumping over canes on the family driveway, and sister Iona encouraged her to come along to the local Pitreavie athletics club (we can only imagine how many times she’s reminded of that over Christmas dinner).

This year she’s obviously all over the Rio Olympics, and she’s already s.l.a.y.i.n.g, having just taken gold in the 400m hurdles at the IAAD Diamond League meeting in Doha last month. She told Athletics Weekly that she’s taking it as a good omen for Rio.

‘The race just went as best as I could have hoped, really… To run almost a second quicker than I’ve ever run before in my first race definitely bodes well. With it being Olympic year it’s so important to get off to a good start so I’m just delighted that I was able to do that.’

Of course, having just gotten married, Eilidh is starting to look beyond a full-time athletics career and towards a return to Scotland. She and her husband Brian currently live in Bath, where she trains, but she says ‘as soon as I’m finished I’m back up the road to Scotland.’

Before she became a total boss on the track, Eilidh was a full-time PE teacher (also amazing), and she told the Herald Scotland earlier this year that she could see herself returning to it someday.

‘I would definitely would like to do go back to doing something within schools and education. It sounds really cheesy and clichéd but it is nice to give something back. I always did quite a lot of school visits, going back to the school I worked at and the school I went to. I have done talks for the Scottish PE conference too.’

Role model as an athlete, role model as a teacher – role model for life! We’re totally down for that.

Eilidh Doyle after taking gold at the Diamond League in Doha

You can keep up with Eilidh on Twitter at @EilidhChild!

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