Glasgow 2014: Steve Le Couilliard 'overwhelmed' to be flag bearer

Steve Le Couilliard
Steve Le Couilliard has shot in 13 competitions at six previous Commonwealth Games

Jersey shooter Steve Le Couilliard says he is "overwhelmed" to be the island's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The 61-year-old carried the flag at the 1986 opening ceremony in Edinburgh, and Glasgow will be his seventh games since his debut in 1978.

"As a Jerseyman it's lovely to be pushing Jersey forward and be involved in Jersey sport," he said.

The small-bore rifle shooter was fourth in the 1986 50m rifle pairs.

"I was overwhelmed when it was announced at the team meeting," Le Couilliard told BBC Radio Jersey.

"Unless you become a member of the Great Britain team for the Olympics there's no higher competition for a Jerseyman to compete in.

"To be a part of the Jersey Commonwealth Games team is what it's all about for most competitive shooters. That's what they want to do, they want to be part of this team."

Le Couilliard last shot at Commonwealth level in Melbourne eight years ago and says the competitions have changed a lot since he made his debut in Edmonton 36 years ago.

"The standard of competition over the years I've been doing it has just kept going up," he said.

"There's more and more professionals in our sport and when you're amateur it makes life a little more difficult."

At the age of 61 he admits that there will not be many more Commonwealth Games left for him, but says the future of Jersey shooting is looking bright.

"I believe there's a crop of youngsters out there now that are keen and dedicated," he added.

"Things like this tend to go in cycles a little bit so I'm hopeful that shooting will carry on in Jersey.

"We're lucky that we have lots of clubs and volunteers who put a lot of time in with coaching, so I'm very hopeful for the future."