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Grateful athletes say salon idea is a beauty

AFTER years of hard work and dedication in the lead up to the Games, competitors from around the world are now making sure they look their best as they compete - by visiting the Athletes Village beauty salon.

SKILL: Jill Fullarton gets her nails styled by Iona Lee at the salon.
SKILL: Jill Fullarton gets her nails styled by Iona Lee at the salon.

The bustling salon is proving to be one of the busiest spots in the accommodation centre, attracting hundreds of athletes, from netball players to boxers.

Run by students from West College Scotland, it offers competitors and team staff the chance to have their hair, nails or make-up done, as well as a massage or facial.

The salon had queues out of the door on the day of the opening ceremony and has been busy non-stop ever since.

There was a constant stream of visitors to the salon yesterday afternoon, including Sri Lankan rugby player Shenal Dias, 23, who was booked in for a massage and facial after his team were announced Shield Champions in the Rugby Sevens.

He said: "I'm about to travel home so I thought it would be nice to relax with a massage. It's good we have something like this on site."

Mr Dias was one of six athletes waiting to be seen yesterday, as others - including Samoan boxer Paddy Junior Leuii - popped in to see if they could be squeezed in for an appointment.

Team Scotland assistant netball coach, Jill Fullarton, was also having her nails done ahead of the team's match against Malawi last night.

Ms Fullarton, 34, of East Kilbride, said: "All the netball girls have been down to get their nails done. We all got saltires last week, but now I'm getting purple to match our strips.

"It's great to have something like this and it's really good that it's local students doing it too."

The coach was having her nails done by beauty student Iona Lee, 22, of Houston, who said she had enjoyed meeting different athletes from around the world.

She said: "It's been fantastic, there's been a massive mix of people through the doors. It's just an unbelievable experience.

"I've been here for eight days and it's been really busy so the salon seems to be popular."

Miriama Graham, 48, from the Cook Islands, whose husband Robert is chef de mission for the country's Glasgow 2014 team, had a wash and blow dry.

She said she was impressed with the salon - especially as all proceeds are going to charity.

The services are free but athletes are being asked to make a £5 donation towards Unicef and the Scottish Commonwealth Games Youth Trust, with several thousand pounds raised so far.

College lecturer Wendy Sheridan-Price is overseeing the salon and helped to put the bid together for students to run it.

She said the college was "over the moon" when they found out in December they had been successful.

Mrs Sheridan-Price said: "The students have been training since February, outwith their normal studies, and they're all volunteers. It's been an amazing opportunity for them.

"The salon opened on July 13, when the athletes village opened, and it was quiet at first, but things have really picked up since the athletes arrived and now we're really busy every day.

"On the day of the opening ceremony the atmosphere was charged. Everyone was so excited and we were so busy I thought we were going to have to close our doors, but the students worked really hard and we managed to squeeze everyone in.

"We were even gifted some tickets for the ceremony and the students loved seeing the athletes, they were saying 'oh I did her nails, I did his hair'. It was fantastic.

"They were watching these athletes enter the arena and they were so overwhelmed."

She added that the students have received excellent feedback from customers, many of whom do not realise they are not fully qualified.

However, there's one athlete who has yet to turn up for a treatment - Usain Bolt "My son has been tweeting Usain every day, telling him to visit the salon and say hello to his mum," the lecturer said. "He's been bombarding him."

"He hasn't visited yet, sadly, but our door is always open if he wants to pop in and have his hair done."

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