WHEN better than St Andrew’s Day to hear a parable about the transformative power of sport? As the second tranche of Team Scotland athletes was selected at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast yesterday it was inevitable that much of the focus would fall upon an 18-year-old from Glasgow called Vicky Glover. Not only did the teenager’s presence signal that she would make history as Scotland’s first-ever female Commonwealth Games boxer - a giant step in her bid to emulate the likes of Nicola Adams and her own personal favourite, 2012 Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor from the Republic of Ireland – it also represented a fair old staging post on her personal road to redemption.

It wasn’t long ago, after all, that this girl was making headlines for the wrong reasons – pleading guilty to assaulting two men and vandalising a car with a baseball bat in an underpass in Rutherglen and subsequently being ordered to complete 200 hours of supervised community work. The two men in question were found to have started the incident, tripping one of Glover’s friends and kicking her whilst on the ground.

Glover wouldn’t be the first boxer to allow violence to intrude upon her personal life, but all that time cutting grass, trimming hedges and painting facades has made her re-focus upon her craft. She has reconsidered just how much she has going for her. And just how much she has to lose. She won the British Championship, narrowly missed out on a medal at the World Youth Championships in India, and yesterday was the best of the lot – as she received that historic selection for Team Scotland.

“It’s brilliant [to be selected],” said Glover. “An absolute privilege. It means a lot. It’s been a massive confidence boost to know that Boxing Scotland thinks enough of me to send me over there. I never thought this time last year that I’d be in the position I am now. It just shows you can’t let one thing knock you. Boxing has given me a focus. It has helped keep me on the straight and narrow.”

Suffice to say it wasn’t easy to brush with the penal system at such a tender age. “It gives you that label,” she added. “And people have that impression of you I suppose. But I’ve come a long way since. I made a mistake. I’m still young. We all make mistakes and I’ve learned from it. I’ve done a lot since. Been to the British Championships. The World Championships. Now I’m going to the Commonwealths. I just want to keep moving forward.

“My payback for the community was cutting grass for people,” she added. “Cutting people’s hedges and gardens. Painting houses. If someone needed help to move house, shifting couches, I’d to do that sort of thing. Of course I’d rather not have been there. I didn’t enjoy it but I got on well with all the guys.

“It was hard graft,” she added. “I’d go in from 9.30-4.30 and it was an experience. A lot of the boys had been in and out of jail. They’d done community service. It wasn’t their first time there. That’s just not how I want to end up.”

Like Taylor – an idol alongside Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano – Glover played football when she was younger. She mixed it with the unusual combination of kick-boxing and ballet dancing until some trouble at school led her father to take her along to a boxing club for the first time aged 10. While some would suggest that taking a child to boxing is punishment enough, Glover took to the noble art to the extent that her father’s idea of disciplinary action was keeping her away from the gym.

“I’d taken up a few things before that: kickboxing, football,” she said. “Dancing, ballet. I never stuck to anything but I took to boxing straight away. My Dad got me involved. I’d been in a bit of trouble at school and he thought it was a good idea and I got into it right away. He was right. My coach saw potential straight away. He told me to come back and that I was naturally talented. It was quite intimidating at first but there was a natural buzz. I enjoyed it.

The first time I sparred was with a girl but even now, it’s always boy. And competing with some of the top boys has brought me on a lot. That’s the difference between me and the other girls I think. I think Katie Taylor is amazing. I’ve watched her on TV and followed her on Twitter. She’s brilliant and I’d love to follow in her footsteps.”

Assuming no further mis-steps, Glover might have timed her emergence perfectly. New opportunities open up every week for top female fighters to turn professional, like Taylor at Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sports, and a games medal could be a springboard. “It’s come on a lot, especially over the past few years since Nicola Adams,” said Glover. “This is a massive step towards that. And there are the Olympic Games to come too.” But first things first, and that means gold from the Gold Coast.

“I don’t know what the competition will be like at 57 kg,” she said. “There’s a good Indian girl at my weight and I’m not sure who else will be there ... but it has to be gold.”