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April 04, 2018

Shepparton shooter Bruce Quick enters a record seventh Commonwealth Games.

Mooroopna export Fiona Fowler will play netball for Scotland's Thistles in her second Commonwealth Games. Picture: AAP

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will officially begin with tonight’s opening ceremony as Goulburn Valley products finalise their preparations for when their sport is thrust into the limelight.

Mooroopna export Fiona Fowler (nee Themann) has little time to wait as her Scottish Thistles side meets England in a United Kingdom derby tomorrow afternoon.

Qualifying to play for Scotland via her father’s heritage, Fowler has been a staple in the Thistles’ defence since debuting at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

She contested the Sydney World Cup the following year as relaxed restrictions on international players saw her picked up by Adelaide Thunderbirds to compete in the Suncorp Super Netball League.

Fowler will follow up on Saturday with another match against UK neighbours Wales, with a tough ask to come again when the Thistles face New Zealand and their final group match comes against Uganda.

Fowler has taken up increased responsibility for this year’s domestic season, a part of the leadership group at the Firebirds.

Adelaide will begin its Super Netball campaign against West Coast Fever on April 29.

East Shepparton coach Josh Thornton achieved his goal of representing the nation at the Games after a sensational bowls season.

After missing out on making the Glasgow team four years ago, Thornton has time to savour the Commonwealth Games experience before he takes to the greens.

Contesting the para-sport triples event at Broadbeach Bowls Club, his quest for a medal begins on Sunday.

Thornton is teaming up with Victoria’s Ken Hanson and Queensland’s Tony Bonnell, having plenty of knowledge of the greens after bowling with the para-sports Trans-Tasman Test side at the same Queensland location in June.

Having spent two decades in Shepparton shooter Bruce Quick enters a record seventh Commonwealth Games as the only Australian to have attended that amount.

Despite being a veteran of the Commonwealth Games Quick still believes he has another medal in him competing in the 50m pistol event.

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