When Scotland women’s team take to the field for the World Cup in France, they will not only face some of the top sides on the planet – but also extreme heat and high humidity. Those conditions, however, have been replicated for the Scots during their final build-up at a cutting-edge environmental chamber at the University of the West of Scotland.
The day after Scotland’s final game before France, a 3-2 victory over Jamaica at Hampden in front of a record 18,555 fans, the team began their preparations at the university’s £110 million state-of-the-art new Lanarkshire campus.
The players performed various exercises inside the chamber, which was set to mimic conditions greater than those the squad will experience in France – 35C and 60 per cent relative humidity – to ensure they were acclimatised before the tournament.
Head coach Shelley Kerr also joined the players in the chamber to help with the preparations.
The chamber, one of only two in Scotland, replicates environmental extremes, from walking in the desert to standing on one of the world’s highest mountains and can be used by athletes to improve physical performance in the run-up to large sporting events.
Since opening, the chamber has been used by quadruple amputee, Corinne Hutton, as she prepared for her charity climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, professional boxer Hannah Rankin and Motherwell FC.
Kerr said: “I think the facility is fantastic. It gave the players exposure to the heat and humidity that they won’t experience here in Scotland and has been a huge part of the preparations.
“The small marginal gains at the highest level of football can make a massive difference.”
Scotland fly out to France tomorrow and face England in their opening Group D game at Allianz Riviera on Sunday.