As a double Olympic Champion and international senior athlete for 12 years, I can say first hand the pride I felt each time I qualified to represent my country and how significant wearing a British vest was. The Union Flag represents a massive sense of passion and identity and an incredible sense of achievement.
But what if, on Thursday 18th September, the Scots were to cut their ties with the United Kingdom, taking their sporting stars with them? Were we to imagine a future where, as in many professional international sports such as football, rugby, lacrosse or golf, all sporting ties in Great Britain were forgone in favour of national representation; what would that then mean for British sport?
I was lucky enough to visit Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford for National Paralympic Day 2014. A celebration of all things Paralympic, this annual festival saw the stars of London 2012 returning to the stadiums to compete once again, and in the case of the races in the London Aquatics Centre, take part in the first international swimming competition that the centre has seen since London 2012.
Obviously it would have taken time to really create success at the top level and this is not to say that GB Basketball would have become the new British Cycling but UK Sport, by narrowing their focus on short-term success, seemed to have missed the lessons that recent history and success could have taught them.