After an uncertain week for all at Team Scotland, the team recorded some of their fastest times ever today as they accelerated out of Glasgow aboard an Emirates 777, bound for India and the 19th Commonwealth Games.
Over the next few days, Emirates, the Team’s Official Airline, will be jetting more than 300 athletes, staff and supporters to Delhi at speeds of over 900 kilometres per hour – setting the pace for the 3rd October gathering of the Commonwealth’s sporting elite .
Team Scotland hopes to match the award-winning performance of the airline, which has received over 400 international awards for its products and services, including several for its daily flight from Glasgow.
Athletes from the sports of Archery, Lawn Bowls, Shooting and Weightlifting are amongst the first to travel to Delhi, via Dubai where they will experience Emirates’ industry leading Terminal 3.
The partnership between Emirates, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, and Team Scotland has seen the carrier working closely with the team to prepare meticulously for the journey to India.
Extra water will be on hand throughout the journey to ensure the athletes are well hydrated, and their dietary needs will be catered for throughout the long-haul flight.
The mood lighting system installed in the aircraft cabin, which changes the lighting effects throughout the flight to reflecting the changing time zones, will help the athletes relax and counter the effects of jet lag.
Emirates SkyCargo will also be supporting the efforts of Scotland’s Commonwealth Games team, and will be shipping around five tonnes of equipment to Delhi. The carrier, which offers almost 17 tonnes of cargo carrying capacity on its daily service from Glasgow, is carrying items such as state-of-the art cycling kit, pole vaults, archery equipment and hockey sticks, as well as the usual training shoes, team tracksuits and other vital equipment on behalf of Scotland’s premier athletes.
Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of the Commonwealth Games for Scotland, said: “This is the second successive Games we have teamed up with Emirates as our official travel partner. We have been working closely with them over the last two years, to prepare for the journey to Delhi, ensuring our athletes are in the best possible shape when they arrive with all their equipment intact. Having to change our plans earlier this week clearly demonstrates the importance of having the backing of a quality airline with a first class service ethos and Emirates never fails to deliver. We look forward to getting airborne and finally on our way.”
Laurie Berryman, Emirates’ Area Manager UK North, said: “As the Official Airline Partner of Team Scotland, we’re delighted to be flying them to Delhi in style and wish them the very best of luck for the Commonwealth Games.
“We are proud to be supporting the best in Scottish sport and with our award-winning service direct from Scotland, we’ll strive to ensure the team arrives refreshed and ready for the competition.”
The Minister for Public Health and Sport Shona Robison was also at the airport to wish the athletes good luck for the Games and said: “The Scottish Government and its Games partners have worked hard to ensure that Team Scotland can participate in a safe and successful Commonwealth Games and I am very pleased to see our athletes boarding flights and setting off for Delhi.
“We are continuing to review the progress made on the ground and I have once again spoken to the Indian Sports Minister to stress the importance that the assurances given by the Indian Government translate into action in order that the Village is ready to receive the athletes due to stay there.
“I would like to take this opportunity to once again commend our team who have dealt extremely well in what has been very challenging circumstances. These challenges however should not distract from the efforts of the athletes who have devoted years to training in a bid to pull on the national jersey and represent their country on the international stage.
“I look forward to offering my support to the team in Delhi and I am sure all of Scotland will join me in wishing everyone the very best of luck in their quest for Commonwealth glory.”
Team Scotland is also backed by Clydesdale Bank and has strong public sector support from sportscotland the national agency for sport.
sportscotland Chair Louise Martin CBE said: “At sportscotland we are extremely proud to be part of a team with the capacity to inspire the nation both through their sporting achievements and as ambassadors for Scotland.
“Team Scotland boasts a wealth of talent from those who we hope will deliver medals in Delhi, to those whose sights are set on Glasgow 2014. On behalf of sportscotland I would like to wish every single athlete, coach and official the very best of luck; we’re behind you all the way.”
Steve Reid, Retail Director, Clydesdale Bank added: “Representing Team Scotland, wearing the team colours and competing under the Saltire flag will I am sure be one of the proudest moments of their careers. On behalf of Team Scotland partners, Clydesdale Bank, I wish them every success in the challenges that lie in wait during the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi.”