Today (23 July), James McCallum (Commonwealth Games bronze medallist) joined the Minister for Public Health and Sport, Shona Robison at the site of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome to mark the five year countdown to the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Celtic Park.
The ceremony will launch the biggest multi-sports event Scotland has ever hosted, attracting 6500 athletes and officials from the 71 nations of the Commonwealth, as well as hundreds of thousands of spectators from around the world.
In the run up to the 2014, preparations will be on-going to deliver the Games, providing athletes with an outstanding sporting experience and showcasing Scotland as a country with world-class sporting venues, a passionate and proud population, and a vibrant, stylish and diverse culture.
Demonstrating exactly what can be achieved over the next five years, the Glasgow 2014 partners – Glasgow 2014, the Organising Committee for the Games, Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS), the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and the Commonwealth Games Federation – will work together to deliver a fantastic Games, leaving a strong and lasting sporting, social and economic legacy across Scotland.
Glasgow 2014 is responsible for the smooth delivery of the Games. This will include delivering the sports programme, monitoring the development of new and improved infrastructure, ensuring all venues are Games-ready and meet the specifications of the international sports federations, and recruiting and training 15,000 volunteers needed for the Games.
John Scott, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014 said, ”Our ambition is to host an outstanding, truly athlete-focused Games that showcases Scotland to the world. Meticulous planning will be required and a real attention to detail – from the athletes’ dietary requirements in the 300,000 meals served, 24/7 over the11 days in the athletes’ village, to providing for the religious requirements of the athletes and officials, through to security and travel arrangements for the 200 Royalty and Heads of States who will be attending the Games and recruiting and training the 15000 volunteers that we’ll need at Games time. We have a massive task ahead, but we’re all very excited about it and are confident that the people of Glasgow and Scotland will be right with us to support a truly world class event.”
The focus for Commonwealth Games Scotland will be to select, prepare and manage the team, who will have the privilege of being the very last team to enter the stadium to the tumultuous applause of the Scottish home crowd.
Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of CGS said, “The next five years offer unrivalled opportunities for Scotland’s athletes aiming to be on the podium at Glasgow 2014. We are under no illusions that a successful home Games will depend on a successful home team and for this we need to continue to have the whole of the Scottish sporting system behind us prioritising the Games.
“In particular, new facilities in Glasgow like the velodrome will transform the training and competition options for our talented young cyclists who aspire to follow in Chris Hoy’s footsteps and will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”
Minister for public Health and Sport Shona Robison said: “This Government has been working hard since our successful bid to bring the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow in 2014. We want to ensure that these Games are a memorable sporting occasion but we also want the whole of Scotland to benefit from hosting this event, not only in the short term, but for generations to come.
“We want to create a lasting legacy which will leave people from all backgrounds, in every area of Scotland, better off from this experience. Our priority is to get the country moving. We want to see more people physically active and living long, healthy lives. Our legacy plans will breathe new life into communities, create a strong and flourishing economy, enhance our reputation across the globe and ensure the whole of Scotland is fit for the future.”
Councillor Steven Purcell, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The next five years will be very exciting as we witness a key stage in the ongoing transformation and regeneration of Glasgow, with the delivery of many infrastructure projects that will be of enormous benefit to the city and country. These projects include the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, the completion of the M74, the refurbishment of Scotstoun Stadium, the National Arena at the SECC, the National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the continued regeneration of the Clyde and the expansion of retailing centres in the UK’s biggest shopping centre outside of London.
“While some of these are directly related to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, all will play a vital part in delivering a memorable Games for Glasgow, Scotland and our visitors. It is important to remember that beyond the Games, each of these projects will for many years be a key factor in the city’s social, physical and economic wellbeing, so it is fair to say that the next five years will be a momentous period in Glasgow’s history. There are now tremendous opportunities in Glasgow – for example, we are well on our way to delivering our commitment to provide an apprenticeship place for every suitably-qualified Glasgow school leaver this year, a major part of our efforts to ensure the Games leave a lasting legacy for the city.”
The Glasgow 2014 Games may be five years away but work is well underway to deliver a Games that will be outstanding and remembered. This five year moment is a key milestone, marking all that has been achieved and the many positive changes that’s still to come before and after the Games.