Glasgow National Hockey Centre, venue for the Hockey competition at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, will open next month and today some of the Scotland men’s and women’s squad members got the chance to try-out the new state-of-the-art pitch.
The £5.5million project is sited immediately beside Glasgow Green Football Centre on Kings Drive and is the last of the Games venues to be completed by Glasgow City Council more than a year before the Games begin on 23 July 2014.
The main building at the centre has 500 seats in its grandstand, with a further 4,500 temporary seats to be in situ at Games time. There are two new international standard, water-based, floodlit synthetic hockey pitches, with changing accommodation for players and officials, which will see plenty of world-class action next summer.
The facility, designed by Glasgow City Council’s in-house design team, and built by City Building, will also include accommodation, offices, meeting rooms and a function suite to provide a new national centre for hockey, with Scottish Hockey taking on the lease for the centre’s upper floor.
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said: “It is great to see that Glasgow National Hockey Centre will soon open, and this is a project that will surely further develop the sport in Scotland at all levels. This international-standard venue is a wonderful addition to Glasgow’s already outstanding sporting facilities.”
Jon Doig, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Games Scotland and Team Scotland Chef de Mission, said: “This is a fantastic new hockey facility which will undoubtedly come alive next July, when our men’s and women’s teams take to the pitch against some of the best teams in the world. I am looking forward to being here in the midst of a passionate home crowd and cheering our athletes on.
“Hockey has added a fantastic dimension to Team Scotland and the Commonwealth Games since its inclusion in 1998. Congratulations to Glasgow City Council on developing such a fantastic new hockey centre, not only for the Games, but as a legacy for the sport going forwards.”
Former Olympic and Commonwealth hockey player, Rhona Simpson said: “I’m incredibly proud to be a part of the Glasgow 2014 journey and in particular to witness the end of construction at the Glasgow Green Hockey Centre. The completion of another venue in the city offers an emphatic tangible sense of excitement towards the Games in 2014. To have a facility of this calibre is a huge investment in Scottish hockey, not only for our current players but for the next generation of players and future stars of the sport. This world-class and accessible venue will also allow people of all ages and abilities to come and try the sport in a venue that in 2014 will be home to the world’s best players from across the Commonwealth.”
Excited to see the new facility first hand ,Alison Bell who has just won her 100th cap for Scotland and is hoping to be part of Team Scotland next year said: “I really like the new centre and being on the pitch for the first time it seems really good, so I am just looking forward to playing here. Hopefully we will get some national sessions here during the winter training period.”
The next challeng for both men’s and women’s teams on their journey to Glasgow 2014 is the European Championships in August.
Photo: Hockey players Kareena & William Marshall, Ali Bell, Ailsa Wylie & Alan Forsyth