After 12 years working for Commonwealth Games Scotland, Chief Executive and Team Chef de Mission, Jon Doig is no stranger to this game. However, with one year to go until Glasgow 2014, the New Zealander is hoping these Games have the same lasting impact on thousands of Scots, just as witnessing his first Games did.
“To this day, I still hear people in Scotland talking about the impact the 1970 Edinburgh Games had on them”, Doig said. “I would be delighted if Glasgow 2014 also has a 40+ year impact, particularly on children watching the Games and that they become inspired to have a sporting career themselves or even go into coaching or administration based on what they see here.”
Jon Doig’s passion for the Commonwealth Games started when he was eight years old, attending his first Games with his father and sister in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“It was the most mind blowing experience to see the athletes in those games and see all these countries I’d never heard of”, he recalls. “It was stimulating to go through and learn about the countries and the sports. My sister went on to swim at the 1984 Olympic Games, my brotherÂ was in the 1990 Commonwealth Games and I became a sports administrator now working on my fifth Commonwealth Games, such was the impression it made on us. I’m now really looking forward to my own three boys having that same experience this year, and seeing lots of kids across Scotland benefit as well.”
In the meantime, the next year is going to be very important for Doig and his management team to prepare for Glasgow 2014. Long hours of detailed event planning and preparation will consume them before, during and even after the Games take place.
“With one year to go, we need to make sure our plans are in place. From managing the selection of the athletes, to ordering the team clothing, preparing our area of accommodation in the Village and ensuring all the necessary support staff and systems are in place to create an appropriate environment where the athletes have ever opportunity to excel at the Games.”
However, at the end of all of that planning, something truly magical happens when the athletes come together for the first time under the Team Scotland banner.
“It’s like the first day of school”, Doig said. “We will have a team camp at the start of July 2014, when the athletes come together for the first time. There will be those who have met before and even competed against each other for a number of years and are meeting again in Glasgow; but we also have the athletes who have never been before and don’t quite know what to expect.”
“They work really hard to get here and then all of the sudden what’s been a dream for so long becomes a reality. It’s a great feeling to witness this and to help mould and shape the athletes and staff from the 17 sports into one team over the period of the Games, supportive and respectful of each other from start to finish, as we strive to have our most successful Games ever.”
Doig is confident that Scotland’s plans are well on track and he looks forward with a mixture of anticipation and excitement to welcoming the class of 2014 to Team Scotland.
Photo Credit: CGS