Jak Scott, a member of Team Scotland’ silver medal winning 4x200m freestyle relay team in Delhi joined in the celebrations today, as construction work got underway to upgrade the Tollcross Aquatics Centre in Glasgow which will play host to the 2014 aquatics events in just over three years time.
Jak was joined by Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport; David Grevemberg, Acting Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014 and Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland.
This work will result in the creation of a new six-lane 50 metre warm-up pool to add to the existing 10-lane 50 metre competition pool at Tollcross, to provide a dedicated venue for swimming events at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; the creation of a new community facility to replace the fire-damaged Shettleston Burgh Halls; and the refurbishment of the existing Tollcross Leisure Centre.
As part of the programme, 1,000 permanent seats will be added to the 1,000 already existing, with a further 3,000 temporary seats in place during the Games.
Michael Cavanagh, Chairman, Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “Tollcross has seen some exciting international swimming action over the years, but nothing that will compare with the atmosphere when the greatest swimmers in the Commonwealth enter the water. Team Scotland swimmers have been extremely successful at the last two Commonwealth Games and I know how much they will enjoy and benefit from the support of a fabulous home crowd cheering them on to victory. It is great to see the re-development of the pool now underway and the action coming one step closer.”
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said: “The Tollcross Aquatics Centre project will bring a world-class swimming facility both for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the decades thereafter, and a new community facility. Such a venue can only increase the appeal of Tollcross for swimmers of all abilities, attract future competitions and deliver even more success for the City of Glasgow Swim Team.”
Excited at the prospect of being part of Team Scotland again for a home Games Jak Scott added: “It great to see that work on the pool is now underway, which brings us one step closer to Glasgow 2014 and competing in front of a huge Scottish crowd. Training is going really well and off the back of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year I have managed to qualify for the World Championships in Shanghai next month which is my first international GB cap. This is a great step forward for me towards London 2012 and Glasgow 2014.
“The momentum is really starting to build, training has been upped and everyone is really focused on reaching their goals. Days like today make everything more real, and makes me even more determined to be successful here in Glasgow in 2014.
“I have seen the plans for the pool and it will be a world class facility and for Glasgow to have such a great venue will be an enormous help for Scottish Swimming for years to come.
“It gives me goose bumps just thinking about competing here in front of a home crowd. I think back to Delhi and looking up at my family and celebrating with other members of the Scottish team and seeing just how passionate everyone was about Commonwealth Games, only this time the pool is going to be full of people supporting us every step of the way. It is going to absolutely buzzing in here which is great!”
Jak is competing at the Scottish National Championships at Tollcross this week, before flying out to a training camp in Osaka, Japan on 12 July to make his final preparations for the World Championships in Shangahia as part of the British team, which includes six other Scots.