Team Scotland was officially welcomed to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with a vibrant display of traditional and modern Australian culture in the Athletes’ Village.
Each team from the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth is welcomed to the Village in a special ceremony to acknowledge the journeys made by athletes and team officials to the Games and mark the start of their residency in the Village.
After a short procession, the team were treated to a traditional Welcome to Country by Tugambeh performers of the Mununjali tribe.
The indigenous troupe performed a creation dance that took the Scots back in time to when the Gold Coast was first created, before inviting Team Scotland weightlifter Jodey Hughes and hockey player Kareena Cuthbert to participate in the ceremony by placing the ‘soil of the land’ on to their hands to signify the indigenous exchange.
Hughes, who will compete in the 58kg category, said: “I had just had breakfast and was still feeling a bit lethargic and jet-lagged, but I came away from here full of energy. It was incredible and an amazing way to be welcomed.”
While Hughes competes at her first Commonwealth Games, hockey player Alan Forsyth is relishing being back with Team Scotland for his third. “Checking in and being officially welcomed makes the Commonwealth Games feel all the more real,” he said.
“The achievements and memories made by athletes will last a lifetime, connecting with other athletes and other sports in a way that’s unique to multi-sports Games.”
The long-standing custom for the Athletes’ Villages to appoint a Village Mayor saw Olympic medallists Mark Stockwell (Swimming, 1984) and Sara Carrigan (Cycling, 2004) share the honour of representing the Organising Committee in the Village.
Team Scotland numbers 224 athletes, with 131 men and 93 women, including 18 Para-Sport athletes, set to compete over the 11 days of competition.
Jon Doig OBE, Chef de Mission of Team Scotland, added: “For our athletes and officials, hearing ‘Flower of Scotland’ as the saltire is raised at the team welcome ceremony signifies that Team Scotland are in residence and the final phase of preparations has begun. Now is the time to apply the finishing touches in our bid to deliver our most successful overseas Games.”
The Athletes’ Village is just a short trip to the Carrara Stadium, venue for the Opening Ceremony this Wednesday 4 April. Thousands of fans, athletes and officials will be welcomed, celebrated and entertained as the XXI Commonwealth Games begin.
It will be a momentous day for the Gold Coast, as the biggest event in its history begins and sets the tone for 11 days of world-class sporting competition.