Two of Scotland’s up and coming young triathletes had the opportunity to meet with Olympic Games chief Lord Sebastian Coe at Strathclyde Park on his first ever visit to a Glasgow 2014 satellite venue yesterday.
A strong element of Glasgow’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014 was that 70% of venues were already in place and today Lord Coe spoke of how impressed he was of Glasgow 2014’s preparations.
Strathclyde Park already has an established international Rowing facility and regularly hosts Triathlon events, but it will be upgraded to ensure the best possible experience for athletes and spectators at Glasgow 2014.
During the visit, 2014Chairman Lord Smith and Seb Coe met Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon, who are both aspiring to compete at Strathclyde Park for Team Scotland in less than three years time.
Glasgow 2014 Chairman Lord Smith said: “Everyone is getting excited about the Olympics coming to London next year and our own countdown is now under the three year milestone. I’m delighted to welcome Seb Coe to Scotland to see just how big a difference both events are making north of the border.
“We all hope to improve the lives of Scots but we are also seeing tangible benefits through new and improved sporting facilities. In addition to the fantastic progress being made at the new National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, places like Strathclyde Park will also benefit from the Games.”
Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) said:“With just less than three years to go, it is impressive to see and hear first-hand about the preparations to stage the Commonwealth Games Triathlon event in 2014.
“It is clear the Glasgow 2014 organisers have put athletes at the heart of their decision making to ensure they have the best possible competition experience. I wish Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon the very best for their plans to compete at Strathclyde Park in 2014, in front of a home crowd and no doubt inspiring Scotland’s next generation of athletes to go for gold.”
17-year-old Glaswegian Marc Austin, a member of the victorious GB Mixed Relay team at the ETU European Junior Triathlon Championships and bronze medal winner at the European Junior Cup in Luxembourg, said: “Strathclyde Park is a special place for me because it was where I won bronze at the Junior Triathlon and ultimately led to me representing Great Britain at the European Junior Triathlon Championships in Spain where I was part of the Mixed Relay winning team.
“It was a huge honour to meet Sebastian Coe today and the experience of meeting him and hearing how Strathclyde Park will be used at the Commonwealth Games has given me even more ambition to represent Scotland at Glasgow 2014.”
Grant Sheldon, who is 16 and from nearby Blantyre, recently recorded two podium finishes at the British Triathlon Junior Super Series, said: “I live within five miles of Strathclyde Park so it would be an absolute dream come true to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games so close to home.
“My performances have been improving consistently and I am working hard to ensure that continues over the next three years to give myself the best possible chance of competing at Glasgow 2014.”
Strathclyde Park is located just 18km (19 minutes) from the Athletes Village – construction on which commenced in June.
Come Glasgow 2014, the venue will benefit from 2,000 temporary seats with road extensions and improvements being considered.
Specialist facilities will also be installed on a temporary basis to meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Games Federation and International Federation for Triathlon to accommodate Games and sport specific requirements including athlete preparation areas.
The legacies left by the proposed works include improvements to enhance the Triathlon facilities at Strathclyde Park for training and major events.