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Emirate Arena venue for Glasgow 2014 opens its doors to the public

Hundreds of school children were among the first to use the Glasgow 2014 Emirates Arena as it officially opened its doors to the public.

The £113m venue in the east end of the city has been constructed for the Commonwealth Games in less than two years’ time.

It includes the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the only facility of its kind in the country, as well as the Commonwealth Arena, which will be among the venues for the Games.

More than 400 school children from Sacred Heart and Dalmarnock primary schools joined Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson to officially open the facility to the public on Friday.

Mr Matheson said: "Today marks the dawn of a new era for Scottish sport as we officially open the Emirates Arena. It is a truly world-class venue that will be the new home of indoor sport in Scotland.

"The arena was built for the people of Glasgow so it is fitting that the very first people to use it today were school children from across the city. By investing in new facilities such as this we will help inspire a generation to become more involved in sport."

Sports Minister Shona Robson was among the delegation at the launch, which included demonstrations of disability sport and an open training session by basketball team the Glasgow Rocks.

She added: "It’s amazing to see the Emirates Arena open its doors as a showpiece venue for the Commonwealth Games, funded by the Scottish Government and other partners.

"As we race towards 2014, another facility is rising out of the Glasgow skyline showing what a fitting host city it will be. Not only is the arena an excellent venue for the 2014 Games, it is also a world-class venue for Glasgow, creating for legacy for the west of Scotland for years to come."

The facility will be know as the Emirates Arena expect during Glasgow 2014. The Dubai-based airline bought the naming rights to the venue for ten years for £5m last week. It contains an indoor sports arena, three full-size sports halls with 12 badminton courts, four outdoor 5-a-side football pitches, an outdoor 1km outdoor cycle circuit, one of the largest Glasgow Club health and fitness centres in the city and a luxury spa.


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Glasgow 2014 Games preparations 'best in 20 years'

Preparations for Glasgow 2014 are the best for any Commonwealth Games in the past 20 years, according to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

The CGF co-ordination commission held its latest official inspection on Thursday.

Chairman Bruce Robertson said he was "particularly impressed" with the completed velodrome complex and the developing athletes' village.

He called the legacy plans a "blueprint" for future Games.

Mr Robertson said: "From what I have seen at this stage in the project, with the quality of work they have done, I would say they are the best prepared that I have seen in the last number of games.

"It is going to be fantastic, the village is first class, I think spectators, Glaswegians, all Scots are going to have a fantastic time.

"After the competition is over - central Glasgow, the arenas - it will provide a lot of pluses for the city."

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of the 2014 organising committee, said Glasgow was already benefiting from the Games.

He said: "What Bruce and his team said today about the athletes village, it's the best they have seen.

"We have the Chris Hoy velodrome, we have the indoor sports arena, now called Emirates.

"If you go to any of these venues now, you see young Scottish people in them, so its is legacy today, not after the games, we are getting legacy benefits right now."


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Glasgow 2014 Games preparations 'best in 20 years'

At the risk of sounding like a bias Australian - I am wondering what the criteria is for coming to this conclusion. The obvious challenger here is Melbourne 2006 - which had almost every venue already in place or under construction before the bid was even won. The rest were moderate upgrades to existing venues, the MSAC expansion and Athletes Village.

Although I concede that Glasgow's 2014 Games, like Manchester 2002, are probably a more reasonable template for most potential smaller Commonwealth cities. The event put on by Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur veered close to Olympic in scale.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Irn-Bru firm AG Barr sponsors Glasgow 2014 Games

The firm behind Irn-Bru has been named as the latest sponsor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Soft drinks company AG Barr will support the event through its brands, including Irn-Bru and Strathmore spring water.

It will supply water to the athletes' village, with other drinks being made available across games venues.

AG Barr is one of the UK's largest soft drinks producers, and has links with Glasgow going back more than a century.

David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014 chief executive, said: "I am delighted to welcome such a well-known Scottish brand into the Glasgow 2014 family of supporters".

He added: "The company has a strong track record of supporting sport at all levels from grassroots to elite and we look forward to working with them."

Roger White, AG Barr chief executive, said: "Glasgow 2014 is massively exciting, whether you're taking part, volunteering or watching.

"The games will bring something extraordinary to a very special city, and we are delighted to play our part in that."

The 20th Commonwealth Games will be held in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August 2014.


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Yup, this is the nations second national drink after Whisky. It has always outsold Coca Cola.

It is an acquired taste, but if you grow up on it then its yum - i still buy it here in NZ - Its a bit like Vegemite for the Aussies, if you not used to it then getting to like it can be difficult.

I am glad Barr's are sponsoring the event.

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A £10m fund to improve local sport and recreation facilities and leave a lasting legacy after Glasgow 2014 has opened for applications.

Grants between £10,000 and £100,000 are available to help build or upgrade local facilities.

The funding is part of the Scottish Government's Commonwealth Games Legacy 2014 programme.

Money will be awarded to projects such as new skate parks and outdoor adventure facilities.

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said: "The Commonwealth Games will be the biggest multi-sports event Scotland has ever hosted and provides a unique opportunity to create a positive and lasting legacy for Scotland.

"This fund will help communities improve facilities and will appeal to Scots young and old to get more active.

"I want as many people as possible to benefit and to be inspired by the Commonwealth Games to adopt healthier, more active lives."

The funding launch was held at the refurbished Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games.

It will host the 2014 diving competition.

Future generations

Commonwealth and Olympic swimming champion David Wilkie said: "Having taken part in the Commonwealth Games in 1970 on home turf, I can honestly say the impact of such a huge event happening in Scotland cannot be underestimated.

"This is a really exciting time for sport and I personally believe the Games coming to Glasgow in 2014 will have wide reaching benefits for the country as a whole.

"We've seen how London 2012 successfully inspired an increased interest in sport, and we need to harness the same energy in Scotland to ensure future generations are inspired and have access to sporting facilities to help them meet their potential."

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A search has begun to enlist 15,000 volunteers to help out during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Following the success of the volunteer scheme at the Olympics, organisers hope to find a wide range of people who can assist both competitors and spectators.

Almost a quarter of adults in Scotland have expressed an interest in volunteering, according to research carried out for organisers.

A volunteer centre is now open and online applications open in January.

Interviews for the positions will take place next year.

According to the survey of 903 people, carried out by Axiom, about one in six (17%) described themselves as "fairly interested" and 7% "very interested" in volunteering.

Even the lower proportion would equate to 180,000 people, the Games organising committee said.

Valerie Mitchell, from the committee, said: "We are very encouraged by this survey as it shows there is an appetite among people in Scotland to go out and volunteer.

"But while this is positive news, there is no complacency on our part that we will get the numbers we require.

"We would urge people to visit the website and register their interest now and hope that they begin to think about how they could be involved to help make a success of the biggest sporting and cultural event ever to come to Scotland."

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Emirates to be official airline for Glasgow 2014 Games

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has secured a high profile new sponsor.

BBC Scotland has learned that Emirates will be revealed as the official airline for the Games on Wednesday.

The announcement comes just a few weeks after the company paid £5m for the naming rights to the Commonwealth arena in Glasgow's East End.

The venue opened to the public last month and includes the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Commonwealth Indoor Sports Stadium and three sports halls.


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Wow. That has to be a first... a foreign airline as official airline of a sporting event. Even more ill-fitting is the fact that Emirates are based in a non-Commonwealth country. Are BA really that messed up?

Emirates are pretty vigourous in their sponsorship crusade, eg/ today is the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

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Probably has a lot more to do with the wonga Emirates has to throw around than anything to do with BA. BA just sponsored the Olympics don't forget.

Regardless of 2012, it doesn't look too good on BA's part to sponsor the more expensive, English based event, and to sideline the cheaper Scottish event two years later. You could draw many conclusions from this, especially given BA was involved in 2002.

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Think you're reading way too much into it. My guess is a preexisting relationship as velodrome sponsors plus probably more money offered made their bid more appealing. It's funny you put the 'blame' on BA though. Whenever LOCOG chose a foreign company as a sponsor it was always they who received flack for not supporting British business rather than the overlooked company for not putting forward an enticing enough package.

Reducing these complex deals down to'LOCOG isn't supporting British business' or 'BA isn't supporting the Scottish Games but they supported the English ones' is probably oversimplifying things. We don't know the offers on the table do we? Emirates might have blown every other bidder out of the water. In fact, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

Edited by RobH
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Okay, ceremony fans. Some comments to whet your appetites for 2014. Though the biggest news to me is that the Glasgow OCXis going to be a daytime one.

Games chief's 2014 warning

The producer of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies has spoken publicly for the first time about the events and warned they cannot be expected to emulate the scale and spend of the London Olympics.

Head of ceremonies David Zolkwer, who was speaking ahead of an address to students in Edinburgh today, said part of his job in designing the ceremonies, which will be watched by an estimated one billion people around the world, was to manage people's expectations after the huge success of London 2012.

Mr Zolkwer, one of the world's leading producers of public events with experience of Commonwealth and Olympic Games, said he had noticed a big swell in interest in Glasgow 2014 in the days after London but that the Glasgow games would have to be very different.

"A lot of what I'm doing, and certainly a lot of what the organising committee is doing, is trying to manage people's expectations," he said. "We can't emulate the scale and spend that has preceded us at the Olympics even if we wanted to.

"Quite frankly, even in comparison to quite recent Commonwealth games, it is a modest budget. So to try to emulate precedent is not the way forward – what we have to do is be different through wit and guile and innovation. I think in the process Glasgow and Scotland can help redefine what ceremonies should be about in the 21st century."

Mr Zolkwer, who is director of public events at agency Jack Morton Worldwide, will be explaining some of the challenges of organising big events to students and staff at Queen Margaret University today. It will be his first public presentation in Scotland since taking up his appointment.

Mr Zolkwer said he was still in the fact-finding stage of his job and would not be able to reveal his first ideas for the ceremonies until early next year.

"We're looking at what should 21st-century ceremonies look like, how can they be more inclusive and digital," he said.

"I think ceremonies can sometimes be done to places and they become chest-beating exercises and it's all about how fantastic we are and I'm just not sure that's the way forward."

Mr Zolkwer's experience of big events includes the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 and Melbourne in 2006. He was also a consultant to the Beijing organising committee for the 2008 Olympics and was creative director of the Royal Wedding celebrations in London's Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square last year.

Mr Zolkwer said he was determined to wring every penny out of every pound in 2014 and that one advantage of Glasgow's ceremonies was that they would be happening during the day rather than at night.

"That completely changes the vibe of the experience; it means we won't be spending a huge amount of money on lighting."

Mr Zolkwer, who is from Manchester, is now spending most of his week in Glasgow getting to know the city. "I'm completely thrilled – right from the start of the bidding process, I felt I had a right fit for Glasgow," he said.

Today's event at Queen Margaret University will involve Mr Zolkwer talking to event management students about his experiences with Jack Morton, his career to date, and his challenges in delivering the Commonwealth Games.

Herald Scotland

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Bolt bound for Scotland as 100m record holder wants to run at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Usain Bolt has revealed he 'definitely' wants to compete in the 100 metres at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Jamaican missed the 2006 Games in Melbourne with a hamstring injury and elected not to travel to Delhi four years ago, but said he wants to compete again in Britain to complete his collection of international sprint titles.

The Olympic champion and world record-holder over 100m and 200m said: 'Definitely. That’s the only title I don’t have so I think it’s something I would like to go for, even if I just do the 100m.

'It’s something to say (I have won) at the end of my career. It’s a good one to get and if everything goes well and the coach (Glenn Mills) agrees then I will go. It’s the Commonwealth Games so I don’t think he will have a problem with me going.'

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Protesters occupy Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games headquarters

Disabled protesters occupied the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games headquarters in an attempt to have IT firm Atos dropped as an official sponsor.

The action took place at the Albion Street offices of the Games on Tuesday at around 11am, when around 25 protesters occupied part of the facility.

It came in response to the unveiling of French firm Atos as a commercial sponsor for the Games. The protesters left Commonwealth House at around 1.30pm.

The business has been criticised for its work as part of a £110m-a-year contract with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to conduct work capability assessments, which decide whether the ill and disabled are able to work.

Citizens United activists are behind the protest, which includes several disabled people who have dealt with Atos in recent years.

Sean Clerkin, of the group, said: "We want Atos removed as a sponsor of the Commonwealth Games. People are being passed fit for work when they are not - it's a target-driven culture.

"The chief executive was in London, so we did not put our views to him. We will now be writing to all MSPs to ask them to back our campaign."

Atos said they collect information from assessments designed by the Department of Work and Pensions and do not make decisions on an individuals' entitlement to benefit.

A spokeswoman said: "While we fully respect people's right to peaceful protest and understand this is a highly emotive issue, Atos is proud to be an official supporter of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee providing games management systems and information systems.

"We hope people will view the Games, as we do, as an opportunity to celebrate sporting achievements."

In March, Atos was unveiled as a sponsor for Glasgow 2014, when it was confirmed the IT firm would provide "accreditation systems" for 70,000 Games participants, as well as systems to facilitate the recruitment and management of volunteers for the event.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014 said: "We are very proud to have global IT experts Atos as part of Glasgow 2014’s sponsor family. As a worldwide IT partner for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the company has demonstrated unwavering commitment to driving forward the Paralympic movement by providing dedicated practical support to athletes for the last ten years.

"An important consideration for us is how a sponsor will contribute to the mission and ambitions of Glasgow 2014 and we are confident in the positive role Atos will play in helping us deliver an athlete centred and sports focused Commonwealth Games."

She added: "A small group of protesters staged a short protest at Commonwealth House today. They departed peacefully. Strathclyde Police was informed."


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Just saw the report. Daytime OC? Is he crazy? That sets the whole genre of Opening Ceremonies a century back. Well, it's just the CWGs anyway.

I agree.

Apart from him noting the cost of lighting going down, I can't really work out any other appeal of having the opening ceremony during daylight hours. If anything, the use of theatrical lighting can make less seem more in stadium theatre . You can make an effective piece by using a single person mid field in spotlight, but daytime you lack all of that.

I really hope we don't see a quaint return to the days of kids wearing multi coloured trackies forming symbols and flags on the field.

I really would be interested to find out the reason for this silly move.

On a more logistical note, I loved Glasgow when I was there, but it does tend to rain a fair bit up there.

You can get away with rain during a ceremony at night, it's not so obvious, but you'll notice it piddling down during the day. Of course, we hope we won't have to worry about that, but there is always a chance.

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