Happy Saturday to you!
(Note: This post is somewhat similar to my post today on Writing Wrangler and Warriors.)
There has been a huge amount of activity going on in Glasgow over the last years as the city has readied itself to host The Commonwealth Games. Although not on the scale of the Olympic Games, for many athletes The Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle of their achievement. Sometimes athletes have natural ability but they don’t have the financial backing to allow them to train sufficiently as professional athletes, and perform to the standards that would take them to the Olympics. However many of those in the semi-professional, or amateur capacity, can reach excellent levels in The Commonwealth Games.
Clyde was designed by a 12 year old, I'm told from Cumbernauld ?, in a competition to create the best mascot for the Glasgow 2014 games. Clyde is representative of the Scottish Thistle - wearing a quirky athletic outfit.
Some of the venues for the games are already established sporting venues like Hampden Park- recently refurbished.
However, many brand new buildings have been created to house the athletes, and suitable arenas have been built for them to perform in. Regeneration projects have been wound into the planning of the new venues around the city of Glasgow, and some which go beyond the city beyond into areas not too distant - for events like cycling, which require outdoor tracks. The new buildings are substantial and will be available to the general public for generations to come.
The bulk of the funding needed for these projects has been generated in and around Glasgow and has not come from general UK funding- unlike the hugely expensive London Olympics to which Scotland, and the rest of the UK, contributed to.
The Hydro is a new multi-purpose venue, seating a realistic 13,000 people, and will be used for future music gigs/concerts as well as sporting events. During the 2014 games, it has hosted the netball matches and the gymnastic events.
I can’t do justice to these new building projects in this short post but this link will, hopefully, take you to a great site with tons of information.
Over the decades of the running of the games, they have been called slightly different names, reflecting the different political climates under which they have operated. From 1930 -1950 they were The British Empire Games; from 1954-1966 the British Empire and Commonwealth Games; from 1970-74 they were named The British Commonwealth Games; and since then The Commonwealth Games.
Similar to the Olympic Games, they have been held every 4 years, with the exception of the cancellations for the duration of the Second World War – 1942 and 1946. Because it has British Empire origins, unlike the Olympic Games the 4 nations which make up The United Kingdom each sends their own teams- therefore there is a Scotland team which has my support.
The aim of the games is to ‘unite the Commonwealth family through sport’ and it’s very encouraging to see that some sports which are particular favourites in Commonwealth countries are listed in the games, but wouldn’t be events at the Olympics. Netball and lawn bowls are 2 examples. The spoken language is English- common to all performers.
6500 athletes and supporting officials from 71 different nations and territories are competing in 17 different sports over the 11 days of the games. As I write this post it is day 10 of the 11 days of events. The venues have been packed every day with thousands of visitors. And the results are brilliant. Team Scotland are sitting at this position- absolutely fabulous for a nation of 5 million people, as opposed to England which has something upwards of 50 million inhabitants.
Personally, I wasn't too enamoured about the Opening Ceremony of the games- Karen Dunbar not my favourite actress, and the Tunnocks Teacakes too wacky for me to appreciate them. There are also many opinions of the outfits of TEAM SCOTLAND, the yellow patterened tops being a bit flowery for the male contingent as far a I'm concerned, but I just might tune in on Sunday (3rd August 2014) to see the Closing Ceremony. In the hope that I enjoy it!
I don't write about games in my novels but Glasgow does feature in my new version of 'Take Me Now', which is currently under consideration with a publisher for a second republishing of my corporate mystery. Meanwhile I'm still rewriting my novel for early teens... someday it will be done!