The Commonwealth Games take place every four years and is considered one of the top three international sporting events in the world. Glasgow originally decided to make a bid to host the Commonwealth games back in 2002 and, after five years of presentations and assessments, officially won the bid back in November 2007. Now the city is counting down to the 11 day event due to run over July – August 2014. With new stadiums being built, its own Athlete Village and a full programme of cultural events surrounding the games, Glasgow is set to be a hot UK destination next year.
Commonwealth Games Sports
Diving and athletics will be very popular sports for next year’s Commonwealth Games, especially with Usain Bolt’s strong hints at an appearance in the 100m final. The games are being backed by a number of Team GB Olympic heroes to help lift the Commonwealth Games’ international profile including Rebecca Adlington, Sir Chris Hoy and most recently Tom Daley.
There will be seventeen sports at this year’s games, ten of which are core sports and seven selected sports, chosen by Glasgow city. The core sports include aquatics (swimming and diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, squash and weightlifting. Glasgow has also selected seven additional sports: cycling, diving, gymnastics, judo, shooting, table tennis, triathlon and wrestling.
The Commonwealth Games includes lawn bowls, the only sport that’s featured in the Commonwealth Games not recognised by the Olympic committee. All about precision, bold strategy and focus, lawn bowls may not have the physicality of the other sports, but can still promise a lot of drama. With a variety of countries making up the medal tally over the past, it’s always a surprise who wins gold.
Commonwealth Games Venues
The Hydro is set for completion by the end of September 2013 and is an exciting new venue for Glasgow. The council hope that the Hydro will rival other stadium venues such as the O2 in London and Madison Square Garden in New York. Although the boxing heats will predominately happen in the SECC Precinct (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre) the boxing finals are planned to take place in the Hydro.
The SECC Precinct will be a major hive of activity during the games, hosting netball, weightlifting, gymnastics, wrestling, judo and boxing. Other busy venues include the Scotstoun Sports Campus which will host table tennis and squash. Fans wanting to see cycling will find heats at both the Emirates Arena and also the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The only sport that will take place away from Glasgow are the aquatic events; the swimming and diving heats will take place in Edinburgh at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, built especially for the 1970 Commonwealth Games.
Festival 2014 is the overarching name for the programme of other non-sport events that will coincide with the Commonwealth Games. Make the most of a trip to the Commonwealth Games by visiting one of Glasgow’s fantastic art, music and comedy events running next summer.
Performances confirmed so far include a Janey Godley comedy bus tour with stand-up shows from Scottish and Commonwealth artists, an outdoor screening of Phil Collins’ major new film, inspired by stories, characters and images from Glasgow and GRIT, a Cirque Du Soleil-esque production that incorporates dance, circus and theatre.
A visit to Glasgow for the games should also include a visit to some of the city’s most famous highlights.
- Food and Dining Out: With the games taking place over the summer, take advantage of the al fresco restaurants along the Royal Exchange Square, Buchanan Street and the cobbled West End. Find traditional Scottish dishes as well as international cuisine from tapas to sushi, or discover why Glasgow has won the Curry Capital title four times with an exquisite dish at Indian restaurants like Heera and Charcoals.
- Museums and Galleries: Discover Glasgow’s rich history and diverse culture with a look around some of its celebrated museums and galleries. The Piping Museum is the only independent museum devoted to the iconic Highland Bagpipe and The Riverside Museum, a new addition to the city’s attraction, houses Glasgow’s transport collection. The most popular free attraction is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and it’s worth checking out the Hunterian Museum and Art gallery too, Scotland’s oldest public museum.
- Shopping: The independent shops and large shopping arcades in Glasgow have drawn comparison with London’s West End. On a visit to Glasgow pop in to one of the city’s famous independent record stores like Rubadub Records, Monorail Music and Lost Chord, the oldest second hand record store in Glasgow. For fashion lovers, the Style Mile in the centre of Glasgow is home to boutique designers, flagship stores and international retailers.
- Seeing Scotland: Whether it’s a visit to one of its 600 renowned golf courses, a trip to the Glengoyne whiskey distillery, a Haggis Pakora Master Class or a ramble over the highlands, Glasgow is in a superb location to immerse yourself in Scottish culture.
- Find out more attractions to cover in 24 hours with this daytrip guide to Glasgow.
How to get there
- By car – Glasgow is linked to England on the M74, Edinburgh with the M8, and the west coast of Scotland with the M77.
- By train – Glasgow Central Station has rail links to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, York and London. Trains from London to Glasgow take just over 4hrs.
- By plane – Flights from London to Glasgow only take 1hr20min and prices start from £130 return from London City Airport.