Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Glasgow 2014 - Let the Games Begin

The XX Commonwealth Games commence tonight with what promises to be a spectacular opening ceremony.

I arrived in Glasgow on Monday after a hassle free flight from Gatwick and a simple taxi ride to the Technical Officials Village. After dumping my case in my room, which is one of 5 in a shared dorm in the University campus, it was straight off to the Uniform and Accreditation Centre (UAC).
It was great to meet old friends from around the World and it was not long before the micky taking and banter started. The Scottish officials had already collected their accreditation and uniform a few weeks earlier and it was now just the handful of international officials that were on this bus to the spectacular Kelvin Hall.

The accreditation process was quick and simple. I had already received a Non Validated Pass prior to my arrival and this was converted to a full laminated pass at the UAC. It was then on to collect my uniforms. It was evident by the number of other sports officials that I would be in for a long wait. The atmosphere was jovial though and it made the wait bearable.
We were in for a long wait
When my number was called I was ushered into a cubicle and a selection of clothing was provided for me to try on. I must have been lucky and must be a fairly normal size and shape as pretty much everything I tried was a good fit.

Armed with my sheet of sizes and list of clothing it was off to a long counter to collect my wares. The Warehouse was enormous and packed with boxes, pallets and bags full of accessories and uniforms. After collecting my business suit and working uniform I had a fairly long wait for my colleagues, some of whom were without some items of clothing as they needed to be altered. By the time we had left the UAC to return to the accommodation it was almost 9:00pm.

Back at the village we all met up for a quick meet and introduction and it was again great to meet to some familiar faces and some officials who were at the Games for the first time. Following the meeting we popped into town for a very late meal and a few beers.

Kelvingrove overlooks the main greens
On Tuesday we all attended the venue and following a hearty breakfast we boarded a Games bus for the Kelvingrove Venue. Security was already in operation and we had to pass through airport style checks on entry to the bowls complex. We made ourselves comfortable in the very warm and somewhat cramped Technical Officials Lounge before being introduced to the Competition Managers.

Glasgow University dominates the skyline

The venue for the bowls is spectacular, arguably the most stunning backdrop to any venue. The complex has 5 competition greens and 1 practice green. The two main greens are surrounded by huge seating stands with the University Building in the background. We were taken on a tour of the venue to familiarise ourselves with the layout and important locations – such as toilets!!

After lunch we gathered for a meeting and a run through of the Conditions of Play. It was an opportunity to check some of the equipment we would be using for the event and to become familiar with some of the competition specific jobs that we would need to do each day prior to the games starting.

Myself, Graham Gibbins and Andy Ewens represent England
It was a warm day which is slightly out of character for Scotland but it was much better that rain. Bizarrely the Met Office had issued a hot weather warning for Wednesday where they predicted that the temperature could reach 25 degrees. Of course this was much to the amusement of our Antipodean colleagues who would most likely be needing a fleece to keep themselves warm in that temperature.

We had some official photos taken in our business uniforms in the evening and then it was back to the Village and a wander into town for a bite to eat.

The full team of 40 Officials
So far, I am very impressed with Glasgow, well the little part that I have seen, and the friendliness of the workforce and volunteers

Today we have a free day as the final preparations are being made in the run up to the Opening Ceremony. The excitement is building and I predict a fantastic games in Glasgow for the next 10 days. 

Let the Games Begin.

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