Games, set and match to the Royal Couple

April 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

William, Duke of Cambridge met young athletes at the Emirates Arena. Photograph by Ian Watson

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their first formal visit to Glasgow yesterday.

They spent the morning meeting young people at the city’s recently opened £113 million Emirates Arena. The flagship venue will host badminton and track cycling events in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is a key part of the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Later this year the Junior Track World Championships and World Youth Netball Championships will take place there.

During their tour of the state-of-the-art facility the Royal couple watched pupils from the Glasgow School of Sports and other aspiring athletes, training in athletics, track cycling, badminton, football and netball. They then viewed a Glasgow 2014 exhibition where they met young people including Beth Gilmour who designed Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde and apprentices who were employed as part of the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative. They also met Mahad Ahmed and Jasmine Main – young ambassadors for Glasgow’s bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games – and some City Building apprentices who worked on the construction of the Emirates Arena.

Next they went to Drumchapel’s Glasgow Club Donald Dewar. There they launched a Scottish pilot of the innovative Coach Core project. Launched last July just before the London 2012 Olympic Games, Coach Core aims to inspire and train the next generation of sports coaches across the UK.

The Duchess tried her hand at table tennis.

It is hoped that the Glasgow project will form an important part of the legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

The Royal Foundation is partnering with Glasgow Life and the Hunter Foundation on the initiative.

Chair of Glasgow Life and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “This visit highlights our shared vision and commitment to sport in Glasgow, from investing in world-class facilities such as the stunning new Emirates Arena through to our partnership with The Royal Foundation, which will create coaching opportunities at a grassroots level.  Sports coaches are at the very heart of sport in Glasgow and we are honoured that their Royal Highnesses chose the city to launch the Scottish pilot of the Coach Core initiative. London 2012 inspired a generation and we want to continue that journey through the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Coach Core will help us do that.”

Sir Tom Hunter, Chairman of The Hunter Foundation which has provided funding to The Royal Foundation to enable the delivery of the Coach Core programme in Glasgow, said: “Coach Core is an exceptional model of positive social intervention because it uses sport to enable lasting change at grassroots, community level. We are delighted to have supported The Royal Foundation in bringing this important initiative to Scotland. Our hope is that the apprentice coaches employed by Glasgow Life each year will deliver transformational change in their communities through sports development. We’d also like to see Coach Core in every local authority in Scotland through the leadership of The Royal Foundation and Glasgow Life.”

Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: “We were absolutely delighted to show the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge how young people are an integral part of the journey towards the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the biggest multi-sport event Scotland has ever seen.

“Young people have been involved in all of our major milestones from the creation of our official games mascot, called Clyde,

The Royal Couple meet Clyde the 2014 Games Mascot, which was designed by a schoolgirl.

to the design of the official Glasgow 2014 tartan and right through to the Commonwealth apprentices who work on delivering the Games at our Glasgow headquarters.”

Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games ambassador Jasmine Main said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to tell the Duchess of Cambridge about the city’s plans to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.”


Emirates Arena Rocks to the top

October 9, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Glasgow’s Emirates Arena is up and running!

The £113 million sports venue at 1000 London Road in the city’s East End was opened on Friday 5 October 2012 by Glasgow City Council Leader, Gordon Matheson.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, personally, welcomed local school pupils to the new Emirates Arena. Photograph by Ian Watson


He stood at the door and personally welcomed some of the 400 pupils from Sacred Heart and Dalmarnock Primary Schools who were among the first official users into the building. They were trying out the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Scotland’s only indoor velodrome, which is an integral part of the venue.

During the weekend following the opening, the place attracted well over 10,000 people who were freely able to inspect the new facility.

Located next to the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village and Celtic Park, the Emirates Arena is the largest facility of its kind in Europe. During the Commonwealth Games in 2014, it will host the badminton and track cycling events and will be called the Commonwealth Arena for the duration of those Games.

The 10.5 hectare site also contains an indoor sports arena, three full-sized sports halls, 12 badminton courts, four outdoor 5-a-side football pitches, a 1km outdoor cycle circuit, one of the largest of Glasgow Club health and fitness centres and a luxury spa.

While it is home to Scotland’s only professional basketball team, The Glasgow Rocks, it is also home to citizens of Glasgow who are members of the Glasgow Club.

Said Councillor Matheson: ‘By investing in new facilities such as this, we will help to inspire a generation to become more involved in sport.’

Councillor Matheson and his VIP guests are shown how to play basket ball by resident Rocks' team star. Photograph by Ian Watson.

He took a party of VIP guests on a tour of the Emirates Area. They included Shona Robison MSP, Minister for the Commonwealth Games and Sport; Gordon Arthur, Director of Communications and Marketing at Glasgow 2014; Michael Cavanagh, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland; Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland and Denise Holmes, Emirates’ Sales Manager for Scotland and North East England.

Said Minister Shona Robison: ‘This will be an excellent venue for the 2014 Games, a world-class venue for Glasgow and a legacy for the West of Scotland.’

Emirate’s Sales Manager, Denise Holmes said: ‘This facility is unlike any I have ever seen. The thought that has gone into the design and execution makes it one of the best equipped and high-tech venues of its type, worldwide. The Emirates Arena is a flagship venue and we are honoured to be able to have such a close association with it and the people of Glasgow.’

Commented Lord Smith, Chair of Glasgow 2014: ‘This landmark venue is ready to welcome the best Commonwealth sportsmen and women, competing for glory in the badminton and track cycling events in less than two years’ time. The fact that it is now open to the local community and will host world-class events well in advance of the Games, is a tangible example tha the Games’ legacy is starting now.’

Said Michael Cavanagh, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland: This truly fabulous facility will be one of the iconic venues in 2014. It all adds to the excitement for the athletes and their determination to be competing for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014.’

Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: ‘The Emirates Arena opening marks a key milestone on the road to Glasgow 2014. It is a truly phenomenal facility which will help inspire future generations to become involved in sport and physical activity. It will undoubtedly provide some fantastic sporting moments for years to come – the World Cup Track Cycling and the World Cup Gymnastics for a start. It will also be a real asset to the surrounding community who will benefit from regular access to this world-class facility.’

Between now and early February 2013, the Emirates Arena will be host to eight Scottish, European or World level sporting events.

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome is now in use. Photograph by Ian Watson

For further information and ticket details see website:

Glasgow Rocks fans describe the venue as ‘amazing’ despite the fact that their team lost to Newcastle Eagles in the very first game in the new arena. The Eagles won 106 – 84 after a strong push in the final quarter of the game.

Children launch outdoor gym

June 20, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Kids have a kick-about at the launch of the Dover Street outdoor gym. Pic by Tom Finnie

Children in three Glasgow primary schools gave a new playpark a good work out on Monday. The outdoor gym at Dover Street in Charing Cross, was formally opened by Alistair Campbell, 10, from Anderston Primary; Shileas Nicgriogair, 8, from the Glasgow Gaelic School and Elisha Lal, 5, from St Patrick’s RC school who, together, cut the ribbon.

They and their class mates were the first to try out the new multi-purpose games court and play area which has been in informal use for several weeks.

Equipment enables users to do sit ups, leg and chest presses and play football, hockey, basketball and netball on the synthetic games surface.

This is the 57th play area to be built since 2005 as part of the Play Area Improvement Programme run by Glasgow City Council in partnership with Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). Additional funding for this project was provided by the Central and West Community Planning Partnership.

GHA’s West Area Director, Jacqueline Norwood, said: “Our partnership with the Council to build play parks has brought a real boost to dozens of communities over the past six years. Children can play safely and keep fit at the same time. The play areas are also a great way for the youngsters and parents from different backgrounds and cultures to mix.”

Local Councillor Philip Braat, who instigated this project, said: “I fought long and hard to get this play area up and running. I am absolutely delighted with what we have here now. It is a wonderful illustration of how a community, working together, can secure significant improvements and create a community space which is tailored to their needs. Everyone involved should be very proud of what they have achieved in making Dover Street/Kent Road greenspace what it is today – a fantastic resource for the community to enjoy for many years to come.”

The children were entertained by Bubbles the clown and a football session put on by A&M Training, a project part funded by GHA which tackles youth disorder, racism and gang violence through football and dance classes.

Pic: Tom Finnie- Shileas Nicgriogair, of the Gaelic Primary School (centre), Alistair Campbell (Anderston Primary) and Elisha Lal (St Patrick's Primary) cut the ribbon to officially open the Dover Street play area, watched by (from left) Cllr Craig Mackay, Debbie Gibson (GHA), Cllr Gordon Mathewson, Cllr Philip Braat, Sam Brady (NHS) and Jaqueline Norwood (GHA).

Hit the ground running and win a copy of Played In Glasgow

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

played_in_glasgowFootball grounds, bowling greens, dog tracks, ‘doocots’, racecourses, blaes pitches, athletics tracks and swimming clubs; our city has had them all. Ged O’Brien’s book, Played in Glasgow, is a modestly-sized but mighty anthology that covers every sporting nook and cranny since Victorian times.
This is part of the superb Played In Britain series,  backed by Historic Scotland and English Heritage. The volume is subtitled ‘charting the heritage of a city at play’, and is a store of information for those of us who choose to look beyond the elegant stone facades, towering steel skeletons and pretty, manicured lawns.
Beyond Hampden Park, the home of Queen’s Park and Scotland’s international team, there are retrospectives on the homes of Rangers, Celtic, Partick Thistle, Clyde and the bullish ranks of Glasgow Junior football.
O’Brien also looks at the homes of the city’s many rugby teams and enjoys our rich bowling heritage, all recorded with excellent photography and detailed with the care of a first-class reference work.
Played In Glasgow has a section on swimming baths and clubs, from the elegant but forgotten municipal pools of the late 1800s to their 21st century heirs and the architectural wonders of the Western and the Arlington Baths clubs.
The book also strikes a nostalgic tone with a look at the city’s remaining red ash ‘blaes’ pitches and takes a flight into the world of the Glasgow pigeon fancier and their home-built doocots. Neither does it neglect cricketing heritage nor pass by the huge achievements of our many athletes over the years.
With one eye on Glasgow’s place as host for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this book is a roadmap that shows us how far we have come, what we have won, what we have lost and hints at what could yet be.
A blend of social and cultural history and a treat with archive and modern photography, sometimes evocative and occasionally controversial, Played In Glasgow is an essential addition to the book collection of anyone who has an eye for their city’s sporting heritage.

LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has three copies of Played in Glasgow to give away.
For a chance to win your own copy, just write and tell us which football teams play their home games at Hampden Park.

Send your answers by email to Please put ‘PLAYED IN GLASGOW COMPETITION’ in the header field and remember your name, address and a daytime telephone number. You can also enter by snail mail, please write with your answer to Played In Glasgow Competition, Local News Glasgow, YAM Publications, Third Floor, 142 West Nile Street G1 2RQ. Don’t forget all your contact details.

This competition closed at 9am on Monday, May 24.

Hanke joins Glasgow Rocks to add frontline presence

January 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Glasgow Rocks basketball team have added centre Randall Hanke to their line-up until the end of the BBL season.
New York-born Hanke has come though the US college circuit with Providence, Rhode Island, and wrote himself an impressive point-scoring CV from 2004.
At 6’11’’ tall, Hanke is a formidable presence. He holds British citizenship and has five Team GB caps under his belt.
‘Randall is the body we’ve been searching for, for what seems like forever now,’ said Rocks Coach Sterling Davis. ‘He’s a hard worker on both ends of the floor with a soft touch around the basket. He will definitely give us some added depth on our frontline.’
Hanke will travel with the Rocks to Leicester for Saturday’s encounter and then on to Plymouth on Sunday for what will be a tough away double header.
He is likely to make his home debut on 7 February when the Rocks face Worthing Thunder at Kelvin Hall, tip-off 5pm.
Bullish Davis added: ‘Our squad has grown in depth and with everyone fighting fit we have as good a chance as anyone in this league. We have a talented and athletic group of guys and we just need the belief to take us all the way.
‘Randall adds that extra height and strength which can help us down the stretch.’
The Rocks have announced the date of their Trophy competition second round match. The team progressed to the second round of the BBL Trophy competition with a 69-60 win over Sheffield Sharks in the first on 10 January.
They will now face the winner of London Capital v Everton Tigers in the second round, which is to be decided on 23 January.
The second round match will be played at Kelvin Hall on 11 February, tip-off 7.30pm.

Glasgow Rocks add firepower as Wolves come prowling

November 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Aerial prowess from Michael Crowell

Aerial prowess from Michael Crowell

Glasgow Rocks have added firepower to their line-up with the arrival of Michael Crowell.



The six-feet-seven-inch forward is likely to join Sterling Davis’s squad for the 29 November encounter with Worcester Wolves at Kelvin Hall.

The arrival of the US/German player is timely, as Davis will sit out a one-match ban while his team take on the West Midlands outfit.

Crowell, who graduated from Division 1 Idaho University has played in Spain and Germany. He spent last season with Weissenhorn of the Basketball-Bundesliga.

Player/coach Davis said: ‘Michael will give us a little more depth offensively, especially with his ability to knock down the three-point shot in bunches.

‘He’s got a good size to him, especially for his position, which is always a plus for any coach because it causes such huge match-up problems when time to defend, but also works to our advantage defensively to be able to have a bigger defender on the perimeter.’

He added: ‘It’s hard to believe that a guy with his talent is still out there and has been throughout the course of the summer. I think he will definitely be an asset to what we are trying to accomplish here.’