Glasgow City Women’s Football Team have been invited to compete in an international ‘Meet the Champions’ Indoor Tournament by German Champions FFC Turbine Potsdam in February 2013.
The tournament will mark Potsdam’s 40th Anniversary. City are one of seven Champions hand-picked by Potsdam to play in what is the first tournament of its kind to be hosted by the German giants.
The exclusive, invitation only, event will be made up of Europe’s top sides. The impressive guest team list contains three European Women’s Champions League Winners, including the current holders – French Champions Olympic Lyon.
The German Club has invited:
Glasgow City (Scotland)
Olympique Lyonnais (France)
Arsenal Ladies (England)
ROA Oslo (Norway)
Brondy IF (Denmark)
AC Sparta Praha (Czech Republic)
SV Neulengbach (Austria)
The tournament will take place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 February in the brand new, indoor MBS-Arena in Potsdam in front of a crowd of 2000.
Commenting on the tournament, City Club Manager, Laura Montgomery said: “To be invited to such an exclusive and high standard tournament is fantastic and very flattering for our club. Looking at the participating Clubs is incredibly exciting with 3 Champions League winners, alone.
“For our players to be able to test themselves against this level of competition in pre-season, is simply fantastic. I am sure they will enjoy every minute of it.
“We will be playing indoor football, which will be a brand new challenge for us. This type of indoor football is very popular in Europe, particularly in Germany. It will be 8-aside on a pitch with rules we have never faced before. But this will be a key stage in our fitness preparations for the new season in March.
“To be able to take the girls to Germany for four days for this level of competition at this time in pre-season, is an opportunity we could never turn down.”
PHOTOGRAPH by Andy Buist
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.
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.’
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.
For further information and ticket details see website: www.emiratesarena.co.uk
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.
Following a meeting at the Scottish Parliament with MSP Humza Yousaf, the Campaign for Human Rights in the Gambia is gaining support among Members. At the time of writing, 16 MSPs from various parties have signed a motion MSP Yousaf launched.
Having heard Gambian exile Alieu B. Ceesay speak at a fringe meeting at the SNP conference in Inverness recently, Humza invited him to Edinburgh to discuss the issues in detail.
Said journalist Alieu: ‘There was an election last month in The Gambia. The President was re-elected as expected. Opponents were not allowed to campaign except for 11 days before voting. Some opponents were jailed in advance of the election. In recent times people have disappeared, been tortured and killed if they displease the Government. People are afraid even to talk about the election result because they don’t know who might be listening.’
According to Amnesty International there is a ‘climate of fear’ in The Gambia. They recently updated their report on human rights abuse in the sunny, West African country and said the situation was getting worse.
MSP Yousaf commented: ”I will support the call for Human Rights in the Gambia. The country is a part of the Commonwealth and also receives financial support from Europe. It must observe the conventions it has signed and its international obligations, that is why I have put forward this motion. Scotland should be a beacon for human rights across the world and we owe a duty to those who seek asylum in our country.’
The motion reads: ‘That the Parliament expresses concern at what it considers the dire human rights situation in Gambia; understands that the Gambian Government refuses to abide by its international human rights obligations, with cases of enforced disappearance remaining unresolved, perpetrators of unlawful killings not being brought to justice and torture still widely used by security forces; further understands that those who report such abuses, particularly in the media, are in grave danger, and expresses solidarity with the human rights defenders of Gambia, many of whom have been granted asylum in Scotland, in their struggle for basic human rights.
To follow the progress and see who has signed up to this motion check out the following website and insert reference number S4M-01460 or Humza Yousaf’s name: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx
Glasgow’s first Commonwealth Garden was formally opened this week when Councillor Archie Graham attended the event at North West Women’s Centre in Maryhill and helped plant heather to represent Scotland.
Created by women of the centre following a design by Jane Gibb, the garden was funded by a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery’s Awards For All Fund.
Plants represent the main countries of the Commonwealth and their continents.
On one side Asia blooms with bamboo, rhododendron and irises. India is represented with a herb tea plant section and Europe’s space uses beautiful geraniums, roses and other plants.
Flora from the Americas, Africa and Australasia includes a maple tree for Canada, large spiky bushes for New Zealand and America, grasses from Africa and a plethora of colourful flowers from all three areas.
Over the next two years the Women’s Commonwealth Garden will have a project for local children to help them learn more about Commonwealth countries and the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow in 2014. The children will make gold and silver ‘medals’ on sticks to put into the garden next to the plants or flowers of the countries which win them.