words and photographs by Stuart Maxwell
The torch won’t be lit for four years yet, but preparations for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are racing forward! Almost 350 performers from across Scotland started training for the extravagant handover ceremony which will be beamed live to the world in October. When the curtain falls on this year’s Games in Delhi, the famous flag will be passed to Glasgow.
Under the eye of visionary director Mark Fisher, who worked on the Pink Floyd film,The Wall, the Glasgow performers have started an intensive three week training for the Dehli show. Mark told them this week: ‘My job is to assemble an image you can show to the world. We aim to turn you into world class performers.’
Alongside Mark is a team of creative experts from across the globe including choreographer Nathan Wright who was responsible for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics.
This team will work in conjunction with Culture and Sport Glasgow to ensure the volunteers are meticulously prepared for the Delhi handover – a ceremony which will be watched by 1.5 billion viewers worldwide.
Said Nathan: ‘be prepared to be overwhelmed with pride in yourself, pride in Glasgow, and pride in your country.”
This first gathering of performers, in the Glasgow Old Fruit Market, kicked off with a rousing speech from fomer Scottish Rugby Captain Gavin Hastings. He said: ‘If you guys are excited now, just wait till you get to Delhi. You have the culture of Scotland right behind you. The eyes of the world will be watching’.
The Delhi handover ceremony will take place on Thursday 14 October. Kate Randall, Director of Games, Family Services for Glasgow 2014, said: ‘Our 80 minute extravaganza will be
the first statement to the world that Glasgow is in posession of the Games’.