Glasgow 2014: One year until city hosts Commonwealth Games

Sir Chris Hoy Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy helped launch the ticketing guide for next year's Games

Events are being held across Glasgow to mark the one-year countdown to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy has been hosting a cycle challenge and a breakfast of champions events in Buchanan Street.

Team Scotland athletes also joined Sir Chris on the street for the launch of the games ticketing guide.

The 11-day sporting festival will see thousands of athletes compete in 17 sports across 14 venues.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said: "Today marks an important moment in the journey towards the biggest sporting and cultural festival Glasgow and Scotland has ever hosted.

'Great strides'

"With one year to go, the organising committee is making great strides towards our ultimate goal of delivering an outstanding games for the athletes of the Commonwealth.

Aerial footage of venues, old and new, that will host the Games

"I'm delighted to see how the city and the nation are getting set to welcome the world to enjoy our landscape, our friendship and truly great international sport."

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Sir Chris said: "It's a very exciting morning, one year to go - I can't believe it's almost a year since the Olympics and we're already looking forward to the Commonwealth Games."

Preparations for the 2014 games are at an advanced stage with the main venues having been built and opened to the public.

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, opposite Celtic Park where the opening ceremony will be staged, will host the cycling and paracycling events.

The neighbouring National Indoor Sports Arena will host the badminton competitions.

Athletes village The athletes village, close to Celtic Park, will be ready for January 2014

Work on the athletes' village, located alongside both venues, is progressing and is scheduled for completion in January 2014.

Events will also be staged at two of Glasgow's other famous football stadiums, Hampden and Ibrox.

Hampden will host the track and field events, while Ibrox will stage the Rugby Sevens.

The SECC, including the Clyde Auditorium and the new Hydro venue, will host gymnastics, boxing, judo, netball, wrestling and weightlifting.

'Hard work'

The complex will also be the home of the broadcast and media centre.

The newly extended and refurbished Tollcross International Swimming Centre, in the city's east end, will host the swimming competitions.

The diving competitions will be staged at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

Sport Minister Shona Robison said "a great deal of hard work" and investment had gone in to Glasgow since it was confirmed as the host city.

International flags The Queen's Baton Relay will visit 71 Commonwealth nations and territories

"Over the next 12 months, the pride and excitement of hosting these games will continue to grow as the venues and village are made ready," she said.

"People across Scotland, and the world, will now start planning their journey to witness the biggest international sporting event our country has ever hosted."

The year-long countdown to the games will be synchronised with a 12-month cultural programme of theatre, dance, music and comedy, culminating in a Glasgow-wide festival which will mix culture and street performance.

Another highlight in the run up to the games will be the Queen's Baton Relay.

The baton will leave from Buckingham Palace on 9 October, carrying a message from the head of the Commonwealth.

It will visit 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth before arriving back in the UK.

Games ambassadors

In the meantime, preparations will continue across a number of areas to make sure Glasgow is ready to host the games.

A number of high-profile names, including gold-medal winning Olympians Sir Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington and Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly, have been enlisted as games ambassadors to lift the international profile of the event.

Organisers are also sifting through more than 50,000 applications from people who want to be volunteers.

The record number means the city should be comfortably able to meet its target of recruiting 15,000 helpers.

A number of infrastructure improvements are also being made to the transport network around Glasgow, from upgrades to local train stations to planned service increases, to cope with peak demand during the games.

Organisers have also announced that public transport will be included in the cost of tickets to the events.

Ticket prices start at £15 for all sports, with half-price tickets for under-16s and over-60s.

Two thirds of all sports tickets are £25 or under and there are no booking fees.

Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said planning and preparations for the games had "gone exceptionally well so far".

"I am confident that we will host the best games ever held," he said.

"The preparations for 2014 have already left a legacy for Glasgow in so many ways and I am sure we will look back on an unforgettable event that transformed not just Glasgow but how the city is seen by the world."

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