As any regular reader of our blog will know, as a company, we have really been looking forward to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.
We encourage activity in the office and have table tennis facilities in Boyd Digital Towers to give us a break from screens and also encourage team bonding, we also play 5 a side football quite regularly and several of us compete in various sports outside of work with Janis enjoying Volleyball, Rosie (who is also a Commonwealth Games Clydesider) playing Lacrosse , Jonathan playing Hockey and Stuart being a keen roller blader.
To celebrate the games we have had them projected onto the big screen so we can keep up to date with the medal haul and after day 1 of the games things are going well with Scotland in third place with an impressive 4 gold’s already. Last night I was lucky enough to experience the spirit of the Commonwealth Games first hand as I watched the Table Tennis qualifiers.
Having seen quite a lot of negative comments on social media and in the press in regards to the Games, volunteers, the disruption it has caused Glasgow residents and more it was good to get the first day underway and I can say that, from my personal experience, it was something special. From walking about the city centre there is a definite buzz and feeling around the place that is giving it a great atmosphere, this is in doubt helped by the weather that has taken everyone by surprise.
We travelled out west to where the Table Tennis was to be competed and were met by a great venue, friendly faces and wonderful organisation. To go over some of the negativity mentioned earlier, in particular towards volunteers, I think anyone that attends an event will think twice.
I had read comments in newspapers about the volunteers having arrogance and swanning about the city with an undeserved feeling of self-importance, this was wholly unfair and it could just be down to the numbers and ability to pick them out of a crowd in their uniforms that they became an easy target. Yesterday I was greeted by people giving up their time to help at one of the World’s largest events, the friendly welcome and help was second to none and it seems to be a bit of a national sport to revel in self-deprecation but I would like to say a massive well done and a huge thank you to each and every individual that is helping to make the Glasgow Commonwealth Games a friendly and enjoyable one that won’t soon be forgotten.
Getting back to the event, we arrived at the Scotstoun Sports Campus and were immediately impressed by the facilities. A wonderful arena welcomed you after friendly security checks and what an impressive sports facility it is. The facilities in general were magnificent with everything you could need and all well-staffed cutting down on queues.
The arena was split into two sections with the main section hosting two games that were being televised and another section hosting 6 games. We watched some of Northern Irelands qualification matches before moving through to see the likes of Jamaica, Barbados and Papua New Guinea. There was a great, sporting atmosphere as families mixed in the crowd with athletes while watching the qualification matches.
We then moved through to what was undoubtedly the main event as Team Scotland’s men took on Canada with Gavin Rumgay, Craig Howieson, Sean Doherty and Niall Cameron flying the flag for their country. The atmosphere was kicked up a notch as the home crowd got behind their heroes and flame haired Adonis and national treasure Gavin Rumgay did not disappoint.
Playing late into a balmy Thursday night, excitement rising like the temperature and families clutching saltires in hope and expectation, Team Scotland were 2-1 up as Rumgay took to the table. Despite going two games down (first to 3 wins) the belief in his own ability never faltered and the crowd believed too. Battling back to 2 games apiece the crowd bristled with excitement as all the momentum of the game pushed Rumgay on to a magnificent victory. His impressive celebrations and mind blowing waffmanship made it a night to remember for everyone present.
I won’t lie, I was a doubter, unsure about all the hype and buzz and whether we could pull it off as a city but after last night’s evidence I am now a believer and can’t wait to see how the athletes of the Commonwealth can rise and prove what a great Games this promises to be.