THIS summer’s Commonwealth Games could be the “best ever”, according to a final progress report on the build-up to the event.
The assembly of a 15,000-strong volunteer force, the progress of the Queen’s Baton Relay and a long list of sponsors were praised by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in its last review of planning for the Games.
Organisers, police and Government ministers met with the CGF in Glasgow this week to outline final preparations.
With just under four months to go, the CGF said organisers are “very well prepared” for the arrival of athletes from July 13.
It added that “there is a lot to be done” in terms of training volunteers, installing transport and security, but said “this mobilisation period is being well planned and we have every confidence that the challenges will all be met”.
“Strong financial management” of the around £500 million budget and “community engagement”, through volunteering and applications to carry the Queen’s baton when it arrives in Scotland, were highlighted as particular strengths of the Games.
The construction of the Athletes’ Village and the transformation of Hampden Park were identified as “visual indicators” of progress over the last six months.
Bruce Robertson, chair of the CGF’s co-ordination commission, said: “Glasgow and Scottish community engagement is at unprecedented levels. The Clyde-sider volunteer positions were oversubscribed and all required positions and back-up roles have been filled.
“The process to select up to 4,000 people to carry the baton in Scotland has been extremely well-received with successful baton bearers about to find out about the part they will play in the countdown to the Games, and the additional release in February of 4,000 tickets for netball finals sold out in just three hours.”
He added: “Through strong financial management, the partners are now well positioned to turn the plans for a successful Games into the best ever Games through refinement of the services being delivered for the Games clients.
“The extent of detailed planning presented by the Games organisers has provided a high level of confidence for the CGF that all aspects of Games delivery will be fulfilled. The remaining period to mobilise the operations and determine readiness will, however, be challenging.”
Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: “Our absolute focus is on getting the details right on frontline delivery, effective operational integration and ensuring the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are - as we have committed to from the start - delivered on time and on budget.
“With the reality of this summer’s festival of sport and culture very much alive and building around us and with the Games creating real opportunities for individuals, for businesses and for communities, it is exceptionally gratifying to hear the CGF co-ordination commission talk of us now being positioned not just to deliver a successful Commonwealth Games but to deliver the best ever Commonwealth Games.
“As we enter the final straight our focus is that Glasgow and Scotland deliver the best Commonwealth Games ever for the 4,500 athletes of the Commonwealth that we will warmly welcome for a world-class celebration of world-class sport.”