Commonwealth Day was celebrated in style today (Monday 10 March) as children across Scotland took part in Sport Your Trainers and the Glasgow 2014 Official Longines Countdown Clock was switched on.
Commonwealth and Olympic swimming star, and Glasgow 2014 ambassador, Michael Jamieson joined Clyde the Official 2014 Mascot and thousands of school pupils to celebrate a momentous Commonwealth Day and the official countdown to the start of Scotland’s biggest sporting and cultural festival, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Michael and Clyde kicked off the Commonwealth Day celebrations by sporting their trainers at Glasgow’s Hillhead Primary School and encouraging the youngsters to show their support for the Games by also wearing their trainers.
Michael then joined Glasgow 2014 Chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin, KT, Charles Villoz, Vice President of Longines, Glasgow 2014’s Official Timekeeper and Watch and Games Partners to formally switch on the Longines Glasgow 2014 Clock at the city’s Central Train Station and officially mark the countdown to the Opening Ceremony.
Situated above the destination board at the station, the prestigious new Longines clock will be seen by hundreds and thousands of commuters and visitors in the lead-up to the Games in July.
The Swiss watch brand has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations. Since 1878 the company has been developing various types of technology for timing different disciplines with increasing precision. As early as the last quarter of the 19th century, Longines was producing chronographs and timed performances at numerous competitions. The company acquired a remarkable fund of experience in an infinite variety of sporting activities, at all levels of competition.
Today, Longines follows its vocation in the field of sports timekeeping, namely in equestrian sports (show-jumping, flat racing and endurance competitions), gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic gymnastics), archery, alpine skiing, and at the French Open at Roland-Garros.
Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, KT, said:
“Commonwealth Day is more significant than ever this year as it is the last one we will celebrate prior to the Games in July. It is particularly appropriate today that we recognise that in less than five months we will welcome the 69 nations and territories of the Commonwealth to Glasgow and Scotland to compete for Gold and glory. The switching on of the Countdown Clock is a fitting marker of this important milestone for Glasgow 2014 and we are delighted to be sharing it with such an excellent global brand as Longines, which underlines perfectly the world-class appeal of the Games.
“This is our year and our chance for Glasgow and Scotland to shine on the global stage. The clock is now officially ticking down to the moment we have all been working towards since the bid was accepted in 2007”.
Charles Villoz, Longines Vice President of Longines, said:
“Longines is very proud to be the Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of Glasgow 2014. Together with Glasgow 2014, we share common values such as tradition and performance. We are happy to bring our timekeeping expertise to the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in Scotland. We are looking forward to the thrilling and emotional action-packed moments that we are sure to experience this summer.”
Michael Jamieson said:
“It has been great to be here in Glasgow and celebrate Commonwealth Day, Sport Your Trainers and the switch on of the Glasgow 2014 clock. It just brings home to me how fast the clock is ticking to July.
Glasgow 2014 is going to be one of the highlights of my career and I’m delighted to be playing a part in the run up to the Games in my home town as an ambassador. As well as being an athlete the great thing for me as a sports fan is being able to attend other events and I can’t wait to get to see as much as I can at Glasgow 2014.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said:
“The switching on of the Glasgow 2014 Official Countdown Clock is a reminder that time is ticking towards the Opening Ceremony on 23 July.
The excitement has been building for some time now for what will be the greatest Commonwealth Games ever, and anticipation will soon reach fever pitch as we welcome the world to Glasgow. Like so many other people, I can’t wait for the Games to start!”
Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:
“Commonwealth Day is always an important date celebrated across the Commonwealth and this year it is particularly special, knowing our colleagues from the Commonwealth nations and territories will soon be here with us at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
”Sport Your Trainers has been a fantastic way to bring everyone together and enable them to engage in the excitement, fun and sport of a Commonwealth Games. Now, to have the impressive Countdown Clock in position, it will provide a stunning symbol that the Games are just around the corner. As the countdown commences, I would like to wish our many Scottish athletes training hard to set the standards and be a part of Team Scotland every success towards their goals."
Shona Robison, Minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games, said:
“Time is racing towards Glasgow 2014, what will be the best Commonwealth Games ever, and I for one cannot wait for the clock to reach zero. Commonwealth Day and the Games are about enjoying our connections with other countries, their people and their cultures, as we have been doing through the Queen’s Baton Relay and at home as we prepare to host the Commonwealth.
Young people across Scotland are important part of the legacy of the Games and thousands of children across Scotland can join in the celebration by sporting their trainers on Commonwealth Day.