“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

The words of American author Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) way back then, that lifted the spirits of many a fan in 2012 after the astonishing Olympic and Paralympic show had left town – and with it the sheer magnitude of what had just passed began to sink in.

Words of comfort indeed: except for those who for whatever reason decided not to come to the party, only to be left then with a lingering sense of ‘what if’.  For make no mistake, the London Olympics exceeded all expectations as a joyous shared experience and indelibly touched everyone who took part.

But so much for the lessons of the past and onto the future.  The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to be precise – a mere 216 days away!  The ingredients may sound familiar … a multi-sport global event and a host city more than ready to embrace it and welcome the throng of athletes, teams and fans from overseas.  A festival atmosphere in the making, and a spectator opportunity that in all likelihood will stop by but once in a lifetime for the city of Glasgow.

Who will be Team Scotland stars of Glasgow 2014?  Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair, the badminton mixed doubles pair with numerous international tournament victories to their name and who will be looking to add a Commonwealth Games gold medal to the collection in the Emirates Arena?  Or triathlete David McNamee perhaps, who trains in the very best company of the Brownlee brothers and who will be looking to take on them, and the rest of the Commonwealth, in Strathclyde Park.  Or maybe it will be Paralympic cycling star Aileen McGlynn OBE, a winner of two gold medals at the Beijing Paralympic Games, who will be in action in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in the first appearance of Para-Cycling at the Comonwealth Games.  Or swimmer par excellence Michael Jamieson, already with an Olympic silver medal to his name and who will be looking to go one better with gold at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

That no-one can say for certain is all part of the glorious anticipation.  But what can be said with some certainty (and frankly I’d put my mortgage on it!) is that host nation heroes and heroines are destined to be made, and Scotland has in the diary a sporting party the like of which it may never have experienced before.

So for those of you who fancy some party-planning in readiness for the summer of 2014 read on …

A check with the Glasgow 2014 organisers as of last week confirmed a range of six sports still to choose from with ticket availability – Badminton, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Squash and Weightlifting – with more than 50% of all remaining tickets priced at £15 for adults and £7.50 for under 16s and over 60s.  The beauty of all these events is they have their own unique atmosphere and you most definitely don’t need to be a connoisseur to enjoy them. If you remain to be convinced try this weightlifting clip for size  – a certain 18-year-old Zoe Smith breaking the British record at ExCeL London during the 2012 Olympics.  Atmosphere?  What atmosphere!!

Glasgow 2014 will also feature events with spectator areas free to the public – the marathon in athletics, the road race and time trial in cycling and areas of the triathlon course in Strathclyde Park.  And if the scenes at the triathlon and cycling time trial in 2012 are anything to go by, when thousands upon thousands lined the London roads, then the excitement generated in Strathclyde Park and on the streets of Glasgow will be in no way diminished by the gratis nature of the viewing.  Which is surely a bonus!

Live Zones will also form an integral part of what is being referred to as Festival 2014 when Glasgow as the host city is due to be transformed with a mix of entertainment and cultural events.  Between 19th July to 3rd August some of Glasgow’s best-known locations will be at the heart of the Commonwealth Games celebrations with Glasgow Green and Merchant City already designated zone areas and other locations such as Kelvingrove Bandstand due to part of the activities.  The zones will be showing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the major sports occasions on the big screen and highlights of Festival 2014.

Glasgow 2014 promises something for everyone and in the meantime we’ll be keeping a keen eye on events taking place in the lead up with Team Scotland and overseas stars in action, to bring you all the latest news as the build up to Glasgow 2014 continues.  January is already shaping up nicely with netball at the Emirates Arena as the Scottish Thistles welcome the world No.1 team, New Zealand’s Silver Ferns, with both teams preparing for battle at the Commonwealth Games.  And later in the month, also at the Emirates, there’s athletics with the Glasgow British Athletic International Match.  Tickets are currently available for both events.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to subscribe for free to the SportonSpec e-newsletter to receive your weekly update straight to your inbox.  With all the very latest ticket news at your fingertips it’s a fail-safe way to ensure you don’t miss a moment of sporting action in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.  Here’s to the summer of 2014!

Yours in Sport,

Tim Underhill
Founder – SportonSpec