13 Jul

Countdown To Commonwealth Games Continues

athletics venue for 2014 Commonwealth Games

Today (Saturday 13 July) marks exactly one year to go until participants arrive in Scotland to take up residence for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. And yesterday athletes were given an exclusive first glimpse inside the state-of-the-art development in Glasgow which will become the home from home for 4,500 top sportsmen and women from across the world in 2014.

Team members and officials from 71 nations and territories will be resident in the 700-home complex in the heart of city's east end which will be transformed into Glasgow 2014's Athletes' Village. Athletes were given a behind the scenes tour of the site where 85% of homes are already complete, and offered a flavour of how it will function at Games-time - complete with a full medical centre, shops, recreation areas and 24-hour dining facilities for the athletes and team officials.

The site, Scotland's first large-scale carbon neutral housing development, will start its transformation for Games-mode at the start of next year. The Glasgow 2014 Athletes' Advisory Committee has been involved throughout the design stages of the project to ensure that it is more than just a bed between training and competition. Athletes and officials will be accommodated within a range of properties - from terraced homes, to contemporary cubed townhouses - within the 35 hectare site.

Stars of 2014 could include Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis and regular runners will be desperate to get their hands on the precious briefs for events like the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, scheduled for Hampden Park. That stadium will be transformed into the athletics venue for the Games. In what is a ground-breaking approach - one being watched with interest around the globe - a new running track will be installed and will sit almost 2m above ground level at Hampden, before being removed by the end of 2014. The Glasgow team hopes this innovation could change the way stadia are altered for athletics and remove the need for purpose-built stadia at future events worldwide.

Event organisers are confident that Glasgow 2014 can build upon the success of the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 and of course last year's spectacular Olympics in London. The 2014 Commonwealth Games will run from 23 July until 3 August.