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Under starter’s orders; council has sights trained as area prepares for Glasgow 2014

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 12:55 GMT on Thursday, July 25th, 2013.

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Picture: Clyde is Glasgow 2014's mascot
 
ON TUESDAY (23rd July 2013) British cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy kicked off the one-year countdown to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow. 

That same day, games organisers in North Lanarkshire said that they were gearing up for the games’ triathlon, which will be held at Strathclyde Park, in Motherwell.

North Lanarkshire Council has said that they are “delighted” to be a host venue for the games, which will see Strathclyde Country Park set as the scene for the very first medals ceremony, on 24th July, 2014, after athletes swim 1500m; cycle 40km, and run 10km around the park.

Local athlete Grant Sheldon (18), from Blantyre, is aiming to compete for Team Scotland next year, and he joined the Provost of North Lanarkshire, Jim Robertson, with a year to go until the start of Glasgow 2014 to unveil the new signs at the entrances to Strathclyde Park highlighting its status as a proud host venue, earlier this week.

Stirling University student Grant has been competing in triathlons for the past five years. He is jetting off for a three week training camp in Geneva as part of his gruelling training schedule which involves many hours of running, cycling and swimming each day.

Commenting, young Grant said: "Strathclyde Park is just a stone's throw away from where I live and it would be the fulfillment of a dream to compete and represent my country on home soil.

"I am fully focused on my training programme and achieving my goal of making the team next year. Long term, my goal is to compete in the Olympic Games for Team GB having already taken part in several European Junior Championships.

"Strathclyde Park is a world class venue for the triathlon and having it on my doorstep is a real bonus.

"It's great for local people to get the chance to see elite athletes close up and that can help inspire young people to get into sport too."
 
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North Lanarkshire Provost Jim Robertson said: "North Lanarkshire is proud to be a host venue for the Commonwealth Games, not just for the triathlon but also for the cycling time trial which will take place in the northern corridor. Everyone is getting really excited about the Commonwealth Games coming here next year.

"We are delighted to be able to contribute such a major venue which will be integral towards the success of the Games and bring world class athletes to the shores of Strathclyde Loch. Being a part of such a major sporting event gives us the perfect opportunity to welcome visitors from all over the world and showcase North Lanarkshire to a global audience.

"The big countdown is now on, and with a year until the opening of the Games we are proud to be able to play our part."

Over £1m is being spent to ensure the Park is ready to host the triathlon competition with North Lanarkshire Council and the Scottish Government contributing funding to make sure it is ready to welcome athletes and visitors.

The investment will include the construction of a temporary barrier which will improve the water quality in the Loch to International Triathlon Union standards and work on the roads around the park. 

Come the start of Glasgow 2014, the park will have 2,000 temporary seats installed to accommodate the ticket holders expected to watch the some of the world's best triathletes compete, with space in the public areas of the park able to accommodate those not lucky enough to get a ticket but who want to get close to the action.

Strathclyde Park, Scotland's premier watersports centre, already has an established international rowing facility and regularly hosts triathlon events and is just 20 minutes from the athletes' village in Glasgow.
 
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