Glasgow has been selected as the host city for the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, bringing the event to Scotland for the first time.
The decision by the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) follows a joint bid between British Gymnastics, Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and UK Sport. Glasgow beat off tough competition from Paris (France) and Orlando (USA) to win the right to host the prestigious event.
The championships will be held in the new £120million 12,500-seat Scottish National Arena currently under construction at the SECC. The arena opens in 2013 and will play host to the gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic) and netball (finals) competitions at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Glasgow has a longstanding relationship with gymnastics, staging its first ever Grand Prix event in 1997. Last month it hosted the newly revamped FIG World Cup for the first time in front of a capacity crowd in the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena. Glasgow is one of only four cities in the world to host the World Cup.
The 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be one of the largest sporting events ever to be held in Glasgow with an estimated 525 gymnasts from 80 countries taking part in 10 days of competition. The event will result in £5million direct economic benefit to Scotland’s economy.
The Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Gordon Matheson, said: “This is fantastic news for Glasgow. It reaffirms our position as one of the world’s top sporting cities and Scotland’s sporting capital. The scale of this achievement is demonstrated by the fact we were up against Orlando and Paris, two cities with outstanding sporting pedigrees.
“This will be the first time Glasgow has hosted a World Championships of this scale and will follow on from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It promises to be an event of the highest quality, with the world’s top gymnasts competing in what will be a genuinely world-class venue. There has never been a more exciting time for sport in Glasgow and indeed Scotland.”
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive Officer of UK Sport, said: “It is fantastic that we are able to confirm the 2015 Gymnastics World Championships as one of the showcase world championships the UK is set to host beyond 2012. In securing this event and the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships, we have made a great start towards using the catalyst of both the London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 Games to position the UK as a world leading host nation.
“The bid we presented with British Gymnastics, Glasgow City Council and EventScotland was comprehensive and we look forward to continuing our partnership to deliver this exciting event, which will provide a wonderful legacy for the Commonwealth Games venue in Glasgow, platform to promote the sport and a valuable opportunity for British gymnasts to compete at home during qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
British Gymnastics Chief Executive Officer, Jane Allen, said: "We are delighted that Glasgow has been selected to host the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. As the qualification event for the 2016 Olympic Games we are sure that all British gymnasts will benefit hugely from the terrific home-crowd support that we have become accustomed to receiving in the city.
“The bid process saw sport and government working seamlessly to provide a superb package for competitors, officials and fans alike and we now all look forward to continuing our work together in order to provide a fantastic experience for everyone involved in Glasgow 2015."
The 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships will be delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with financial support from UK Sport and EventScotland.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of EventScotland, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Glasgow has been chosen to host this prestigious event. Coming hot on the heels of the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup in 2014, being awarded the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2015 further demonstrates Scotland’s growing reputation as a top-class sporting destination. Event tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and it is vital that we continue to capitalise on this trend.”
Glasgow will join an elite list of cities that have hosted the World Artistic Gymnastic Championships including Toyko (2011), London (2009), Melbourne (2005), Lausanne (1997), Brisbane (1994), Paris (1992) and Montreal (1985).