Glasgow has today (Friday) unveiled its bold vision for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, which will be hosted in Scotland for the first time in just under three years time.
The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships will be one of the largest sporting events ever to be held in Glasgow, with an estimated 500 gymnasts from 80 countries taking part in 10 days of world-class competition. The championships will arrive in Glasgow 15 months after the 2014 Commonwealth Games and will result in an estimated £5million direct economic benefit to Scotland’s economy.
The event will be held in The Hydro – the iconic £120million 12,000-seat entertainment arena currently under construction at the SECC – between 23 October and 1 November 2015. The Hydro opens in September 2013 and will play host to the gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic) and netball competitions at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industries.
Glasgow has a longstanding relationship with gymnastics, staging its first ever Grand Prix event at the famous Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in 1997. Last year’s World Cup event at the same venue sold out with 1,800 people attending each session. Tomorrow’s (Saturday) World Cup event at the new Emirates Arena has built on that success and is set to be played out in front of a sell-out crowd of almost 5,000 people. Glasgow is one of only four cities hosting World Cup events.
Unveiling the vision for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, vowed to build on the city’s outstanding track record of delivering major international sporting events and capitalise on the opportunities created by the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Councillor Gordon Matheson said: “The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships will continue Glasgow’s long and proud sporting journey. It will bring together the world’s best gymnasts for what will be an incredible 10 days of competition in a genuinely world-class venue.
“Glasgow is recognised as one of the world’s leading sporting cities thanks to our investment in facilities such as The Hydro and through our commitment to bringing international sporting events to the city. That is why we bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, why we bid for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships and why we are bidding for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
“There may well be just under three years till the event itself but we are working tirelessly to make sure that the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships is an event that Glasgow, Scotland and the UK will be proud of. The eyes of the world will be on us and we will not disappoint.”
President of the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG), Bruno Grandi, said, said: “It will be a privilege to share in the emotions and experiences an event of this calibre has to offer, with its impressive bill of gymnasts from around the world.
“I will be honoured to be in Glasgow in 2015 in a city and a country with such high gymnastic potential, a country steeped in the fundamental values which are the cornerstones of the success and reputation of our sport. I wish the greatest success to our outstanding athletes, delegation members and officials, and declare my admiration for the many volunteers and enthusiastic public who will make all this possible.”
Two of Britain’s medal winning heroes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Beth Tweddle and Daniel Purvis, also visited The Hydro for the first time today as the Glasgow 2015 World Gymnastics Championships brand and website were unveiled. The www.2015worldgymnastics.com
website will provide gymnastics fans with regular event updates including ticket details.
Britain’s most successful ever gymnast Beth Tweddle said: "Given its proud sporting history Glasgow is the ideal host for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships. Over the years Glasgow has established itself as one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to gymnastics. It is a special city, with special venues and special fans and 2015 will see the gymnastics in the city taken to a new level."
Dan Purvis added: "Every gymnast wants to compete at the highest level and there is no better place to do that than on home soil. I will never forget the experience of London 2012 and I know it will be the same in Glasgow at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships. Having a look around the Hydro today it is already shaping up to be an incredible venue and I can envisage what it will be like in three years time. It is going to be an amazing event."
The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships will be delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with significant support from UK Sport and EventScotland.
Chief Executive of EventScotland, Paul Bush OBE, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for major international events and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships form an important part of our portfolio post-2014.
“Taking place in The Hydro the event underlines the events legacy associated with hosting the Commonwealth Games, with major events filling Glasgow’s new and refurbished venues, reinforcing our credentials as a leading events nation, and delivering an economic impact for the country.”
Head of Major Events at UK Sport, Esther Nicholls, said: “The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships will be the biggest gymnastics event the UK has ever staged and we are delighted to be supporting this as part of the Gold Event Series, our programme to bring the world’s most prestigious sporting events to the UK.
“This event will build on the legacy of Glasgow 2014, providing a stage for the world’s best gymnasts at a Commonwealth Games venue, while giving spectators another chance to be inspired by sport. Just one year out from the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, this will also act as an important qualification event for our gymnasts.”
The FIG awarded the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships to Glasgow in May 2011 following a tough bidding process. Glasgow beat Paris and Orlando to win the right to host the event and joins an elite list of host cities that includes Toyko (2011), London (2009), Melbourne (2005), Lausanne (1997), Brisbane (1994), Paris (1992) and Montreal (1985).
The championships are a qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and will result in high levels of international exposure for Glasgow. Previous World Gymnastics Championships generated 253 broadcast hours to a worldwide audience of more than 800 million people.