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Street athletics comes to Glasgow

23/06/2011
Glasgow’s iconic George Square is to be turned into a sports venue next month as part of the 116th scottishathletics Senior National Championships.
 
Organisers have announced that the men’s pole vault finals of the scottishathletics Senior National Championships will be held in George Square on Friday 15 July, as street athletics comes to Glasgow for the first time. The move will see Scotland’s leading male pole vault stars compete in the shadow of Glasgow City Chambers between 5pm and 7pm. The event will be completely free for spectators, with a temporary seating bank being built in the square.
 
The pole vault forms part of the Senior National Championships which will also see athletes battle it out in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000m, sprint hurdles, high jump, hammer, shot putt, javelin, discus and long jump over a weekend of top-class competition at Scotstoun Stadium. Tickets for the Scotstoun finals (Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 July) costing £3 will be available from the stadium on the day.
 
The National Championships are being delivered by scottishathletics in partnership with Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council. By hosting the men’s pole vault finals in George Square, organisers hope to bring the sport to a much wider audience as well as athletics fans.
 
Speaking at the launch of the championships, Scottish pole vault rising star and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games medal hopeful, Jax Thoirs, said: “I can't wait for the George Square street vault. Having seen video from similar events around Europe and having competed in a pole vault competition in a shopping mall, I am extremely excited about Glasgow's first ever street athletics event. It gives me the rare chance to get out of the athletics stadium and jump in a totally new setting.
“I am sure onlookers will be interested in what’s going on so the adrenaline is going to be high. The men’s pole vault is a very competitive event in Scotland at the moment and it's going to be great to get everyone together for such a big event. The unique setting gives the public a chance to see this dangerous and exiting event up close in the flesh. I feel it's a great way of getting people looking forward to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and I know it's going to be a good test for me in my home city in the lead up to 2014.”
 
Chief Executive of scottishathletics, Nigel Holl, said: “Vaulting in the city! We are delighted that in partnership with Glasgow Life, we can bring our National Pole Vault Championships to George Square – the iconic heart of Glasgow. Athletics has something to offer everyone in Scotland – spectators, athletes, officials, coaches, volunteers and with our National Championships in 2011, you get the chance to see that both in the city centre and at the wonderful refurbished Scotstoun Stadium. Once hooked, you’ll want more... and in 2014 you will get the chance to see the world’s best athletes at Hampden Park for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Come and give it try in 2011, you will discover athletics for life!”
 
Councillor Archie Graham, the Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said: “Excitement is already building ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and as a city we are determined to make athletics and other sports more accessible. By staging the pole vault finals in George Square we will create a real buzz around athletics.
 
“George Square is no stranger to hosting world-class events but this will be a real first, with some of the country’s top athletes competing for the title of Scottish champion. It is the perfect opportunity for everyone to come along and experience the excitement of athletics right in the centre of Glasgow. It is not to be missed.”
 
Over the years some of the top acts in music have performed in George Square including Snow Patrol, Paulo Nutini, Deacon Blue, the Fratellis and Capercaillie. It has also witnessed many civic celebrations and mass gatherings including the city’s annual Hogmanay celebrations and Remembrance Day parade but this will be the first time that athletes will compete for a national title in the square.
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