This article was produced in association with the European Championships Glasgow 2018.
Blessed with world-class sporting venues and some of the warmest and most welcoming people you’re ever likely to meet, Glasgow stands proudly as one of the top sporting destinations in the world. The city will look to strengthen that reputation even further when Scotland hosts the first-ever European Championships next year.
Delivered in partnership with the continent’s leading sports federations, the 2018 European Championships will combine existing European Championships in cycling, aquatics, gymnastics, triathlon and rowing with an innovative new golf team event at Gleneagles and the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, to create a must-see, must-attend event for sports fans.
Some 3,000 athletes will arrive in Scotland as part of an overall delegation of around 8,500 people including officials, media and others, to create 11-action packed days of sport kicking off on Thursday 2 August.
PICTURE: Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome
The sporting action will stretch from well-established Glasgow sporting arenas like the SSE Hydro and the Emirates Arena to other areas of Scotland such as Loch Lomond and Edinburgh.
The European Broadcast Union also confirmed that over 35 of its members, including the BBC, have now signed up to show the first edition of the new multi-sport concept in 2018.
Other EBU members already signed up include VRT (Belgium), HRT (Croatia), DT (Denmark), YLE (Finland), RTE (Ireland), NOS (Netherlands), NRK (Norway), TVP (Poland), SRG SSR (Switzerland), and SVT and TV4 (Sweden). The level of coverage for the inaugural European Championships is also enhanced by a deal with Eurosport.
This will see the 2018 European Championships reach a potential global audience of more than 1.03 billion people, putting Glasgow and Scotland firmly in the sporting limelight.
1.03bn – Potential European TV audience
4,500 – Athletes in Glasgow and Berlin
2,700 – Hours of free-to-air coverage
194 – Medal events
50 – Competing nations
12 – Host venues
7 – Sports
2 – Host cities
1 – Event
PICTURE: Tollcross International Swimming Centre. Host venue for European Swimming Championships
Championships director Colin Hartley said: “The 2018 European Championships present Scotland and the city of Glasgow with an exceptional opportunity to showcase our excellent sports facilities and world-famous crowds to the rest of the world.
“Following one of the best ever Commonwealth Games ever seen in 2014, Scotland has continued to strengthen its reputation as a sporting stage by hosting high-profile global events such as the 2014 Ryder Cup and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.
“Major international events are vital to our economy with thousands of jobs supported across the sport, creative and tourism industries in the city.
“Glasgow 2018 will allow us to build on our reputation as one of the world’s top five sporting cities and also our position as a leading tourism destination.”
As preparations gather pace, more details are being released about the staging of the European Championships and what sports fans can look forward to at Glasgow 2018.
PICTURE: Swiss golfer Hermoine Fitzgerald (Courtesy Ladies European Tour)
A finalised sports programme was confirmed in February detailing where each sport and discipline will fall into the 11-day sports schedule.
It revealed that the 2018 European Championships will start on Thursday 2 August, with 10 days of comprehensive television coverage running from Friday 3 August to Sunday 12 August.
As part of the sports programme, aquatics will make a welcome return to Scotland, building on the success of the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. Glasgow 2018 will see synchronised swimming make its debut at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Sports Campus, further enhancing the city’s reputation for hosting events.
More details have also been released on the format of the highly anticipated Golf Team Championships, which will take place at the famous Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course – host of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Backed by both the European Tour and Ladies European Tour, the event will make golfing history with elite male and female golfers competing alongside each other for the first time ever.
Progress also continues on a new Olympic-standard BMX track in the Knightswood area of Glasgow which will host the Cycling BMX European Championships. It is the only new venue being built for the Championships and will act as an exciting new venue for Scotland’s BMX stars long after the Championships are over.
PICTURE: Mark Cavendish wins in Glasgow at 2013 National Championships
A great number of 2014 Commonwealth Games venues will find themselves centre of attention once again with the SSE Hydro, Emirates Arena, Tollcross International Swimming Centre and Strathclyde Country Park all re-utilised for next year’s European Championships.
The legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games is a major factor in the delivery of these Championships and both the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, who are funding Glasgow 2018, hope that the European Championships will have an equally long-standing impact on Scotland.
Aileen Campbell, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, said: “I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has been able to support the 2018 European Championships.
“This is a fantastic concept for European sport, so it’s tremendous that we can be at the forefront of that, welcoming all these world-class athletes to Glasgow, and other venues across Scotland.
“We have a growing reputation when it comes to hosting major events like this, and I’m sure the people of Scotland will embrace these championships as only they can.
“I look forward to welcoming Europe’s best athletes to Scotland and I hope that their moments will inspire a new generation of Scottish sport-stars and encourage more people to take up a healthy and active lifestyle.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “We have an exceptional track record for staging world-class sporting events and Glasgow 2018 will see us take the next step on that exciting journey.
“The fact that the city will be hosting an event which could be witnessed by over one billion people is a golden opportunity for us. We will use the magical moments that the athletes, our fantastic home crowd and our many visitors will create to showcase everything we have to offer as a visitor destination.
“I am sure that the European Championships will continue to deliver a lasting legacy for Glasgow and encourage even more people in the city to get active and take an interest in sport.”
For now though, Glasgow and Scotland remain excitedly in wait to welcome the finest athletes in Europe. Upcoming milestones include the launch of a major volunteer recruitment drive, which will allow people from all over the country to play their part in delivering a successful event. The Glasgow 2018 volunteers will sit right at the heart of the European Championships and represents one of the largest volunteer recruitment campaigns ever undertaken by the city of Glasgow.
Details of an extensive cultural programme, which will be delivered in partnership with host local authorities and form part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People in 2018, will also be announced shortly. The programme will see the whole of Glasgow brought alive during the summer of 2018 with special live zones planned for around the city, offering everyone the chance to get involved and enjoy the European Championships.
Keep an eye on the official Glasgow 2018 social media channels for upcoming news on Volunteering, Ticket sales and more.
PICTURE: Scottish Events Campus (Courtesy People Make Glasgow)
A TOP FIVE WORLD SPORTING CITY
Glasgow’s reputation as an event host continues to grow on the world stage.
Glasgow's recent sporting journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Fresh from delivering the best-ever Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the 2015 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, Glasgow has now been named as one of the world’s top five sporting cities.
The city’s success at the SportBusiness 2016 Ultimate Sport Cities Awards also included wins in the Best Legacy and Best Small City categories. The awards, which are held every two years, are the internationally recognised and longest-established rankings of the world’s top sports hosts.
Glasgow’s success is built on its international events programme, its continued investment in world-class facilities such as the Emirates Arena and its commitment to increasing participation and securing a lasting legacy for future generations. Close to £200m has been spent on new and improved venues since 2009, as part of a citywide £1bn investment in infrastructure.
Thanks to the city’s Sports Event Strategy a host of international events have been secured and delivered in recent years. These include the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix – the world’s number one indoor athletics event, the IPC Swimming World Championships and Davis Cup.
Glasgow’s reputation was further enhanced after last year’s 2015 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, when FIG President Professor Bruno Grandi said the event had “set a new high standard for gymnastics.” The event attracted attendances of around 80,000 spectators generating an economic impact of £4.9m for Glasgow and £4.4m for Scotland.
And there is much to look forward to with the city set to host an extensive array of events over the coming years including the inaugural European Championships in the summer of 2018 in partnership with Berlin. Also on the horizon are the 2017 TOTAL BWF World Championships and 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships.
At the same time as hosting world-class events the number of people in the city taking part in sport is now at an all-time high as Glasgow continues to see the benefits of investment in new and improved facilities. The sport sector also supports around 10,000 jobs in the city and contributes approximately £370m to Glasgow’s thriving economy.
PICTURE: Emirates Arena. Host venue for Track cycling (Courtesy People Make Glasgow)
WHAT THE ATHLETES THINK…
MAX WHITLOCK – Olympic gold medal-
winner & three-time European Gymnastics champion
“To add another multi-sport event to the calendar is a huge thing. It’s an amazing idea and it’ll be interesting to see the atmosphere that surrounds it.
“Every competition I’ve done in Glasgow has been incredible so I’m excited to see how these Championships go. The Glasgow crowds are crazy. They are easily the loudest crowd I’ve ever competed in front of.”
MARC AUSTIN, Scottish triathlete
“I think the crowds in 2018 will be phenomenal and hopefully reminiscent of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
“That was without a doubt the best crowd experience I’ve ever had. It was like a wall of noise – that’s the only way I can describe it. I still get a buzz when I think about that.
“If anything can come close to that it’ll be a great day for the athletes involved and I hope that I’m there to experience it all again.”
KAREN BENNETT – Gold medal-winner at the 2016 European Rowing Championships
“The wonderful thing about being part of an Olympic or Paralympic team is the camaraderie across the sports. We all cheer each other on and the team spirit in Rio was amazing.
“I guess the next time we will feel like this will be when we come together with other sports at the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow when we will be one of six sports competing there. I can’t wait.”
CALUM SKINNER – Track cyclist and Olympic gold and silver medal-winner, Rio 2016
“There is such a different atmosphere in a multi-sport event. As an athlete it is amazing and that transfers to the fans. Usually you compete in your individual sport and that is really what makes events like this so fantastic.”
SPORT IN GLASGOW BY NUMBERS
£370 million: Sport’s contribution to the Glasgow economy.
£200 million: The city’s investment in sports facilities since 2009.
6.4 million: Attendances at Glasgow’s sports facilities last year.
80,000: Attendances at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.
20,900: Junior members of a sports club (+367% since 2009).
4,580: Coaches engaged with sports clubs (+95% since 2009).
4,490: Volunteers engaged with sports clubs (+110% since 2009).
5: The city’s world ranking in the 2016 Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.
1: The city’s world ranking for Legacy in the 2016 Ultimate Sports Cities Awards.