Countdown to 2014 games is on

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The countdown to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games is on, and North Lanarkshire will host its very own event to mark the occasion.

The opening ceremony will take place on July 23, next year, and almost a year before the big day a Commonwealth Countdown event will take place on August 7 across five sport and cultural venues in Coatbridge.

The activity will take place from 11am to 5pm in the Time Capsule, Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, Coatbridge Outdoor Sports Centre (athletics track), Lochview Family Golf Centre and the new St Ambrose High School.

With the exception of Summerlee, which is free to enter at all times, entry will be just £1.

Access to Scotland’s Ice and Waterpark in the Time Capsule will be available until 10pm, with the ice rink rounding off the celebrations with an evening ice disco.

Summerlee is also hosting ‘National Play Day’, which will feature a range of fun games, circus skills with the ability to explore this fascinating museum and have a ride in a tram.

All the venues are within a two mile radius of each other and North Lanarkshire’s Countryside Access team are marking out health promoting ‘gold, silver and bronze’ walking routes between the sites.

There will also be a shuttle transport service available for those who require it.

Blane Dodds, the chief executive of North Lanarkshire Leisure, said; “The Commonwealth Countdown will be an amazing family fun day featuring as many of the 17 Commonwealth Games sports as possible either on a come and try, competition or demonstration basis. It will also feature traditional Scottish and Celtic sports, such as golf, shinty and Gaelic football. Face painting, giant slides, bouncy castles, giant games, ice skating and swimming and cultural activities such a play, dance, arts and music means that there really will be something for everyone”.

Designed by Beth Gilmour (15) from Craigmarloch, a visit from ‘Clyde’ the 2014 Games mascot is on the cards and the day will involve North Lanarkshires’ Commonwealth Games Youth Legacy Ambassadors and the young athletes forming this year’s Team North Lanarkshire, who will take part in the International Children’s Games in Canada in August.

It is funded by EventScotland, NHS Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Leisure with half of any proceeds generated going to St Andrews Hospice.