Eyes of the world on North Lanarkshire

Athletes in action during the cycling stage of the triathlon at Strathclyde Park.
Athletes in action during the cycling stage of the triathlon at Strathclyde Park.

Nearly 50,000 people flocked to Strathclyde Park for the two-day Commonwealth Games sporting extravaganza.

And North Lanarkshire’s contribution to the Glasgow’s Games was praised by everyone, with volunteers on the ground singled out by the hundreds of thousands who flooded Facebook with ‘likes’, comments and pictures and videos.

But there was praise too for CultureNL employees who laid on fun events, entertainment and catering and the volunteers who distributed free water to visitors sweltering in 30°C temperatures – hotter than Hawaii – and other council partners who ensured signage, barriers and 
street decorations were in place and car parking ran smoothly.

North Lanarkshire Provost, Councillor Jim Robertson, paid tribute to the crowds who turned up to cheer on the athletes competing for Gold in three triathlon events.

He said: “Everything ran smoothly and the crowd was fantastic. Triathlon is a fairly new sport, only 20 years old, but it really caught everyone’s imagination.

“I was particularly struck that every single athlete was cheered on by the crowd no matter where they came from. Commentators all seemed to agree the park was a tough and world class venue.

“But I was delighted too at everyone’s behaviour. There was absolutely no trouble of any kind.

“We promoted it as two days of family fun and that’s exactly what everyone got – with a lot of warmth and sunshine thrown in.”

The provost’s comments were echoed by North Lanarkshire leader Councillor Jim McCabe, who presented the gold, silver and bronze medals to mixed team relay winners England, led by individual medal winners Jodie Stimpson and Alistair Brownlee, runners-up South Africa and Australia.

Councillor McCabe said: “It was a very real honour to be asked to present the medals to such a magnificent group of young athletes. The event has really put Strathclyde Park on the map. 
We have a real jewel of a venue.

“Every competitor put in tremendous performances and the tens of thousands watching were just champion.

“The challenge now will be to make the most of the park.

“There has been nothing but praise for the efforts of council employees and our partners in staging the two days and even with the cycling times trial still to come tomorrow (Thursday, July 31) it is clear we have a world-class venue.

“The main thing is though, the Strathclyde Park events were a success and we have proved the council can stage a show that reaches 1.5 billion people and goes without a hitch.”