Commonwealth Games legend and aspiring athletes officially open Glasgow 2014's new HQ
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
Sir Peter Heatly, one Scotland's greatest ever Commonwealth athletes and two young Scottish sporting talents have officially opened Commonwealth House, Glasgow 2014's new HQ in the east end of the city.
Glasgow 2014, in recognition of Sir Peter's unprecedented success as a diver and his unique association with the Commonwealth Games, has named its boardroom 'The Sir Peter Heatly Boardroom' in his honour.
The celebration at Glasgow 2014's impressive new premises in the Merchant City was an opportunity to highlight the exceptional career of Sir Peter Heatly and also look to the future of Scottish Sport. Young athletes Vicky Clow and John McCall joined Glasgow 2014 Chairman Lord Smith and Games Partners to officially open the building.
Sir Peter won three consecutive diving gold medals in Auckland 1950, Vancouver 1954 and Cardiff 1958 before going on to become Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) from 1982 to 1990. The self-taught diver from Leith who dominated diving in Scotland for over 20 years has attended all 17 Games from 1950 as Competitor, Manager, Organiser, Chairman of the CGF and, most recently, as Life Vice President of the CGF.
Vicky has already competed at the Commonwealth Games, aged just 16, when she took part in Rhythmic Gymnastics at Delhi 2010. John represented youth Team Scotland at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man, competing in the 110m hurdles.
The HQ will be home to 1044 members of staff at Games-time and the interior of Commonwealth House has been designed in line with Glasgow 2014's athlete centred and sport focused vision. All 17 Commonwealth sports are portrayed extensively throughout the building, including the use of pictograms and sport terminology in designing and naming all the meeting rooms.
The building was fully renovated by City Building, Glasgow City Council's arm's-length construction company, in conjunction with Royal Blindcraft Industries (RSBi) a social enterprise which employs disabled people to make high-quality furniture. War veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq were employed to work during the renovation at Commonwealth House, all of them recruited through the council's Helping Heroes campaign which assists ex-soldiers in finding work. There were also over 40 young apprentices employed throughout the renovation work at Commonwealth House.
The evening was attended by various guests from across Scotland and provided another significant milestone in the planning and preparation for the Games.
Glasgow 2014 Chairman Lord Smith said:
"We are delighted to call Commonwealth House and the Merchant City our new home, and are privileged to be joined this evening by two future Scottish stars and Sir Peter Heatly to celebrate the official opening. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognise Sir Peter's outstanding contribution to the Commonwealth Games and his sporting achievements.
"Commonwealth House will leave yet another tangible landmark after the Games, but more importantly a positive legacy for the city, in a completely refurbished traditional building in the Merchant City."
Commonwealth Games Scotland Vice Chairman, Fiona McEwan said:
"The new headquarters is not only a testament to Glasgow's commitment to regeneration in the city but it has a vibrant positive atmosphere that clearly states that it is 'Games on'. Visiting delegates, partners and contractors will be left in no doubt about the OC's professional approach to staging a truly athlete centred and sport focused Games.
"We are also particularly delighted that Sir Peter Heatly, one of our greatest Commonwealth Games athletes is also being recognised within the headquarters."
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Gordon Matheson said:
"Commonwealth House is the ideal headquarters for Glasgow 2014, in the perfect location and another example of the regeneration of the Merchant City. This will undoubtedly be a key hub for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and so it is important that the right space was identified. After the Games, Commonwealth House will leave a tremendous economic legacy for Glasgow in the form of state of the art city centre office space."
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said:
"I'm delighted to mark the official opening of Commonwealth House. This fit for purpose building means the Games headquarters will be able to accommodate everyone taking advantage of the significant job opportunities being created by the Games. As well as leaving a lasting legacy for the Merchant City and Glasgow, it will ensure the Organising Committee has the best base possible from which to ensure that planning for the Games remain on time and on budget.
"It is very fitting that the Organising Committee would choose to name their boardroom after one of Scotland's Commonwealth heroes, Sir Peter Heatly. He is an outstanding ambassador for elite sport and I know our nation's athletes will look to his example as they aspire to be part of Team Scotland for 2014.