One year to go to Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
In exactly one year to today (Tuesday 4 April), around 300 Welsh athletes along with coaches, managers and Team Wales officials will be attending the 2018 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony – the start of 11 days of competing in Gold Coast, Australia. All athletes and teams are now trying to qualify for selection to represent Wales in Gold Coast.
Team Wales won a record 36 medals at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and preparations are now well underway to make sure that each athlete realises their highest potential and that Team Wales achieves its best performance at an overseas Games.
Prof Nikki Phillips, Chef de Mission for Wales at the 2018 Games said: “There’s a lot of work that’s already happening behind the scenes to prepare Team Wales for the Games. We want to make sure that everything’s in place to give our athletes the best possible chance at winning.
“We’ve appointed all our HQ staff, we’ve been working closely with the sports national governing bodies, and arrangements for flights and accommodation are being made. Although the Team won’t be selected until late this year, we’ve already started to measure athletes across all sports for kit and paradewear.
“On top of this we’re looking forward to sending a squad of our young athletes to the Bahamas Youth Games in July – a brilliant platform to develop emerging Welsh athletic talent for future Commonwealth Games.
“We also have the Queen’s Baton Relay to prepare for, and all events are close to being finalised for when the baton travels through communities across Wales between 5 and 8 September.
“So, all in all, it’s definitely a busy year for us at Team Wales!”
Nikki, who is currently out in Australia to meet with the Gold Coast Organising Committee, added: “Things are really taking shape out here with all the venues looking fantastic and work on the athletes’ village progressing well.
“We had a special event to celebrate one year to go on Sunday at the Kurrawa Surf Club, which will be our Welsh Centre during the Games. It was great to meet Welsh locals to mark this important milestone and talk through how they can support Team Wales.”
One Welshman living on the Gold Coast is Richard Vaughan Jones, originally from Mold, who runs the Gold Coast Wales Facebook group.
He said: “There is already increasing excitement around the Games out here and a lot of support for Team Wales following their visit to the Gold Coast last November. We were delighted to meet Nikki this week and will continue to do as much as we can out here to bring out Welsh supporters in force.
“Kurrawa Surf Club is an excellent location as the hub for Team Wales – I can’t wait to see my fellow Welsh people from all over come together to support our Team.”
Updates on Team Wales’ preparations will be posted on social media and teamwales.cymru.