Sunday, 13 July 2014

Rugby ace Hastings is athletes" village chieftain

Hastings officially opened the village in the east end of Glasgow yesterday. Other chieftains will be Sir Chris Hoy, rower Katherine Grainger, swimmer David Carry, former gymnast Steve Frew, Scotland’s most capped hockey player, Rhona Simpson and hammer-thrower Shirley Addison.

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Their duties include presiding over the team welcome ceremonies for each nation, hosting receptions and visits from the Royal Family and heads of state, and conducting VIP tours of the village.

Organisers said the Commonwealth village usually has a mayor appointed for the competition, but chieftains were introduced to give it a Scottish theme.

Adventurer Mark Beaumont, who travelled with the Queen’s baton relay across much of the Commonwealth, will also be a chieftain along with some Scottish athletes who win gold medals at Glasgow 2014.

The chieftains will not be staying in the village but will spend a lot of time in the areas where teams arrive for the competition.

As the first in post Hastings hosted the official opening, which featured a colourful performance by the National Youth Theatre Great Britain (NYT).

“It’s a huge honour to be one of the first people to see the village, never mind be chieftain,” the 52-year-old said.

“Seeing the National Youth Theatre perform was brilliant and it really encapsulates everything you expect the Games village to represent, it was positive, colourful and energetic and that’s what’s going to be here over the next fortnight or so.

“It’s a bit different, and I’ll be meeting the different teams and visitors, although I’ll be looking out for the rugby sevens guys. We’ll be wishing them well.”

The NYT show featured dozens of performers in kilts and tartan trousers who danced with pop-up tents and on top of giant cargo boxes.

It featured musicians, singers and dancers from across the UK and Glaswegians from the NYT’s inclusion workshops in Easterhouse.

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Rugby ace Hastings is athletes" village chieftain

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