Archives For Commonwealth Games

Trying Something New

July 23, 2014 — 52 Comments

Last weekend I was offered a chance to try my hand at archery and in the spirit of the commonwealth games I jumped at the chance to give a go.  The only archery I had ever seen was either in cartoons or when watching Robin Hood so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had the impression that maybe there would be a nice round target in a very, very big field, after all would you want to stand anywhere near a complete beginner 🙂

We arrived at a secluded wooded area and there were no colourful targets in sight!  Instead there were large plastic bottles on sticks which we were to try and hit.  But having watched my friends have a go the competitor in me took over and I was determined to give it my very best.




I shot the first arrow, it was not as easy as I had imagined but I was not going to let it get the better of me. I listened to the advice and my shots were getting closer to hitting the bottle.  I just could not find the strength to pull the bow back far enough to match my more experienced friends, but I was improving.


Then finally I hit the bottle, the bottle moved on the stick and the arrow hit the ground behind it 🙂  I was over the moon and really pleased with my efforts, it was such good fun to try a new sport and though all you field archers out there won’t have any serious competition from me any time soon it is something that I would love to try again.


So though I wont be in Glasgow for the start of the 2014 Commonwealth Games today I will be there in spirit. I believe that the opening ceremony at 2100 BST is expected to be fabulous so I will have to catch it on the BBC website when I get home. I hope that the games are a great success and that the competitors enjoy the experience and my new home City. Good luck to everyone involved 🙂


Here is a link to a little test that the BBC have put on their website to see what Commonwealth Games sport may suit you 🙂 Why not give it a go and let me know what it suggests.

On Sunday 22nd June, my last day in Scotland, I dragged a friend along to a Big Big Sing workshop, if you sing regularly with other people, you will know how it lifts your spirits.


It was a great session and everybody there seemed to have a great time. Sadly as I wont be in Glasgow during the Commonwealth games I didn’t audition for the choir 🙁 Can you spot us in the picture ?

The concept is such a great idea that I wanted to share it with you. I know that there are similar projects in many different countries and the first time I came across such a scheme was from one of my Australian blog friends who told me all about Sing Australia. I remembered at the time thinking what a great idea so when the chance came along to get involved right here in Glasgow I jumped at the chance.

The Big Big Sing booklet reminds members that specific benefits of singing include:
• Improved concentration
• Endorphins are released
• Improved breathing and posture
• Increases confidence
• A great way to meet new friends


The Big Big Sing aims to inspire thousands of people across the UK to join in and celebrate the Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow this year, through singing, and to make the soundtrack to the Games. You can learn more at

The Big Big Sing in Glasgow on the 27th July, 2014, will bring together thousands of singers for a day of song and celebration.

Here are a couple copies of the booklets if you are interested in what we got up to a s a group, just click on the pictures to see a larger image.




Later on in the afternoon I went to watch the 10th Scottish International Piano Competition Final. The very first competition was established in 1986 and was won by a teacher at my College called Graeme McNaught.


As my friend Daniel Petrica Ciobanu from Romania had been selected to perform in this years competition I had already watched several of the earlier rounds. Daniel made it to the semi finals along with nine other very talented pianists, selected from a very strong field of 28 competitors from around the world. The semi finalists were :

Mohamed Shams
Beatrice Magnani
Liana Gevgoryan
Daniel Petrica Ciobanu
Jianing Kong
Jonathan Fournel
Dinara Klinton
Ilya Maximov
David Gray
Liana Paniyeva


Daniel Petrica Ciobanu

Each of the four finalists played a concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.  I listened intently, made notes of each performance and how each chosen song made me feel.  From this I selected my four placements and went out to tea as I was catching my train home that same evening.

I was pleasantly impressed with myself when I got the four finalists in the correct order.  My favourite piece was the Brahms played by Jonathan.  The international jury chaired by Aaron Shorr included;  Dimitri Alexeev, Hyoung-Joon Chang, Ian Fountain, Martino Tirimo, Olga Kern, Steve Osborne,  and Wu Ying.

The finalists were :

1st Jonathan Fournel – France
2nd Ilya Maximov – Russia
3rd Jianing Kong – China
4th David Gray – Glasgow/Scotland

The first prize was fabulous including :

The Alexander Stone Memorial Trophy
The Frederick Lamond Gold Medal (gifted by Harry Henderson)
A Bluthner Grand Pianoforte (awarded by the Alfred-Reinhold Stiffung Foundation)
A series of concert engagements with the RNSO (2014-2014 season)
An opportunity to record a CD/DVD with support from the Duet Foundation
And £10,000.

In addition to the above there were prizes awarded to each of the ten semi-finalists.

You can still listen or download the contestants performances from the website 

The Big G

June 4, 2014 — 29 Comments



The Big G is a giant Commonwealth Games logo which was revealed this week and it is fast becoming a symbol celebrating the countdown to the games and the planned city wide festivities.

From July 23rd to 3rd August 2014 the Commonwealth Games are coming to Glasgow and it won’t just be about sport. Festival 2014 will showcase many of the exciting activities you can find here in Glasgow, the two weeks of festivities will be held during the games and will celebrate Glasgow as a cultural hotbed of music, theatre and the arts. Check out

Festival 2014 for Culture

Festival 2014 for Culture

You can feel the buzz surrounding the games, all over the city the sense of anticipation is growing day by day as the city landscapes change around us, here is a picture of George Square before the changes.  I think having the flowers, grass and huge eruption of colour that the logo provides certainly bring the square to life.


George Square Before The Big G Was Unveiled

Glasgow is one of the UKs largest cities and the people of Glasgow make the City the wonderful place that it is. Some events like shooting will take place outside the City in Carnoustie (Angus); diving will take place in Edinburgh and the triathlon will take place in Strathclyde Country Park.


The Commonwealth Games were first held in Canada in 1930. Glasgow will welcome athletes from around the world to compete in 17 sports in 11 days. Game On Scotland says there are 6500 athletes from 71 nations. Sports range from lawn bowls to judo, track events to gymnastics.

Para-Sport at Glasgow features the biggest ever number of Para-Sport medal events in the history of the games, 22 events.