This year, our home city, Glasgow, has been hosting the European Championships (with some of the events taking place in the city of co-host, Berlin). We’ve been out and about soaking up the activities on offer and enjoying the citywide party atmosphere! We’re not going to pretend to have a great knowledge of all things sporting but have really enjoyed getting familiar with the rules of time trials, cheering on swimmers and discussing the merits of angular momentum in synchronised diving. Ok, the last bit is a lie but you get the picture, it’s been fun getting involved and learning new sporting jargon! The kids have absolutely loved the television coverage too and it’s made a welcome change from the usual Paw Patrol, Power Rangers and Peppa Pig!
As well as watching from home, we’ve experienced the championships in three different locations. All of which were a resounding success!
Last Sunday we visited Go Live! at the Green which, as part of Festival 2018, promised a great family day out. Festival 2018 describes itself as “the fun-filled cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Glasgow and areas hosting sport across Scotland will be buzzing with live music, circus, dance, theatre, visual art and much more at city-centre festival sites, venues and in communities, bringing a carnival atmosphere to the 11 days of sporting action.” We felt the Green really lived up to this description and we enjoyed everything from fantastic food (Thanks Babu Kitchen for my amazing “Nanwich”), fairground rides, sporting experiences (the kids particularly loved the obstacle course and the “Challenge Duncan” swimming tent), watching a cycling medal ceremony and a rather bizarre but very amusing display of Sponge Wrestling.
Men’s Cycling Time Trial – Lennoxtown
We were lucky enough to experience the Men’s Cycling Time Trial coming through our hometown of Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire. The roads in and out of the village were closed between 9am and 3pm so we decided to stay at home for the day and enjoy the event. There was a great turnout in the village to cheer on the cyclists and the kids (ok, the grown ups too!) loved seeing the bikes, team cars and police motorcycles whizzing by. Some local businesses also benefited by doing a roaring trade in ice cream and sausage rolls! Later in the evening we watched the highlights of the event on TV and loved spotting all the Glasgow streets and landmarks we know so well, hopefully the rest of the world watching from afar, appreciated the beautiful countryside that served as a backdrop to the time trial.
Yesterday we needed to fill an afternoon, so headed into the city centre to see what the George Square element of Festival 2018 had to offer. It turned out to be the best day of the championship experiences yet. The sun was shining and we ate delicious chipotle chicken and red dragon pork from Martha’s Healthy and Hearty Fast Food. We were thoroughly entertained (for free!) by both Sound Cycle from Children’s Classic Concerts and Circus Raj,while watching the Strathclyde Park Triathlon on the big screens.
All in all, we’ve really loved experiencing the European Championships and all the fun of Festival 2018 that came with it. The only small negative we found was that the merchandise shop was incredibly expensive. £45 for a Bonnie the Seal toy mascot seems a tad excessive and will prohibit a lot of families buying a memento of the occasion.
Activities and events are ongoing until Sunday 12th August, so if you’ve not been into the city yet, get yer shoes on and check it out! Glasgow and its people have done us proud with a fantastic celebration!
Until next time,