With Oriam, Scotland's Sports Performance Centre, now open and the new-look sportscotland National Centre Inverclyde scheduled for completion next year, Scotland is rapidly becoming a mecca for sport facilities.
So what makes the perfect sport facility? We decided to take a closer look at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome to find out...
A powerful force for good
Built in 2012 in time for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Scotland’s first indoor velodrome makes up part of the Emirates Arena in the heart of Glasgow’s regenerated east end.
Named after Scotland's greatest Olympian, who did so much to raise the profile of track cycling in this country, it provided a stage for one of the world’s largest sport events in 2014 and it hosts Revolution series events each year.
The velodrome is also home to Scottish Cycling, the Scottish Governing Body (SGB) for cycling which uses the venue as a base for its performance development squad and to host national age-group and club championships at all levels.
The velodrome hosted a round of the UCI World Cup in November 2016 and will be a centrepiece of the multi-sport Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
The velodrome is a powerful force for good in Scottish cycling, as Bob MacFarlane from Scottish Cycling explains in our video, recorded during the national junior championships earlier this year.
It delivers a training and competition premises for cyclists young, old, disabled, competitive and recreational, and putting bums on seats to inspire all generations of spectator to get involved in sport or simply become more active.
It is this consummate range of benefits that makes it such an outstanding facility. In less than four years it has accumulated more than 65,000 users, and achieved the following between 2014 and 2015:
- A 19%increase in general use (20,829 in 2014; 24,821 in 2015)
- A 35% increase in youth/junior use (3,961 junior attendances in 2014; 5,353 in 2015)
- A 21% increase in para-cycling use (72 attendances in 2014; 87 in 2015; forecast for 2016 is 100+)
‘An unrivalled opportunity’
“As the figures show, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome has grown more and more popular since it opened in Glasgow in 2012,” says Councillor Archie Graham OBE, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life.
“The Velodrome brings thousands of spectators and brilliant sporting events to Scotland, such as the UCI Track Cycling World Cup and Revolution Series. However, more importantly, it presents an unrivalled opportunity for those at grassroots and club levels to try out and use a world class facility on their very own doorstep.”
All in the planning
The idea to build a world class velodrome in Scotland was born when the National and Regional Sports Facility Strategy came into being in 2003, aiming to fill holes in Scotland’s sporting infrastructure.
The facility that now stands proudly in the east end of Glasgow was part-funded by a £15million sportscotland facilities investment into the velodrome and the neighbouring Emirates Arena, with the principal funding (£98million) coming from Glasgow City Council.
Mark Cowan, Sports Development Head (Facilities) at sportscotland, says: “We worked very hard with the key sports and our partners, from a very early stage, to ensure the facilities on completion met the training and competition needs of these sports.
“As a result, Scotland now has another world class facility in which to prepare our current and future athletes for success on a world stage. We are delighted to see the facilities so well used by so many sports and look forward to this continuing.”