Eilidh Doyle outside the Emirates Arena in Glasgow (© Jeff Holmes / LOC)
Youngsters from Shettleston Athletics Club were in high spirits at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow today, where they joined Eilidh Doyle, former GB & NI team captain and one of Scotland’s most successful track and field athletes, to celebrate just one year to go to the World Athletics Indoor Championships.
Taking place 1-3 March 2024, the event is one of the sport’s premier championships and reaffirms Scotland’s and Glasgow’s position as a world-leading events destinations.
The World Athletics Indoor Championships is held every two years and provides three action-packed days of intense competition, in an intimate arena where fans can witness the raw athleticism and talent of many of the world’s best athletes at close range.
Glasgow successfully hosted the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019, and World Athletics will now bring its 2024 championships to the same arena. Furthermore, the 2024 championships takes on added significance as it falls within the qualification period for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and with athletes honing their preparations for this important year ahead, up to 700 competitors from more than 130 countries are expected to take part.
Up to 5000 passionate fans can be accommodated in the arena for each of the six sessions, and ticket preregistration is now open online to enable athletics supporters to get in line to book their seats for this must-see event next year.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “What makes the World Athletics Indoor Championships unique is the intimacy of the competition. The fans really get up close to the world’s best athletes and can appreciate just how amazing their performances are. That creates an incredibly exciting atmosphere for athletes and fans alike. I’ll never forget the finale to the most recent World Championships in Belgrade, where Ivana Vuleta delighted her home crowd with victory in the long jump and Mondo Duplantis brought the house down by breaking the world pole vault record – something that Glasgow fans also experienced from Mondo in 2020. Glasgow has a fine record of hosting great athletics events, from the 2014 Commonwealth Games to the 2019 European Indoors, so we already know this will be an exceptional stop on the journey to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
Eilidh Doyle in action at the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham (© AFP / Getty Images)
Announced today as the championships ambassador, Eilidh Doyle competed in both the 400m hurdles and 400m, and featured as a regular member of the GB & NI 4x400m relay team amassing an overall tally of 17 major international podium places. She memorably won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and won numerous World and European indoor medals including silver at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow.
Speaking at the event, Doyle said: “I am thrilled to be announced as ambassador for the championships, it is a real honour. I am excited that, as well as promoting the event, I will be contributing to the event steering group, ensuring that the operational plans put in place meet the needs of the athletes, creating the right environment to enable them to compete at their very best.
“Glasgow and Scotland have always been committed to innovation and delivering sport-focused, athlete-centred events, which is why athletes love to come here, so I am sure Glasgow will step up yet again, taking the 2024 World Indoors to the next level. I know from competing at the Emirates regularly that the atmosphere will be incredible, so I urge all athletics fans to preregister for tickets while they can!”
Also unveiled today was the event’s new brand mark, created by Scottish design agency Brand Oath. Sitting within the World Athletics brand outline, it brings a Scottish flavour to the event with a contemporary twist to the nation’s iconic emblem the thistle.
The flower head, which is represented by the running track lanes, sits on a diamond tartan pattern also reflecting the Arena’s geometric architecture, all underpinned by the classic victory pose with arms aloft, universal to sport at all levels, as winners cross the finish line.
Bright, youthful colours have been chosen for the mark, with the rubine red tones linking to the city’s People Make Glasgow brand and the green representing the event’s commitment to sustainability.
The World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 2024 will be delivered by Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council, through a partnership with the Scottish Government, Event Scotland, UK Sport, and UK Athletics.
Meeting the aspiring young athletes at the Emirates Arena, Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “Glasgow is world renowned as an incredible host city. It’s fantastic that the city and its people will once again be in the international spotlight next year. Hosting this event demonstrates that Scotland remains the Perfect Stage for events, which bring economic benefits and wider positive impacts, such as encouraging people to take up sport and get more active.
Eilidh Doyle with youngsters from Shettleston Athletics Club (© LOC)
“With about 5,000 seats per session, tickets will be hugely popular and are expected to sell out quickly so I would recommend that people pre-register now for tickets so they don’t miss out when they go on sale later this year.”
Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life said: “We would like to thank World Athletics for placing their trust in Glasgow and its event partners. We are delighted to be hosting the World Athletics Indoor Championships next year for the first time in Scotland and the third time in the United Kingdom. Recognised as one of the world’s friendliest cities, and named European Capital of Sport for 2023, we look forward to welcoming athletes, officials, and spectators alike from across the globe to Glasgow and creating more thrilling sporting highlights.
“Glasgow has a proven track record of hosting world-class events, and ten years on from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we have ambitious plans for the future. Attracting visitors to our wonderful city, reaching a worldwide tv audience and creating exciting opportunities for our communities to engage with, events like the World Athletics Indoor Championships 2024 are helping us achieve our vision of harnessing the power of sport and physical activity to change lives for the better.”
Ian Beattie, Chair of UK Athletics and Co-chair of the WAIC Glasgow 24 Steering Group said: “UKA were incredibly proud to be awarded the opportunity to host the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships and with just one year to go it’s exciting to see such great progress in preparations has been made.
“World Athletics showed confidence in Glasgow and in the UK to host this prestigious global athletics championships and this time next year we will once again be demonstrating our ability - working alongside our partners - to deliver amazing events.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming spectators to the fantastic Emirates Arena where we know they will experience a brilliant World Athletics Indoor Championships.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “Scotland is one of the best places in the world to experience events and we are looking forward to welcoming athletes, officials and fans to Glasgow in one year’s time for the World Athletics Indoor Championships.
“The championships joins an enviable portfolio of major events to be hosted across the country over the last 10 years and will reinforce our reputation as world leading destination and the perfect stage for events.
“Today’s unveiling of the brand mark and the announcement of Eilidh as the championships ambassador is the start of many exciting milestones to come over the next 12 months and we look forward to continuing to work with World Athletics and our partners to deliver a truly memorable event for everyone.”
Esther Britten, Head of Events at UK Sport, said: “The World Athletics Indoor Championships are an incredible opportunity for Glasgow to once again showcase itself on the world stage. Ten years on from hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the city has used the platform to establish a broad, diverse portfolio of successful events. The WAIC24 offers the perfect opportunity to build on the sporting, economic and social legacy of the past decade and show Glasgow’s ambitions for the future.
“We are grateful for the continued support from The National Lottery, who enable us to deliver showpiece events like WAIC24 to communities across the UK.
“I look forward to watching the championships and I have no doubt fans from Glasgow, Scotland and beyond will be treated to an array of extraordinary sporting moments from some of the world’s best athletes.”