• Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Partner
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Partner
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Partner
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Partner
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Partner
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Media Partner
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Supporter
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Supporter
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Supplier
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Supplier
  • Sponsors BannerWorld Athletics Supplier

News01 Mar 2023

Doyle: ‘A good crowd means more to an athlete than spectators realise’


Eilidh Doyle at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (© Getty Images)

Eilidh Doyle believes ticket-holders for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 will secure one of the most coveted seats in sport – even though they may be unaware of exactly how much they can help competing athletes.

The world’s best will converge on the Emirates Arena in Scotland and pre-registration is open now to buy tickets for the event on 1-3 March next year.

Local heroine Doyle has been named as an ambassador for the event and is excited about the prospect of sold-out signs at the venue with about 30,000 places available over three days.

“I am very excited about it and coming back to the Emirates Arena venue – it has been a while since I was at the track – has inspired me even more,” said Doyle, a winner of six global medals and eight continental medals.

“You look around the venue and think about what it will look like when the World Indoors comes in 2024. It will be a packed stadium, I am sure, and the atmosphere will be fantastic. I would urge folk now to pre-register for tickets.

“I don’t think there will be a problem selling out this venue for six sessions over three days so if you really want to be here and see it then I would say ‘be quick’.

“Looking back to the Europeans here at in 2019, there were big crowds inside and a superb atmosphere. We want to create that again for a World Indoors and I think in truth it will be a ‘hot ticket’ for athletes, fans and sports fans in Scotland and further afield.

“Every session will be exciting. When it comes to an indoor champs, the action is condensed into three days so there’s always a lot happening and you are watching the best athletes from around the world."

Some will compete twice in the same day.

“It will be world-class athletics at its best and being in the stadium is special, particularly here at the Emirates where a large number of the seats are very close to the track and the infield. You are up close with the athletes.

“So actually being in the venue will be a great experience for spectators and youngsters who are maybe in the sport themselves. For young Scottish athletes, this is where they compete in age groups and Scottish Schools Champs so that’s another factor, too.”

Scotland’s most decorated track and field athlete actually competed for the last time in her stellar career at the Emirates – running the final leg at the European Indoors in 2019 to lead GB and NI to silver in the women’s 4x400m.

Eilidh Doyle in the 4x400m at the 2019 European Indoor Championships

Eilidh Doyle in the 4x400m at the 2019 European Indoor Championships (© Getty Images)

“It is hugely exhilarating to compete here in front of a full crowd,” recalled Doyle, now a mother-of-two and taking on a number of roles in the sport, including serving on the Board of Scottish Athletics.

“I ran the last leg of the 4x400m at the Glasgow 2019 Europeans for GB and NI and the atmosphere just blew me away. Hearing that crowd spurs you on and I don’t know if spectators really know what it means to the athlete.

“It had a big impact on me and when the legs start to tire and the body hurts, you need all the help you can get! That roar helps you find something extra from inside.

“When I decided to retire (in 2020), I started to look back to see what actually had been my final competitive race. And it was that anchor leg for a silver medal at the European Indoors in Glasgow. I must admit I was happy with that as a fitting way to finish. You don’t get much better than winning a silver medal in front of a home crowd in Glasgow.”

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are fondly remembered by anyone who attended or witnessed events at Hampden, the traditional home of Scottish football.

It also inspired an upturn in Scottish fortunes in track and field.

“Come next year, we will be 10 years on from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014,” said Doyle. “There was a big Scotland team that year.

“If you talk to a lot of Scottish athletes, that had a big impact on their careers, regardless of what stage they were at. The likes of me and Lynsey Sharp won medals but for Laura Muir, Jake Wightman and Eilish McColgan it was all about learning for the journey they were embarking on, if you like. Look at what that trio alone have achieved since then!

“So, looking back and looking on now, I do feel myself, Lynsey and Chris O’Hare probably do feel pride and satisfaction that we showed others what might be achieved.

“It will be really interesting to look 10 years beyond the World Indoors 2024 and see what the impact is. I’ve no doubt we will see world-class Scots competing in Glasgow next year.”

Pages related to this article