Glasgow 2014 set to be the Most Disability-Friendly Games so far

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The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony takes place this evening in Glasgow and according to the organisers the sporting event will be the most disability-friendly games so far.

Preparation started in 2007, when the Scottish city was nominated to hold the event, since then accessibility has become a vital role in the games. For the first time para-sports will be included in the main medal table which will see more than 350 athletes with disabilities compete for gold medals.

Venue access will cater for the 10,000 or so disabled spectators which have been put to the test by Euan MacDonald and his sister Kiki. Euan has motor neurone disease; he’s the brains behind a website which reviews disabled access at various venues.

According to Kiki access at the games will be of a high standard, in and around the venues was generally very good.

“It was surprising that the most successful venue for us was Tollcross, which is one of the oldest venues but had been really well adapted.

“The Emirates was slightly more mixed, because the signs were quite tricky and the barriers sometimes made it hard to see from the viewing platforms.

“But on the whole, the access was very good.” She said.

However, the website (Euan’s Guide) questioned the level of public transport available for the games. When the area was being reviewed there were still a few questions about how the city will support disabled guests travelling to and from the event.

This year’s games will see the introduction to cycling competitions which will also cater for athletes with disabilities. Gary Coltman is the head of performance at Scottish Cycling, he said: “We are delighted that para-cycling is included at the 2014 Glasgow Games, for the first time in Commonwealth history.

“The home games are an opportunity of a lifetime for the Scottish riders involved, who are all unbelievably committed and determined to make Scotland proud.

“We are all thrilled about the opportunity Glasgow provides to contribute to the further growth and future success of our wonderful sport.”

The Commonwealth Games start tonight, 23 July, on BBC One at 8pm.