SUMMER of 2018 will herald a new era in world sport as Glasgow and Berlin host the inaugural European Championships, an exciting new multi-sport event. Run by leading European Sports Federations, it will bring together some of the continent’s existing individual European Championships into one co-ordinated multi-sport concept.

Fresh from delivering the Commonwealth Games 2014, the 2014 Ryder Cup and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, Glasgow and Scotland will play host to 12 sporting disciplines over 2nd to 12th August as part of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

HeraldScotland:

This new four yearly highlight on the global sporting calendar will raise the status of European Champions during an 11-day celebration of world-class sport and a packed 10-day broadcast schedule. Approximately 4,500 athletes will compete, and Glasgow and Scotland will host swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, open water swimming, track cycling, BMX, mountain bike, road cycling, golf, artistic gymnastics, rowing and triathlon while Berlin hosts athletics.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the umbrella body for free-to-air channels in Europe, will be the broadcast partner for the Championships. There is a potential television audience of around 1.03 billion for the event with many more viewers across multiple digital platforms.

The official mascot of the Championships is Bonnie the seal. She has lots of energy and a sense of adventure and though she doesn’t always get things right on first try she knows the most important thing is to at least have a go and try her best.  Bonnie’s backstory was developed by award-winning children’s author Ross MacKenzie and she will meet children, families and community and sports groups across Scotland and the UK between now and the Championships to help celebrate sport and young people.

Delivered in partnership with the European sports federations and supported by Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government, the Championships will allow the hosts to continue their legacy ambitions by inspiring the next generation of young athletes as well as offering cultural and volunteering opportunities.  An action-packed programme of cultural activity will run alongside the Championships, capitalising on Glasgow and Scotland’s international reputation for creative excellence and allowing everyone to play their part in the celebrations.

Glasgow’s iconic George Square be the heart of these activities, alongside Merchant City Festival, with other live sites planned across the country.  2018 is Scotland’s Year of Young People and this event will celebrate the role that young people play in sport and culture, and the crucial contributions they will make to Glasgow 2018.

The athletes are already hugely enthusiastic about their involvement. “I’m delighted to be ambassador for Glasgow 2018 and support the first ever European Golf Team Championships” said golfer Paul Lawrie “It’s a hugely innovative and exciting format and will provide an historic moment for equality in sport with men and women competing together in the Mixed Team event. With golf returning to the Olympics in 2016 and again in 2020, this is yet another chance for the game to achieve greater profile as part of a multi-sport environment and I’m definitely in favour of anything that can help to further develop golf both in Scotland and worldwide.”

Carly Booth is equally excited about the events.  “The European Golf Team Championships will be a great moment for women’s golf competing side-by-side with men on an equal footing” she said “I’m thrilled to be an ambassador for Glasgow 2018 and support an event which will do so much to raise the profile of the Ladies European Tour and women’s golf in general. I’m delighted that this is taking place at Gleneagles because it’s such a special place and a fitting venue for such a historic event.”

“I would love to be at Glasgow 2018” said track cyclist Neah Evans “For me, Glasgow is the true home crowd experience and although Manchester is loud – I know Glasgow will be even louder. I’d love to have the opportunity to ride at that.”

“Having a European Championships, a multi-sport event, in a home country is so so exciting,” said diver Tom Daley “The more people we can get out to support the athletes, the better the atmosphere is going to be for the spectators and all the athletes, so the better the results we’re going to get. In front of a home crowd, there’s a little bit more added pressure but you get that added adrenaline and the support and cheers.  It gives you that extra oomph to know when you’re going into training and into competition that you’re going to have your friends and family there and that they’ll be able to watch. So it’s exciting times ahead.”

Gymnast Max Whitlock has a similar outlook to competing in Glasgow. “I’m really excited about Glasgow 2018 – it is always great to compete at a multi-sport event and I have always loved it in Glasgow. The crowd is always amazing and give you that extra lift. It can make such a difference to your performance out there on the podium.”

For swimmer Ross Murdoch it’s all about the fans.  "It’s an unbelievable place to perform in," he said. "That’s what will make the Glasgow 2018 European Championships so special. The fans really get behind you and take you to the next level."

For further information see www.glasgow2018.com

HeraldScotland:

Meet Bonnie, the Glasgow 2018 Mascot

VENUE INFORMATION

Berlin's Olympic Stadium will host the European Athletics Championships with the road races and race walking events held throughout the city.

The European Aquatics Championships will be at Glasgow's Tollcross International Swimming Centre, with Diving at Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth Pool, Open Water Swimming at Loch Lomond and Synchronised Swimming at Scotstoun Sports Campus.

Track, Road, Mountain Bike and BMX will be at Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, the streets of Glasgow and the metropolitan area and a new world championship and Olympic standard BMX track being built in Knightswood.

The European Golf Team Championships - Men’s Team Championship, Women’s Team Championship and Mixed Team Championship - will take place at the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course in Perth & Kinross.

The European Artistic Gymnastics Men’s and Women’s Championships will be at The SSE Hydro.

The European Championships for both Rowing and Triathlon will take place at Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire.

Glasgow 2018’s official partner level sponsors are Glasgow City Council and Scottish Government. For information on the full sponsor family see www.glasgow2018.com/championships/about-european-championships/official-sponsors