‘Bigger and better’ Games prove to be a great success

Luke Smith with wife Andrea and Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde at Glasgow
Luke Smith with wife Andrea and Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde at Glasgow
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A Fylde physio has hailed the success of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, praising the tremendous spirit of competitors.

Luke Smith, 51, who works at Grant Smith Physio in Lytham, is working at his sixth Commonwealth Games as part of the Seychelles team.

His first Games was at Victoria, Canada in 1994 and Luke admitted the “changes in that time have been incredible.”

He added: “The Games has become bigger and better in every way. The major events are now often staged in newly built world class venues, compared with existing facilities that have been adapted for purpose. In 1994 in Canada, for example, the main athletics venue seated 25,000 people and was the running track for Victoria University – it had three sides made up of temporary seating.

“The other major change, at least for the home nations,is the advent of lottery funding, which has given individual sports the necessary resources to compete better at the highest level.

“The juggernaut that is Team England, with a team of more than 600, has a full office of staff, and around 26 physios, compared to about eight at that games in Victoria!

“It also has a dedicated medical centre, with ice baths and it’s own rehabilitation unit.”

After three games for England and two for Scotland, Luke was asked to look after 38 athletes as part of the Seychelles squad.

He said the mixture of athletes from smaller nations made the Games what it is.

He added: “One thing that hasn’t changed however, is the tremendous spirit of the Commonwealth Games. Those who have been lucky enough to attend major sporting events around the world all agree that this is the best sporting event to be involved in. Yes, it is bigger, and the ever creeping influence of corporate involvement can blur some of the values inherent in the games, but it is still the most fun. As English is still the language of the Commonwealth, you can chat to anyone, from the Falkland Islands to St Kitts, from Tuvalu to Malta and so on. How often do you get the chance to do that?”