Fresh from his medal winning performance at the best ever Commonwealth Games, Louis Smith is back in Glasgow to announce his role as official ambassador for the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.

Glasgow has done itself proud this summer and is now looking forward to hosting one of the world’s largest single sporting events in the city next year. More than 500 gymnasts from over 80 nations will compete to become world champion and secure their place among the legends of the sport. As a qualification event for Rio 2016 Olympic Games the gymnasts will be ensuring they are at the peak of their abilities to keep their medal hopes alive.

 However, 2015 will not be purely all about the sport. After the success of Festival 2014 - the cultural programme which ran alongside the Games and the three live zones at Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove Bandstand and Merchant City Festival - it has been decided that next year’s World Gymnastics Championships will have a cultural element to it too.

 Louis stopped by Merchant Square, which will be the fan zone for the event, to see what to expect next year.

 “It will be great to have such a brilliant space like this where people can come to engage with the championships and the sport of gymnastics further” - said Louis -“extra events like this surrounding the competition really shows how gymnastics is growing in popularity.”

 The fan zone will have various elements to it including a big screen which will stream the event live, ‘come and try’ sporting activities, and athlete appearances and demonstrations. The official merchandise will also be sold within the fan zone. The Merchant Square will also play host to the Closing Party!

After his comeback success at the Commonwealth Games Louis Smith is looking forward to next year – “Glasgow put on such a good show for the Games this summer – I’m sure they will do the same for the championships next year.

“It was fantastic to be back competing and the SSE Hydro proved itself to be a great competition venue. The championships attract the top gymnasts from across the world and as a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games every athlete will be on their top form.”

Tickets are on sale for the 10 days of world-class competition. The schedule will comprise of four days of qualification events followed by six days of finals where gymnasts will compete in team, all around and individual apparatus events. For the qualification events concessions start at £7.50, adult tickets start at £15 and a family ticket starts at £38. For the finals concession ticket prices start at £20, adult ticket prices start at £40 and a family ticket starts at £100.

This world-class event will be staged in Glasgow’s world-class SSE Hydro Arena between 23rd October and 1st November 2015. With the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships’ unique layout gymnastics fans will be able to get closer to the action than ever before and see the chalk dust fly.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships is the next step in Glasgow’s world-class sporting journey. The championships will build on the success of the best ever Commonwealth Games and once again showcase our city to a global audience.

"It is already shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets in town in 2015 and with some of the biggest names in gymnastics set to go for gold ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games it is not difficult to see why. And of course leading the medal charge will be the fantastic members of Team GB including our own ambassador Louis Smith.

“Glasgow is rightly regarded as one of the world’s top 10 sporting cities. We set the bar high in Glasgow and we are now focussing on delivering the best ever World Gymnastics Championships.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “"Following the incredible Commonwealth Games, where Louis made such a successful return, it is fantastic to be able to announce him as an ambassador. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are determined to make 2015 the best World Gymnastics Championships ever as athletes look for Rio qualification.”

The first World Artistic Gymnastics Championships took place in Antwerp in 1903. Now, over 100 years later Glasgow will take great pleasure in welcoming the 46th World Gymnastics Championships here next year.

Glasgow has a longstanding relationship with gymnastics, staging its first ever Grand Prix event at Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena in 1997. The title of the Grand Prix changed to the Gymnastics World Cup in 2011 and has been hosted in £113 million Emirates Arena since its opening in 2013. Glasgow is one of only four cities hosting World Cup events.

The decision by the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) follows a joint bid between British Gymnastics, Glasgow City Council, EventScotland and UK Sport. Glasgow beat off tough competition from Paris (France) and Orlando (USA) to win the right to host the prestigious event.

The 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships will be delivered in partnership between British Gymnastics and Glasgow Life on behalf of Glasgow City Council with significant support from UK Sport and EventScotland. 

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