By Mark Etheridge
The hype surrounding Team South Africa’s 2014 Commonwealth Games went up a few notches on Saturday as the team were officially welcomed at the Athletes’ Village flag-raising ceremony.
Members of the National Youth Theatre put on an animated display of song, dance and storytelling for the team.
Led by Afolabi Alli and Daisy Edgar-Jones, the show had members of the team enthralled. One of the songs was titled ‘It’s raining’, particularly apt in this case as the rain-suited team was ushered inside for the ceremony.
Former Scottish swimmer David Carry, who competed at three Commonwealth Games (2002-2010) made an address in his capacity as Village Chieftain as Dundee City’s Rona Alexander and Team SA chef de mission Patience Shikwambana exchanged gifts.
South Africa and the city of Dundee were ‘paired’ in an exchange programme that saw schools in Dundee being educated on South Africa in the build-up to the Games.
South Africa presented an African themed gift of a mother and baby giraffe.
‘The village is a great place to make friends and experience Scottish hospitality at its finest,’ said Carry. ‘The village is part of the re-generation of Glasgow’s East End.
‘Just a few bits of trivia about the village: It covers an area of 35 hectares (54 rugby fields) and the dining room will serve around 390,000 meals during the Games. A total of 2000 Clydesiders (volunteers) will be on duty 24 hours a day to make sure everything runs smoothly.’
Sunday sees the various teams continuing their final training routines, etc before the Games start officially with the opening ceremony just a short walk away from the village at Celtic Park.
Pictures: Wessel Oosthuizen. For free pictures of all Team SA’s activities at these Commonwealth Games go to www.sascocimages.co.za.