(Photo: Scottish Hockey Union)

A new £300,000 elite water-based, all-weather hockey pitch, built to Olympic standard and to be used as a Commonwealth Games training base, was officially opened at Glasgow Academy last week.

The new facility - which was opened by Lord Smith of Kelvin, the Chair of the 2014 Commonwealth Games organising company and Rhona Simpson, Academy Director of Sport and two time Olympian with Great Britain - will be used as a 2014 training base for the event. it is expected that around 350 young players will use the pitch every week. 

Situated at Windyedge Sports Fields in Glasgow’s west end, the new pitch is said to be one of the most modern in the world and an exact replica of the pitches being used at next year’s Games.

“This new Olympic-standard pitch is a terrific investment by Glasgow Academy and one which provides a truly world class playing surface for training and competition", said Lord Smith. “This standard of facility helps both the Academy provide the very best for hockey players within its current roll and also supports Scotland and Great Britain’s ambitions to compete on a world stage in the future."

Smith's comments were echoed by Rhona Simpson,  adding: “Our pupils absolutely love it and it is testament to the quality of the pitch that it will be used by Scotland for training for three weeks ahead of next year’s games.

"With 14 teams and some 350 pupils using the pitch every week the value of providing such a world class facility is clear already. It all adds up to a very exciting new chapter for hockey at the Academy, in Glasgow and for Scotland”, continued the former Great Britain star. 

Scottish Hockey Union media release