Robert McVeigh is calling on the public to get behind Northern Ireland’s Commonwealth Games athletes by making the short trip to Glasgow for a show of support.
With Scotland set to host the major sporting showcase from July 23, the recently-confirmed Northern Ireland chef de mission is hoping for impressive numbers to back Northern Ireland’s pursuit of medals.
Robert, a teacher at Killicomaine Junior High School, will serve in the chef de mission role for a second successive tournament and highlights the reduced travel time compared to Delhi in 2010 as key to domestic success on the international stage.
“I cannot imagine ever having a Commonwealth Games event closer to home than Glasgow,” he said. “The people of Northern Ireland and Scotland share so many similarities and we would love that connection to turn into extra public support.
“People can travel over and soak up the atmosphere with or without tickets as there is sure to be a wonderful feeling around the city.
“I know the organising committee have come up with a number of innovative ideas.
“Although to see our athletes return home with medals would be the ultimate lift, if they perform to the optimum level then that in itself can be considered a success.
“My job, alongside that of the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council, is to ensure the athletes have the best possible circumstances possible in which to perform.”
Robert served across three previous Commonwealth Games tournaments as assistant manager.
He was initially elected on to the council in 1992 thanks to links within the field of shooting.
“I may be considered head of the 140-strong Northern Ireland group of athletes and staff but, of course, it is a team effort,” he said. “It is one which we started working towards six years ago following Glasgow’s confirmation as host city.
“It is about putting forward to the world the best image possible of Northern Ireland.”