The Commonwealth Games is more than just a major sporting event that comes around every four years; it is a unique opportunity to compete at a multi-sport event as part of an English Team.
England swimming star Adam Peaty, 20, recognises the importance of the Commonwealth Games and views it as one of the major sporting events in the world.
“We had a meeting before the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the holding camp in London where the head coach asked us all what the Commonwealth Games means to us. I said that it is to be proud of where you come from and it’s being proud of England and what we have achieved throughout the world.
“It’s great to be able to compete with the rest of the world, to be part of a team with such rich history and it’s great to have all these nations come together and compete for gold.”
At last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Peaty won two gold medals and one silver, as he announced his strong presence as a serious competitor on the international stage. To do so, he impressive beat Olympic champion, South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh, in the men's 100m breaststroke to take the Commonwealth title.
“Winning gold in Glasgow was absolutely amazing. What was also great was having the Scottish and the Welsh cheering you on as well as the English, which makes it even better. And, to take the Olympic champion’s crown was amazing. Glasgow meant so much to me as it was my first major meet and my first major gold, and I can’t wait for more.”
Peaty, from Derbyshire, has his sights firmly focused on winning medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and is confident following on from his Commonwealth Games experience, which he views as being key for his career and development.
“Both the Olympics and Commonwealth Games are major events. The Commonwealth Games gets a huge amount of international interest, as does the Olympics. And you may say that the Olympics gets a little bit more but at the end of the day, a race is a race, a village is a village and you still have a job to do and it comes down to just racing.
“It’s great to get that village atmosphere at the Commonwealth Games and for those that are able to compete at the Commonwealth Youth Games. They help you with simple things like what do you and where to go and how to operate in a village life. I now have that experience of a village life and I know what to expect which will help me in Rio next year and Australia in 2018.
Despite Rio being only around the corner, Peaty is already looking ahead to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast.
“I am really looking forward to the Gold Coast in 2018. I have never been and can’t wait. We are heading over there in January for a camp and I think we will be training in the same pool the Commonwealth Games will be in, which is going to be great. I am definitely hoping to add to my Commonwealth gold medal tally there.”