In exactly one year to today (Tuesday 4 April), around 300 Welsh athletes along with coaches, managers and Team Wales officials will be attending the 2018 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony – the start of 11 days of competing in Gold Coast, Australia. All athletes and teams are now trying to qualify for selection to represent Wales in Gold Coast.
Team Wales won a record 36 medals at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and preparations are now well underway to make sure that each athlete realises their highest potential and that Team Wales achieves its best performance at an overseas Games.
Prof Nikki Phillips, Chef de Mission for Wales at the 2018 Games said: "There's a lot of work that's already happening behind the scenes to prepare Team Wales for the Games. We want to make sure that everything's in place to give our athletes the best possible chance at winning.
"We've appointed all our HQ staff, we've been working closely with the sports national governing bodies, and arrangements for flights and accommodation are being made. Although the Team won't be selected until late this year, we've already started to measure athletes across all sports for kit and paradewear.
"On top of this we're looking forward to sending a squad of our young athletes to the Bahamas Youth Games in July – a brilliant platform to develop emerging Welsh athletic talent for future Commonwealth Games.
"We also have the Queen's Baton Relay to prepare for, and all events are close to being finalised for when the baton travels through communities across Wales between 5 and 8 September.
"So, all in all, it's definitely a busy year for us at Team Wales!"
Nikki, who is currently out in Australia to meet with the Gold Coast Organising Committee, added: "Things are really taking shape out here with all the venues looking fantastic and work on the athletes' village progressing well.
- 70 Commonwealth nations will be competing at the 2018 Games.
- Wales is one of only 6 Commonwealth nations to have competed at the Games since they began in 1930 – Australia is another one of the six.
- There will be a record 18 sports at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
- Welsh athletes will travel a total of over 310,000 miles to compete at the 2018 Games.
- Team Wales brought 36 medals home from Glasgow in 2014, making it the most successful Welsh squad in Commonwealth Games history.
- In 2014, Team Wales gymnast Frankie Jones won 7 medals and was awarded the David Dixon Outstanding Athlete Award.
- In 2018, netball will be celebrating 20 years since the sport was first included in the Commonwealth Games.
- Women's rugby 7s will be included for the first time ever at the the 2018 Games.
- Disabled athletes competed in the full Games programme for the first time in 2002 – 2018 will have the most para-sport events ever.
- The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be the first major multi sport event with equal numbers of male and female medals.
- A total of 6,500 athletes and officials from all over the Commonwealth will be competing at the 2018 Games.
- 15,000 volunteers will help make the Gold Coast Games happen next year.