Commonwealth Games - Ready, set, Glasgow! Let the Games begin...

On July 17, six days before the opening of the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Royal Mail will issue six stamps to celebrate the largest sporting and cultural festival ever held in Scotland.

This is the third time the Games have taken place in Scotland, after Edinburgh hosted the event in 1970 and 1986. A total of 71 national teams will compete.

The six stamps are illustrated by Dutchwoman Nanette Hoogslag, using photographs of different sports by Andy Hooper, the chief sports photographer for the Daily Mail. Each design shows top-level sportsmen and women in action, but their faces have been changed to keep the emphasis on the action.

The set was designed by Howard Brown and printed in lithography by International Security Products.



Royal Mail has issued stamps for every British-hosted Commonwealth Games, so the precedent is well established


Three different people combined to create the stamps, but the end result is attractively homogenous


The designs do an excellent job of conveying movement, which is the tricky bit, but will they catch the eye?

2nd class Judo

Judo is an ‘optional sport’, which might or might not be included in the programme for each Commonwealth Games. In fact 2014 will be only its third outing, after the 1990 Games in Auckland and the 2002 competition in Manchester. 

1st class Swimming

Swimming is a ‘core sport’, included in every Games since the first British Empire Games in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1930, when Canada and England dominated the events. The swimming medals table in Delhi in 2010 was led by Australia with 22 golds.

97p Marathon

The marathon route will start and finish on Glasgow Green, going through Bellahouton and Pollok Country Park and passing the Hockey Centre, the Tramway arts centre and the Science Centre. It will also cross the River Clyde four times, including over on the Clyde Arc, known locally as the ‘Squinty Bridge’.

£1.28 Squash

This racquet sport has been included in the Games since Kuala Lumpur in 1998. Australia and England have been the most successful countries, winning seven golds and seven silvers each.

£1.47 Netball

Introduced in 1998, netball is a Commonwealth Games sport but not an Olympic sport. Australia and New Zealand have dominated the four tournaments so far, winning gold or silver every time. 

£2.15 Para-sport track cycling

A record 22 para-sport events will be contested in Glasgow in five disciplines: athletics, cycling, lawn bowls, weightlifting and swimming. Cycling is included for the first time, with events being contested in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.

Other products

The presentation pack, written by Jim Davies, provides a brief history of the Commonwealth Games and details the sports included. The pack was designed by Supple Studio with paintings by Tim Marrs.

A retail stamp book, also issued on July 17, contains two 1st class Swimming stamps (in self-adhesive format and printed in gravure) alongside four 1st class Machin definitives. 

Three types of coin cover are available, along with the standard first day envelope and stamp cards.


Set of 6 stamps    £7.02

Presentation pack     £7.55

Stamp cards     £2.70

First day cover     £8.90

First day envelope     £0.30

Retail stamp book     £3.72

TOTAL     £30.19