HELLO everyone back home and welcome to my Commonwealth Games Diary 2018!

The Games, on Australia’s Gold Coast, involves countries from all over the world in dozens of medal competitions running through to Sunday, April 15th.

And in between training and competing I’ll be giving Northern Echo readers an insight into what is going on behind the scenes, as I look to have a successful Games myself and bring a medal back to Teesside.

The England team, (more than 70 of us are taking part), have actually been out in Australia since March 18th, acclimatising to the conditions and settling in.

We all travelled over together and I have to congratulate Team England on the way everything was arranged and how well we were taken care of, especially the flights - I think I slept most of the way there…

We’ve been staying in the beautiful city of Brisbane which is very modern and ‘skyscrapery’.

It’s the first time I’ve ever been here and there’s a really good vibe about the place and it’s impressive with its beaches and man-made lagoons.

As well as a bit of sight-seeing though, it has been all about the training our relay team had a massive boost in a warm-up race against the other competing nations when we won our race, edging out Canada.

That has put us in exactly the right frame of mind with myself, Zharnel Hughes, Adam Gemili and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey clocking the fastest time in the world this year.

We know we can go faster because wind conditions weren’t ideal in that race but we also know that we’ll have to go faster because the competition is intense and we fully expect rival nations to up their game when we race for medals next week.

THERE is a good North East contingent in the England squad out here on the Gold Coast.

I’m rooming with my old mate, who is also from Middlesbrough, Rabah Yousif.

Rabah is due to compete in the 400 metres and is a medal prospect and we support and help each other in the way friends and team-mates should.

I’ve known Rabah since I was 13-years-old and it’s good to have someone around you that you know so well when you’re a long way from home in a different country and looking to find your feet.

As well as me and Rabah, there’s also the two young boxers Pat and Luke McCormack from Washington and the swimmer Aimee Wilmott, who is, of course, also from Middlesbrough.

And we are well represented with Paul Drinkhall, Beth Bryan, Charlie and Harry Tanfield, and Kelly Jo Robson.

On top of that, and not too far away, is triathlon champion of Alistair Brownlee of Leeds, who was asked to be England’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony.

ALTHOUGH my training and my upcoming races are my main focus over here on the Gold Coast, I’ll still get time to see many of the other competitions taking place.

It’s a part of the Games I really look forward to and I find that watching other athletes and competitors giving their all in their own sports is inspirational and motivational for my own.

I’m a big fan of contact sports, always have been, so I’m hoping to catch a few of those competitions - the boxing and the wrestling especially.

My brother-in-law Chris Crossan is a jiu-jitsu black belt so I know a bit about the martial arts side of things and a friend of mine is Simon Vallily, the heavyweight boxer from Middlesbrough.

I’m particularly interested in seeing Pat and Luke McCormack box.

I’ve heard a lot about their ability and potential and I know a lot of experts say they are exciting young prospects who can really go far in boxing.

FINALLY, I’d like to thank the Northern Echo for the chance to keep you posted on sporting events on the opposite side of the world.

When you’re 10,198 miles away from home, you welcome every chance you get to keep in touch! You can also follow me on twitter and on Instagram.

Richard Kilty was speaking to Totum Sport, supplier of elite sports supplements.