THERE are those who believe the Commonwealth Games has had its day – with far bigger fish to fry and world and Olympic level.

Try telling that to all the competitors out in the Gold Coast Down Under.

We are only just into day three and already the excitement has been fever pitch, particularly for the home nations after a medal-laden first 48 hours.

Even the rain at the open-air swimming pool has not dampened spirits of a partisan home crowd behind their Aussie heroes – most likely hoping for a sporting pick-me-up after the dark clouds surrounding their cricket team in recent weeks.

Everybody accepts the Games are not to the same standard as the Olympics – the qualifying countries taking part illustrates that.

But having been lucky enough to attend the Manchester Games in 2002 as a fan and Glasgow four years ago on press duty, I have not felt any less enthusiasm amongst fans or competitors.

For the home nations it also offers a unique opportunity to represent individual countries rather than Team GB.

Be it English, Scots, Welsh or Northern Irish, it must be strange competing against those who you would stand alongside in any other major tournament but it also offers a chance for some national pride rarely available.

The atmosphere at Hampden Park for the athletics in 2014 was something else when the Flower of Scotland boomed out for a gold medal ceremony and the Scottish competitors were clearly boosted by that.

I also think it is a chance to complete a set of medals for any athlete wanting to achieve the most in their career.

Farnworth’s multiple Olympic gold medalist Jason Kenny famously had mixed feelings before he cycled in Glasgow last time around but for long-jumper Greg Rutherford, he saw it as a chance to complete his set of golds and did just that.

Just tell Bolton cyclist Matt Rotherham, who won gold for Scotland on Thursday, that the event doesn’t mean much – or 11-year-old Welsh schoolgirl table tennis star Anna Hersey it is irrelevant.

As an ideal, the Commonwealth itself may be dated but I hope the Games, which visit these shores and Birmingham in four years’ time, continue for years yet.

It gives a sport-a-holic like me even more hours of live action on TV.

I also believe it boosts the profile of some of the less-publicised sports.

Just like so many people get hooked on curling watching the Winter Olympics this time it could be the wrestling, which includes Bolton’s George Ramm and Charlie Bowling, this time around.

It might be crown green bowling or netball – who knows what BBC’s red button will throw up at 2am our time for insomniacs like yours truly usually watching old Top of the Pops episodes from the 1980s on BBC Four in the wee small hours.

And best of all, it may even encourage more of our youngsters to try out a new sport and aim to compete in future years.

The issue of tax on sugary foods and drinks has been in the news this week in a bid to improve the health of the younger generation.

Well participation in sport and exercise is just as important and the more kids can be inspired by seeing their heroes on TV, the more likely they are to want to follow suit.

Getting rid of the Commonwealth Games would have an impact on those ambitions so I hope it remains a fixture in the sporting calendar for years to come, for the benefit of all of us watching on.