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3 Years On Since Glasgow 2014

Jon Doig OBE, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Games Scotland

Jon Doig, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland helps us celebrate 3 Years On from Glasgow 2014.

As we celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of the Glasgow Games it is apt that we focus on youth as we celebrate the performances and experiences of 41 young Scottish athletes aged between 15 and 18 returning from the 6th Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in July finishing almost 3 years to the day the Glasgow Games opened.

The inaugural Youth Games was in 2000 held in Scotland and helped trigger the thoughts of holding the senior Games in Glasgow in 2014.  The model focusing on youth, competition, development and a unique Scottish experience gave confidence to the countries of the Commonwealth to support the Glasgow Games Bid when presented to them 7 years later. The linking into Scotlands rich cultural heritage through use of the Edinburgh Tattoo for the Opening Ceremony and having a focus on not only sport but athletes learning about other areas of the Commonwealth in a cultural programme set the tone for the integration between sport,  culture and community support that characterised Glasgow 2014 and continues in Youth and Commonwealth Games to this day.

In June, I met the athletes who were selected to represent Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas, many of them cited as part of their inspiration to be part of a future Games as coming from the experience of the build up to, and watching, the Glasgow 2014 Games and the fantastic performance from team Scotland and other athletes.  Coming from communities’ right across Scotland the impact of 2014 on themselves and their peers in clubs and schools was clear.  The Games had created aspiration, belief and the commitment to be the best they could be and pride in their local communities.

Three years after Glasgow 2014 we are well inside the countdown to the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast in Australia. Immediately after the Youth Games we will draw on memories of the fantastic community involvement around Glasgow Queens Baton Relay by celebrating the presence of the 2018 Queens Baton in Scotland from the 22nd through to the 26th August.

Whilst in the four and a half days it is here it won’t have the opportunity to visit all 32 local authorities as in 2014, we will be able to focus on celebrating youth and our Commonwealth ties whilst promoting team Scotland athletes of the past, present and future as we build towards 2018.

We will go to communities who were not able to be visited in the 2014, like Islay, celebrate Schools who since the Games have made commitment to sport being part of sportscotlands Gold, Silver and Bronze sport accreditation programme. We will also celebrate the impact of the 2014 Games by visiting a number of great legacy programmes from 2014 such as the new Woodland park at the Cunigar loop, the Legacy Hub, Emirates Arena, the Games village in Dalmarnock, and the Commonwealth Walkways Sporting venues visited the relocated athletics track in Grangemouth where the Scottish athletics championships and selection event for 2018 Games will be held. Events will also recognise Scotlands ongoing ties with not only the next host Australia, but the rest of the Commonwealth strengthened and developed from our 2014 experiences. This will involve two  other inspirational schools involved in the 2018 Gold Coast Schools connect programme , the Glasgow School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy and St Ninians Primary School in Stirling instigators of the Daily Mile which since 2014 has spread to schools across Scotland. The inspiration from 2000 will then come full circle when on August 26th the 2018 Queens Baton Relay will be carried into the esplanade under Edinburgh Castle as part of the 2017 Tattoo programme.

Finally whilst three years as we pause momentarily to reflect on the massive changes made by Glasgow 2014 to many lives, the next generation of athletes across the country are using Glasgow 2014 as a motivation to make the 2018 team with the first athletes being selected in October/ November this year. We are confident we follow what was Team Scotlands most successful home Games with what we plan to be, our most successful overseas Games. We hope you will continue to join and support us on our journey. There will be much more to celebrate.