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Celebrating Commonwealth Games Legacy

Legacy Week event is held to share successes to date and look ahead to securing the legacy post-Games.

Shona Robison has urged Games partners and Local Authorities to keep the foot on the pedal, and ensure that Scotland continues to capitalise on the Games’ legacy beyond the summer’s sport.

At Scotland’s first Legacy 2014 celebration event, held today in Edinburgh, Ms Robison reaffirmed the commitment to community-led regeneration in the East End of Glasgow. She outlined a future revision to Scotland’s National Events Strategy to capitalise on lessons learned in 2014, and spoke of further efforts to capitalise on the Games’ sporting legacy, with the launch this Friday of a new national walking strategy.

Ms Robison also announced that a UNICEF programme, to be launched next month and extending this official Games’ charity partner’s child rights work in Scotland, will receive £150,000 of Scottish Government funding.

Young people were among the areas highlighted by the Cabinet Secretary as opportunities to strengthen the legacy after the Games have taken place, in her speech to the 150 attendees at the event.

Ms Robison said: “On the eve of the Queen’s Baton Relay’s arrival in Scotland and with less than 50 days until the curtain is raised on a fantastic Commonwealth Games, it is a timely opportunity to highlight legacy and our commitment to ensuring the country benefits from hosting them for decades to come.”

Scotland’s continuing high ambitions to compete globally for major events, for which it is already well-placed, will be boosted by the publication of a revised National Events Strategy following the major events of 2014. Capitalising on a review of what has been learned, the new document will run until 2025.

A collective reaffirmation of commitment to regeneration of the east end of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire has been made by the Scottish Government and partners Glasgow City Council, South Lanarkshire Council and Clyde Gateway. The Dalmarnock Legacy Hub, led by the People’s Development Trust, is under construction and due to open in early 2015. Post-Games, the community’s role will be further strengthened, recognising that the area’s long-term success is directly linked to communities themselves being at the heart of driving forward regeneration.

On Friday, the Scottish Government’s National Walking Strategy will be unveiled, on the back of strong evidence that walking is an especially effective tool in combatting physical inactivity.

With an overwhelming 50,000-plus applications for 15,000 Clyde-sider roles, work is being carried out with Volunteer Scotland and other partners to capitalise on that enthusiasm. They will engage with these volunteers, so willing to give back to their communities, and will direct them to other exciting volunteering opportunities after the Games.

To date, over 50 national Legacy 2014 programmes have benefitted the whole of Scotland. The new project to be launched by UNICEF next month will come within this category. UNICEF already works with children and young people across Scotland to promote and protect children’s rights through its Rights Respecting Schools programme. The Scottish Government funding, along with £100,000 from the charity International Inspiration, will enable the charity to reach out to all children and young people aged three to 18 years in Scotland over the next four years with a new interactive website and complementary learning activities in the community. Launching just before the Games in July, it will help children to understand and explore their rights.

Cabinet Secretary Ms Robison said: “I am delighted to reveal funding for this extremely worthwhile project driven by UNICEF, that aims to inspire children to express their rights by taking action locally and globally to help other children be happier, safer, more active and more confident individuals.

“It is especially fitting to announce this Scottish Government support during Legacy Week. Young people are central to legacy, and are the key to sustaining legacy beyond the spectacle of the Games themselves.

“Scotland’s well-established 10-year legacy plan runs until 2019. 2018 is the Year of Young People in Scotland. It is also the year the eyes of the world will be on us again, as the XXI Commonwealth Games take place in Australia’s Gold Coast, and we want to be able to demonstrate that we have delivered on a lasting legacy.”

Tom Burstow, UNICEF’s Project Director for the Commonwealth Games said “This support only adds to the excitement of the legacy that UNICEF can achieve for children in Scotland and around the world through its ground-breaking partnership with the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.”

National Legacy 2014 programme highlights of the last 12 months, referred to in the Cabinet Secretary’s keynote speech, include:

  • Over 600 young people have enrolled in the Scotland’s Best employability programme
  • Over 250,000 children have participated in the Game On Scotland programme, the official education programme for the Games
  • £5.5 million has been awarded by BIG Lottery Fund to help communities get more active
  • The Active Places Fund has supported 110 projects, helping build and improve local community facilities across Scotland
  • More than 750 teachers have received trained to support disabled young people take part in PE
  • Scottish companies have secured £257 million-worth (82 per cent) of a possible £313 million- worth of contracts

The Games-related Culture 2014 programme will result in a rich cultural legacy, with a programme of over 200 projects and 800 events already well under way - including large scale participative opportunities, performances, exhibitions, and online activity across a wide range of artforms including dance, song, theatre, music, literature, visual art, and comedy. Further activity as part of Culture 2014 will take place along the route of the Queen’s Baton Relay, and next Tuesday sees the full launch of Festival 2014, the Games Time cultural celebration in Glasgow.

There are many ways in which people can still get involved in the legacy of the Games. Organisations can apply for Active Places Funding, Community Sport Hubs are available across the country, and people can take part in Games for Scotland and enjoy the events being hosted as part of the nationwide Culture 2014 programme.

Watch the highlights from the event.