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Commonwealth Games exhibition begins its journey

Jocelyn Grant, Digital Archivist, Hosts and Champions Exhibition

Jocelyn Grant writes about the national touring exhibition, Hosts and Champions.

The Hosts and Champions is an exhibition celebrating over 80 years of participation and achievement by Scotland in the Commonwealth Games from its origin as the British Empire Games in Hamilton, Canada in 1930, through to Glasgow 2014.

Drawn from the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive held by the University of Stirling, the exhibition displays a selection of photographs, designs, clothing, papers and artefacts which evoke a rich story of Scotland's involvement in the Games, including the nations role as hosts in 1970, 1986 and 2014.

With the support of Legacy 2014, the exhibition has been developed into a touring display which will visit a number of towns across Scotland this and next year. The exhibition opening to the public in Irvine on 13 March, following a preview event which was held during Commonwealth Day.

I had the opportunity to work with the University of Stirling archives to prepare the exhibition for its busy touring schedule around the country. As an archivist I was tasked with researching and finding out more about the event’s unique and full history.

The exhibition brings back great memories for me as I had been at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games myself. It was a great atmosphere and I found the Games to be a unique experience that presented Scotland and Scottish sport in a truly enthusiastic and inclusive manner.

I have been working to create displays and additional digital content for the exhibition, which has  meant that I have discovered inspiring stories about the individuals involved with the Games.

The Team Scotland items, quirky memorabilia and newsletters in the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive have offered an amazing look into how this sporting event has developed and provided different legacies each time Scotland has hosted the Games.

The opportunity to work with the University of Stirling Archives to put together the Hosts and Champions touring exhibition has allowed me to continue engaging with the excitement and atmosphere that was present at Glasgow 2014.

Through researching and making contact with a variety of people who had equally unique experiences of the Games, we have managed to find stories and memories  from Glasgow 2014 and the many other Commonwealth Games before then.

For myself, experiencing the Games first hand, and then continuing to work with materials that investigate the event’s origins has entirely changed my perception of sport and its surrounding community. As a result of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Hosts and Champions exhibition I am now getting involved in local sporting events and competitions in my local community.

Find out more about the Hosts and Champions exhibition