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Game Changer Awards winners

The commitment of Scotland’s colleges and universities to help deliver a lasting legacy from the XX Commonwealth Games for the whole of Glasgow has been underlined at an Awards Ceremony in Glasgow last night.

The Game Changer Awards, organised in collaboration by Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland, and backed by Legacy 2014 and the Scottish Funding Council, celebrate the many and varied contributions made by Scotland’s colleges and higher education institutions to the success of the Games and to ensure a lasting legacy for the nation.

There were more than 110 entries from staff and students from colleges and universities across Scotland with a total of 21 institutions producing winning entries. 

Winners were announced at a one-off Ceremony and Dinner held at the Old Fruitmarket on Thursday evening, the venue in which Scotland celebrated winning the honour to host the Games. The ceremony was attended by over 275 people.

Full list of winners on the Game Changer Awards website

Six different categories of award reflected the broad and varied ways in which colleges and universities have engaged with Glasgow 2014 Games, ensuring a lasting legacy is delivered for Scotland’s young people, it’s college and university students and local communities. Across the awards there is a strong emphasis on physical exercise and active lifestyles as this is one of the key legacy goals for Glasgow 2014. However, the winning entries have a far broader reach than just sport, capturing connections with Commonwealth Countries and territories, a legacy for learning and skills, the cultural and creative impact all catalysed by the event of the Glasgow 2014 Games. 

Glasgow-based colleges and universities feature heavily amongst the finalists, as you would expect being so close to the action of the Games itself. Yet entries were received from almost every college and university across Scotland and institutions in Aberdeen, the Highlands, Stirling, Perth, Edinburgh and Dumfries and Galloway also have a strong presence. This demonstrates the wide impact that the Glasgow 2014 Games is having, far beyond Glasgow, as institutions are keen to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Games.

Winners were determined by panels of expert judges including organisations such as the Scottish Funding Council, Research Councils UK, sportscotland, British Council Scotland, Scottish Development International Scottish Student Sport and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Getting buy-in from these organisations, all of which will have important roles to play in delivering a lasting legacy from the Games, was a key objective for the Game Changer Awards organisers.

Gold, silver and bronze medals – featuring a bespoke design by Edinburgh College of Art graduate Katelynne Kirk – were awarded to college and university winners across six categories of award: Learning & Skills, Sporting Contribution, Student Achievement, Creative & Cultural, Research Impact and International Contribution.

Winners were joined at the Ceremony and Dinner by a number of VIP guests including the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell, Glasgow 2014’s Chief Executive David Grevemberg, Chair of the Scottish Funding Council, Dr Alice Brown, former first minister Rt Hon Henry McLeish and the official Glasgow 2014 mascot, Clyde.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell headed a panel of awarding judges for the Game Changer Awards and was on stage during the awards ceremony to congratulate the winners as they were announced by master of ceremonies, Scottish stand-up comedian Fred MacAulay.

Mr Russell said:

“The XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be the biggest sporting event ever held in Scotland and I am delighted to see the commitment of our colleges and higher education institutions to the Games’ success. As Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, I am proud and appreciative of the fact that colleges and universities have taken a proactive approach to their involvement with the Games and are helping to deliver a lasting legacy for Scotland.
I was impressed by the high calibre of submissions from institutions the length and breadth of Scotland as I took part in the judging process. The Game Changer Awards are an opportunity to recognise the wide variety of contributions made by staff and students and I congratulate all of the winners.”

The Game Changer Awards were the idea of a special Universities Scotland committee chaired by Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling. Professor McCormac said:

“Team Scotland will have the backing of staff and students from every one of Scotland’s universities and colleges at this year’s XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Indeed, we can count a number of our current students and alumni in Team Scotland. The Game Changer Awards  highlight how our support for a successful Games goes beyond urging on our athletes during Games time and how it touches every aspect of the Games from the research behind physical endurance and performance, the management and organisation skills needed to smoothly run a large-scale global event to encouraging people of all ages in Scotland to be healthier and more active.”

John Henderson, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, added:

“The huge response to the Game Changer Awards demonstrates just how much activity in relation to the Commonwealth Games is being generated by our colleges and universities. And the key thing is that those activities will have a lasting impact for Scotland for years to come. That’s Legacy delivered through new skills for college and university students and staff, through new programmes delivered for the people of Scotland promoting healthier and more active lifestyles, and through new and enhanced relationships with organisations across Scotland.”