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Hosts and Champions: Taking Scotland’s Sporting Heritage on Tour

Karl Magee, University Archivist

Blog / Community Engagement / Glasgow 2014
Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive Exhibition Returns to Stirling University

In July 2014 we experienced the excitement of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, setting up a small ‘pop-up’ exhibition in Scotland House displaying a selection of material from the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive. Following the Games, and with the support of Legacy 2014, we transformed this small display into a large touring exhibition which has visited ten venues across Scotland, travelled hundreds of miles around the country and been seen by thousands of visitors.

Hosts and Champions celebrates 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 as hosts in 1970, 1986 and 2014.

Our tour has visited libraries, museums, arts centres and sporting facilities, bringing the story of Scotland’s contribution to the Commonwealth Games to communities across the country. On our tour we have had the pleasure of meeting a variety of people who contributed to the success of Glasgow 2014 including athletes, volunteers, sporting administrators, judges and baton bearers. Not only have they shared their memories of Glasgow 2014 they have also provided personal memorabilia from the Games to be displayed as part of the exhibition. 

We have also welcomed athletes from previous Games to our opening events where guests have had the opportunity to be pictured with the Queen’s Baton which travelled the Commonwealth in the run-up to the Glasgow Games. The exhibition has also welcomed schools groups who have explored Scotland’s proud sporting heritage through engaging with the material on display.

On our journey around Scotland we have been delighted to receive many fantastic donations of sporting memorabilia from visitors to the exhibition. The material donated to the archive stretches right back to the 1930s and has included medals, badges, uniforms, leaflets, posters and mascots. This additional material has allowed us to constantly update and add to the items on display.

After sixteen months on the road the exhibition has returned to Stirling University for a well-earned break. However we’re planning to take it back on tour in the autumn! To keep up to date with our plans visit our website at: and check our Twitter hashtag #HostsandChampions for news of upcoming events.