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Six months on

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health

Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health shares his thoughts on six months on from the Glasgow 2014 Games

It seems like only yesterday that the biggest cultural and sporting event in Scotland’s history lit up Glasgow. The Commonwealth Games showcased Scotland on the world stage welcoming over 6,000 athletes and officials from 71 commonwealth nations.

Six months on from the glittering opening ceremony, the momentum continues. Our world-class sporting venues are booked out, with the Hydro now the world’s second busiest arena, and right across Scotland people continue to reap the benefits of new facilities, opportunities, investment and skills.

A lasting legacy was at the heart of the Games from the very get-go. Included as part of the bid, a Games legacy plan was in place by 2009; and before the Games even started on 23 July, over 50 national Legacy 2014 programmes were already in place, driven and supported by a network of organisations, including local authorities, all delivering a tangible legacy from the Games. It is from this great start that I now have the honour of leading this area of work as Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health and I’ve witnessed first-hand how this legacy is going from strength to strength.

In my very first days in office I met a group of passionate Games volunteers helping to inspire the next generation of volunteers in Scotland; I saw the great new St Andrews Wheeled Sports Facility in Bellshill, supported by the Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund; and met with pupils from Greenfaulds High School in my home town of Cumbernauld at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, a school visit rewarding their hard work as part of the Game On Scotland programme. 

It’s also been great to hear of the many clubs now using Glasgow 2014 equipment and to see the Hampden track given a new lease of life at Grangemouth Stadium. I’m sure Scotland’s future athletes will be training and benefiting from the world-class surface for many years to come, spurred on by the fact they are able to run on the same track as medallists Usain Bolt, and our own Lynsey Sharp, Eilidh Child and Libby Clegg.

The momentum created by the Games continues apace, enthusing people across the country, providing opportunities to get involved in community, cultural and sporting activities.

Today’s anniversary allows us to look forward, as well as to reflect on what has been achieved so far. We’re only half-way through our legacy plan to 2019 and it’s in the next coming weeks, months and years, that the lasting legacy will be truly felt. With Legacy Week coming up between 9 and 15 March, we’ll have another opportunity to highlight and celebrate what’s in place, and importantly to thank those thousands of people who contributed to not only the “best Games ever” but also what is shaping up to be the “best legacy ever”.