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Youth Legacy Ambassadors attend Commonwealth Observance

Luke Smith, Aaron Fernandez, Joanna Warwick and Ronan McKinstray, Youth Legacy Ambassadors

On 10 March five Youth Legacy Ambassadors attended the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey.

Luke, Aaron, Joanna and Ronan reflect on their day.


Overall the Commonwealth Observance Day was brilliant! From the build up on arriving at Edinburgh, meeting the other Youth Legacy Ambassadors to discussing what was involved for the day ahead and the excitement that we all had in store.

It was finally 10th March and Commonwealth Day. The whole event was so significant because it was getting lots of people more engaged about the Commonwealth and highlighting the key points we were aiming for and how it brings the nations together as a family.

There is a huge difference between my community and London with the scale of people being the biggest difference and how busy and chaotic it was. Although these differences are notable it was fantastic to meet so many new people from different backgrounds and interested in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

My role as the United Kingdom Flag Bearer was such an honour and was made even better when HRH Queen Elizabeth II noticed the Union Jack when I was carrying it, which was very exciting to see.

I will not forget this experience for a long time and my lasting memory will be getting to share this experience with other Youth Legacy Ambassadors from Aberdeen, Falkirk, Fife & Glasgow. Also being able to spend time with the other Flag Bearers from the UK that represented their home nations and hearing their varied background stories to why they were carrying their nations flag.

Being part of the Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador programme has given me great opportunities, thank you to Young Scot and the Scottish Government for their continued support.

Luke Smith, 17, Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador from Shetland



"Adventurous. Relevant. Brilliant." The three words I believe highlighted the Commonwealth Day Observance for me. Not only had I been give the pleasure to get to know more Youth Legacy Ambassadors, the fact that I was in such close proximity with a multitude of Commonwealth representatives and the Royal Family had been such a great honour.


The procession of flags and the many cultures displaying their pride in being associated with the Commonwealth was a truly awe-inspiring experience. The presence of various faith leaders for the day was an awesome display of unity and the relevance of togetherness within the Commonwealth. Being able to wear a kilt and Glasgow 2014 tartan, was a truly enriching and memorable experience. When people were stopping us in the streets to take pictures of us, I realised a whole new level of familiarity with Scotland.

Aaron Fernandez, 18, Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador from Glasgow


Myself and four other Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassadors for the Commonwealth Games attended the Commonwealth Observance Day at Westminster Abbey. I felt a sense of pride as I stood shoulder to shoulder beside the other Ambassadors dressed in the Commonwealth tartan and all the other representatives in the magnificent Abbey.

The Commonwealth Games are known as the 'friendly games' and now I know why: everyone couldn't stop beaming and asking us which country we were from. When the Queen arrived the atmosphere was electric and everyone's heads turned. I even managed to catch her eye!

We heard speeches from Baroness Grey Thompson and Lord Coe. The 'common' thread in these talks was the idea of one: one inclusive and united Commonwealth. I was particularly moved by Malala Yousafzai, who spoke powerfully about lack of the education and rights of women in some countries. However, she explained that as a team the Commonwealth can work together to abolish these problems. We can all make a difference just like individuals in a relay team who urge the whole team over the finish line.

I feel very proud to have attended this event, but most of all I am proud to be part of such a diverse Commonwealth. This is by far the best team!

Joanna Warwick, 19, Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador from Aberdeen City


Through my role as a Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador I have been provided with an experience in London that will be hard to beat. Every part was enjoyable, from the flight to the actual event in Westminster - just being in London was enjoyable!

Watching the Queen walk through Westminster was an honour and having front row seat made the day so much better as well. The Queen being less than a meter from me will be a memory with me for life. Not only the Queen but the rest of the Royal family, the heads of Commonwealth and all the speakers.

As someone who participates in running, having Seb Coe as one of the key speakers was an extreme highlight as he is a huge role model to me. The event was an honour to be at and very enjoyable, as well as entertaining and exiting. I will never forget having the opportunity to hear from a role model like Seb Coe.

Ronan McKinstray, 17, Young Scot Youth Legacy Ambassador from Falkirk


Find out more about the Legacy 2014 Youth Legacy Ambassadors