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A legacy of aspiration for young people

Julie Thompson, inspire>aspire Programme Manager, Character Scotland

Julie Thompson looks at how the inspiration of the Games has left lasting legacy of aspiration for young people.

I cannot believe the first anniversary since the start of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is upon us!  It’s a fantastic opportunity to throw a spotlight on the opportunities and benefits of legacy activity across Scotland and looking back, the Commonwealth Games experience was a real game changer for our organisation.

We were working under the ‘Connected’ theme and our ambition was to use the Games to inspire a generation of young people whilst strengthening learning and culture at home and internationally and wrapping up this 3 year (Commonwealth themed) phase of our work conjured up the following questions…

What really happens to a country when it hosts a major sporting event like the Commonwealth Games? Does the country change? Do the people change? 

I suppose there are lots of things we can see like new buildings and homes and new sports facilities and there are lots of facts and figures; new visitors, improved tourism, improved participation in sports and big impacts on our economy, but what about the things you can’t see?

So we were asking ourselves, ‘does hosting a global event help the population to feel like Global Citizens’?  ‘Does having the pinnacle of global excellence in sporting achievement help to inspire the population and raise their aspirations’?

We had to work out if we had achieved our goals so that we could prove: the inspiration of the games leaving a lasting legacy of aspiration in young people.

We asked ourselves: What happens when a legacy programme reaches a generation of young people in hundreds of schools both at home and abroad?  Does it help them to become active, connected ‘Global Citizens in the Making’? 

We think it does and we put together a film and report to demonstrate this.  These show the impact from the perspective of pupils, teachers and various other key stakeholders and reveal how 59,000 pupils in Scotland and 90,000 in total throughout the Commonwealth were able to use the inspiration from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to reflect upon global values, identify their vision for a better world and think about what they can do to bring this vision to life.

Find out more from the inspire>aspire film

Read the inspire>aspire report