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A look ahead to Legacy Week

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport

On the eve of national Legacy Week, what better time to pause and reflect on the impact of programmes and projects nationwide that harness the benefits of the Games coming to Scotland.

This weekend, in Dumfries and Galloway, 250 people aged 16 to 21 have converged from 19 different countries including Australia, Malawi and Canada for the Commonwealth Youth Summit.

Hosted by Dumfries and Galloway Council, in partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh Award, this Supporting Legacy 2014 Project unites young volunteers and youth leaders.

New friendships will be formed as they participate in a programme highlighting the benefits of both leadership and volunteering, with keynote speakers including decorated swimmer Rebecca Adlington OBE and David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014 CEO.

By sharing experiences and ideas of how to make the world a better place through taking on leadership roles, benefits will be felt at a grassroots level in the communities they come from.

Young people will of course be front and centre of Tuesday’s Legacy 2014 Celebration Event, taking place in Edinburgh, telling their stories and performing.
Next month’s Commonwealth Games will be the biggest sporting and cultural event Scotland has hosted and thanks to the early planning of partners, people across Scotland are already benefitting.

There is something for everyone from the legacy of the Games and people can still very much take advantage and get involved: from families going along to Games for Scotland this summer to groups applying for Active Places funding for new or improved facilities.

I look forward to joining 150 participants at Tuesday’s conference, including business leaders and those involved with the Game On Scotland Education Programme, Community Sport Hubs and the Disability Inclusion Training Programme.

Their stories will bring to life the very real impact of legacy in action, and be a galvanising force as the Scottish Government and partners look to continue our legacy work beyond the Games.

Earlier this year, it was praised after a Commonwealth Games Federation’s Coordinating Commission visit to Scotland, with them branding the legacy plan “highly successful” and one that would “serve as a benchmark for all future Commonwealth Games”.

The pre-Games legacy report published by the Scottish Government in April updated and outlined the economic boost which has been felt as a direct result of us hosting the showpiece event.

An estimated 1000-supported jobs and a contribution of £52 million to Scotland’s economy, on average in each of the six years to 2014, has resulted from the building and refurbishment of Games’ venues and Athletes’ Village.

And £257 million worth of tier one contracts have been procured (82 per cent) by Scottish companies.

But we are not resting on our laurels.

Just as the elite athletes descending on Glasgow next month have in place a long-term programme as they strive for success in the sporting arena, so too are Legacy partners playing the long-term game when it comes to capitalising on the health, environmental, economic and cultural benefits that can accrue nationwide thanks to staging this major event.

Read all about Commonwealth Games Legacy Week