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Hosts and Champions: celebrating Scotland’s sporting heritage

Karl Magee, University Archivist, University of Stirling

A year ago, in the spectacular surroundings of Trinity Church in Irvine town centre, we started our celebration of Scottish sporting participation and achievement.

Since then our touring exhibition Hosts and Champions: Scotland in the Commonwealth Games has visited a variety of venues across the country, its journey taking in Carnoustie, Perth, Stirling, Dalkeith, Dumfries and Stranraer to date. It opens in the Auld Kirk Museum in Kirkintilloch on Saturday 5th March and in May moves on to the Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs.

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 and supported by Legacy 2014, 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.

During the exhibition’s tour we have met 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 the Glasgow games 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 country 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.

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At every venue the exhibition aims to highlight the local stories connected with the Commonwealth Games, celebrating local sporting success. We have been delighted to receive many fantastic donations of sporting memorabilia from visitors to the exhibition. This has allowed us to constantly update and add to the material on display. If you have any Commonwealth Games memorabilia that you would like to donate to the archive, or are interested in finding out more about the exhibition please contact us at