Hundreds of youngsters from across Glasgow were given the chance to emulate the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, at the official opening of the Commonwealth Games running track at Glasgow Club Crownpoint Sports Complex on 23 July.
Around 350 youngsters took part in the opening event of the city's 'Anniversary Games' a completely free 11-day sporting festival organised to mark the one-year anniversary of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
As part of the celebrations, Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, officially opened the new outdoor running track at the Glasgow Club Crownpoint Sports Complex, the same track that was used at Hampden Park during the Commonwealth Games. Memorably, it was the scene of Usain Bolt's historic gold medal winning performance in the 4x100metre relay with Jamaica.
Councillor Matheson was joined on a tour of the facility by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and chair of sportscotland Louise Martin, where they watched young people take part in athletics sessions as part of the Anniversary Games.
The running track has been installed at a cost of £705,000 with funding from Glasgow City Council (£530,000), sportscotland (£150,000) and Glasgow Life (£25,000). The track was donated to Glasgow City Council by sportscotland, at a cost of £200,000, as part of legacy plans to ensure that sports equipment and infrastructure used during the Games continue to be used by sports clubs and local authorities.
Amongst the first people to run on the new track were youngsters taking part in the Anniversary Games, which forms part of Glasgow City Council's commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth Games leave a lasting legacy. The track will be used by Shettleston Harriers and Red Star athletics clubs.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:
"Glasgow's Commonwealth Games were the best that there have ever been. But the Games were about much more than just 11 days of world-class sport they inspired the nation with record numbers of people in Glasgow now participating in sport.
"Crownpoint is right of the at the very heart of the athletics community in Glasgow and the new running track will ensure it remains so for years to come a real and lasting legacy from the best ever Games. It will play an important role in developing the next generation of medal winners with the support of two fantastic local clubs.
"Sport has the power to change lives and thanks to our continued investment in facilities such as the Glasgow Club Crownpoint Sports Complex we will give more and more people the opportunity to participate in sport. That is why it is fitting we are celebrating the success of Glasgow 2014 with the Anniversary Games sport festival."
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
"The stars of tomorrow now have the opportunity to be inspired and involved in the legacy of the most successful Commonwealth Games.
"It's great to see the world-class Hampden track in place here in the East End of Glasgow, and to know too that beyond the host city, children and adults in communities across Scotland are also benefiting from the Games with sports equipment, new facilities, and all the opportunities the Games have brought.
"Today is also great tribute to all those who have made and continue to make the legacy of the Games a reality. It's been an excellent example of partnership working with local and national organisations and the public, private and third sectors, and all of Scotland's local authorities playing their part."
Chair of sportscotland, Louise Martin, said:
"A terrific sporting legacy is being delivered in Glasgow and across Scotland. As a result of last year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Scotland now has world-class sporting facilities across the country. Crownpoint, Emirates Arena, and Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, the Olympia in Dundee, and the Aberdeen Sports Village are all being enjoyed by performance athletes and community users.
"Working with the Scottish Government, all 32 of Scotland's local authorities and their leisure trusts, including Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life, the sports, and other partners, we have collectively ensured that Scotland's system connecting grassroots, clubs, and performance sport is the most sophisticated it has ever been and there are now far more and better opportunities for people to take part in sport and physical activity."
Glasgow's 11-day Anniversary Games is taking place in five of the venues used during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games including the Emirates Arena, Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow Green Hockey Centre, Glasgow Club Scotstoun and Kelvingrove Tennis and Lawn Bowls.
A further six sports days are being held in Glasgow Club sports centres in other parts of the city including Easterhouse, Springburn, Bellahouston, Donald Dewar and Castlemilk. The completely free events will give young people the chance to try out Commonwealth Games sports.
Activities available across the 11 days include athletics, badminton, rugby, table tennis, hockey, squash and track cycling taster sessions at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Other sports which weren't part of the Commonwealth Games, including football, tennis and water polo are included at some sites.