Prime Minister David Cameron joined more than 100 aspiring young sports stars at a summer camp in Glasgow today as he backed the city’s bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
The Prime Minister visited the summer camp at Scotstoun Stadium with Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, where they watched young people take part in a variety of sporting activities including athletics, table tennis, netball, badminton and tennis.
Among those in attendance were pupils from Glasgow School of Sport – Scotland’s only school dedicated to sporting excellence. Mr Cameron then spent some time with the young people watching the action from the London 2012 Olympic Games on big screens at the £18million Glasgow City Council owned facility.
Afterwards the Prime Minister said a successful Glasgow bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games would be guaranteed legacy for London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and would be a catalyst for the next phase in the UK’s journey with the Olympic Movement.
Glasgow’s Bid is underpinned by the ‘Be a Champion in Your Life’ campaign, which has young people at its very heart and seeks to deliver a Games that empowers young people globally to believe they can be champions in their lives.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I am delighted to give my backing to Glasgow's bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympics and sustain the momentum of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Whilst the Youth Olympics may not turn every child into tomorrow’s Chris Hoy or Hannah Miley, I am convinced that if we can bring the Games to the UK, we will help even more young people develop a sporting habit for life.
"The tremendous legacy of the 2012 Games is not just about stadiums and the economy, it is also about young people. All our great athletes started at a young age and I believe that the Youth Olympics is about opening young people’s eyes to the possibility of sport and inspiring the next generation of Olympic heroes.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "Being in Scotstoun today and seeing the excitement and enthusiasm that our young people have for sport and for the Olympic Games showed exactly why Glasgow would be the perfect host city for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
“A real strength of our bid is that it has the support of government of all levels and we are delighted that the Prime Minister is backing the bid – we have a shared commitment to bringing the Youth Olympic Games to Glasgow.
"We are a proud sporting city and have a proven track record of delivering world-class sporting events but over and above that we have a very real commitment to young people. They are our champions and they will be our strongest voice as we work to win the right to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games."
Scottish Government Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “The hugely successful launch event for the Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games Bid at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum last month showcased to all of us who were there just a tiny proportion of the creative and sporting talent that Glasgow and Scotland has to offer.
“Realising the potential of Scotland’s young people is a key reason why the Scottish Government is delighted to be leading this bid with our partners at Glasgow City Council and the BOA. The Prime Minister’s support is very welcome and is another signal that Glasgow and Scotland have an exciting vision for a Youth Olympic Games that will be an inspiration to young people throughout Scotland, the UK and the world.”
Colin Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association said: “To be given the privilege of hosting the 2018 Youth Olympic Games would be an immense honour for Glasgow, Scotland and the UK. It is fantastic news that the Prime Minister has given us his full support.
“Hosting the Youth Olympic Games would permit all of us from sport, culture and education to ensure that the strong youth legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games could continue to enrich the lives of young people, encouraging them to always aim for their personal best."
The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, said: “The Olympics is already transforming the way people across the UK look at and engage with sport and will leave a legacy inspiring the next generation to compete and succeed. The example being set by the Games and our Olympians provides the perfect platform to support a bid for the 2018 youth event. I support it fully and will work with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and sporting bodies to help bring it to Glasgow.”
The Glasgow 2018 Bid is a strong partnership between the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and the British Olympic Association (BOA) and has the full and active support of government at all levels. Young people played a vital role in the development of the ‘Be a Champion in Your Life’ campaign.