In a radical approach to enhance Glasgow Museums contemporary collection, they have embarked on a new initiative that will see Riverside Museum collaborate with Gold Paralympic medal winning athlete Aileen McGlynn OBE and her pilot Louise Haston.
In a pioneering partnership Glasgow Museums will loan the athletes a new tandem for use in training and competition at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, after which time the objects will become part of the city’s collection.
The first stage of this novel process saw both cyclists accept delivery of a new tandem with complete set-up and essential cycling gear from Riverside Curator of Travel and Technology Neil Johnson-Symington.
The loan initiative, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, enables Glasgow Museums to acquire an object with an immensely significant provenance in a comparatively short period as well as supporting two world-class cyclists from Glasgow and Edinburgh with a real chance of bringing home gold.
Aileen McGlynn OBE said: “I am incredibly excited about the prospect of competing in my home town this summer, it really is a dream come true. I know the support of the Scottish crowd will make an enormous difference to my performance. And I’m delighted to have the support of Glasgow Museums in this groundbreaking project. It will be wonderful to share my journey to the Commonwealth Games and hopefully my success with the visitors at Riverside. It’ll be very special to walk in and see the tandem I competed on as part of a display to mark this momentous summer.”
Louise Haston said: “I’m a huge fan of Riverside and I’ve always been interested in how museums build their collections, so it’s wonderful to be an integral part of the process. This project will see Aileen and I contribute to a display that will chart Scotland’s experience of the spectacular that the Commonwealth Games promises to be.
“There is a great deal of hard work to be done before July. I can’t wait for the challenge and I hope the people of Scotland will come to the velodrome and roar us on to victory and then come and relive the experience at Riverside. It’s great to be part of not only the sporting, but the cultural legacy of the Games.”
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said: “Glasgow Museums has shown incredible forethought and inventiveness in ensuring the city captures the excitement of Glasgow 2014. This unique approach to extending Glasgow’s contemporary collection secures the foundation of a wonderful post-Games display of true provenance. This contributes further to the real legacy of Glasgow 2014.
“It is by capturing Aileen and Louise’s story that the significance of the equipment we are collecting is revealed. By hearing about their personal experience, the physical and mental exhaustion, the excitement of the Opening Ceremony and the adrenaline rush of competing in front of a home crowd, can we understand the objects real merit. It is such stories that have drawn millions of visitors to Riverside since it opened in June 2011 and I’m pleased to see initiatives like this will ensure that continues to be the case.”
Glasgow Museums will work with the athletes to capture their story throughout their entire Glasgow 2014 journey. Aileen and Louise will chart their progress pre and post Games. Glasgow Museums will film them on and off the track as they train for Glasgow 2014 and conduct interviews to record the milestones in training for and competing at the Games. Post Games these objects will form a central part of a display looking back at the city’s Glasgow 2014 experience. Further, they will enhance Glasgow’s contemporary collection of Cycles and Road Transport and Disability Transport.
Both athletes will also facilitate Team Experience master classes that simulate the experience of the visually impaired ‘stoker’ on the tandem and hands on experience of the training required to compete at such a high level. Together with the Learning and Access team at Riverside they will also host Question and Answer sessions with a variety of different audiences.
Aileen McGlynn and Louise Haston are one of two female Scottish teams competing in Glasgow 2014's paracycling events, the 1km Time Trial and Sprint. This partnership presents Glasgow Museums with a unique opportunity to join them on their journey to the XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014, when they will face strong competition from the women's paracycling teams of Australia, New Zealand, and England.
Notes to Editors
• Aileen McGlynn, 40, was born partially sighted and brought up in Glasgow. Before becoming a full-time cycling athlete, she was a trainee actuary having graduated from Strathclyde University. She has been a member of the Great Britain Paracycling Squad since 2004 and has competed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Paralympics and has won, in total, 3 gold medals, 2 silver and 1 bronze. Her position on the tandem as someone visually impaired is known as the 'stoker'.
• Louise Haston is from Edinburgh and switched from athletics to cycling in 2009. In a relatively short time, she has represented Great Britain at a World Cup and World Championships, piloting Aileen on the tandem. Louise came first, winning gold, in both Sprint and Pursuit at the British Masters track championships in 2012. Her position on the tandem as an able-bodied cyclist is known as the 'pilot'.
• Louise Haston piloted Aileen McGlynn at Road World Cup, Louise then piloted Lora Turnham at the Road World Championships.
• The final decision on who will pilot Aileen McGlynn will not be made until May, but at this time it is highly likely it will be Louise Haston.