Glasgow can grasp a unique opportunity to build on the success of London 2012 in inspiring a generation by sharing the journey with the 2014 Commonwealth Games and winning the Bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), Seb Coe said today.
Joining the Bid partners and young people in Glasgow, the chair of the British Olympic Association (BOA) said hosting the 2018 YOG would continue a powerful journey to amplify and accelerate the legacy achieved in 2012 and 2014 at a unique time in history for the UK and the Olympic Movement.
Glasgow 2018 revealed that a global YOG twinning programme, Hand in Hand, would be created should Glasgow win by building on the work happening in schools such as Shawlands Academy, revealed today as the UK’s top International School.
The proposed Culture and Education Programme project would start pre-Games to build on the extensive twinning work already happening in Glasgow to enable young people to share cultures, develop as global citizens and learn to respect and value their differences.
During the YOG a 'world market' in the Youth Olympic Village would then represent countries across the globe, providing a shared forum for young athletes and local young people to take part in activities. Local young people would create these stalls as a way of welcoming and befriending their athlete friends.
Visiting Shawlands Academy, the three Bid partners said the UK would give back to the Olympic Movement by using its ambitious vision for the YOG to empower young people across the globe to be champions in their own lives.
Shona Robison, Scottish Government Minister for Commonwealth and Sport, Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council, and Seb Coe heard from pupils at Shawlands Academy about how Glasgow’s young people are already leading the way by engaging with their peers across the globe.
Glasgow’s Bid, a partnership between the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council and supported by the British Olympic Association (BOA), has young people at its heart and seeks to capitalise on the opportunities created by London 2012 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as the city’s world-class sporting events programme.
Pupils from Shawlands have been at the heart of the YOG Bid. They have contributed to the creation of the Bid's wordmark, have taken part in a consultation about the contents of the Candidature File, and one of the four young people pictured on the front of the document is a pupil at the school.
The British Council, which helps build cultural and education links across the world, has just named Shawlands, where more than 50 languages are spoken, as the best International School in the UK after assessing its twinning and e-twinning projects with some of the 95 countries linked with schools across the city.
Seb Coe said: "At Shawlands Academy alone more than 50 languages are spoken, and the young people here use this to engage with other young people across the globe, from Malawi to Bangladesh. Hosting the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 would allow Glasgow and the UK to continue to inspire a generation internationally, in their own language.
“I'm proud to be sharing the journey with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Glasgow 2018 as we bid to host the Youth Olympic Games."
Shona Robison said: “The Commonwealth Games will see Glasgow offer a warm and inclusive welcome to the world, alongside 11 days of spectacular sport that will leave a great legacy for young people across Scotland. Whether it’s aspiring to be sporting heroes, discovering new connections with Commonwealth countries or gaining training or employment, the Games legacy will offer an unparalleled platform to build on and host an inspiring Youth Olympic Games.”
Councillor Matheson said: "The achievements and ambition of the staff and pupils of Shawlands Academy exemplify what Glasgow, Scotland and the UK can contribute to the Olympic Movement through the power of the Youth Olympic Games. This school, like many others across the city, demonstrates the vibrant, cosmopolitan and multi-cultural nature of our young population.
"Our city has a proud history of making its presence felt on the world stage, and in our next generation we now have a population of increasingly confident global citizens who strive to project the values of excellence, friendship and respect so cherished by the Olympic Family. What better way to communicate and promote these values to the children of the world than through confident young learners like those we met today."
2018 Bid Director, Paul Bush, said: “The Hand in Hand project is just one of a number that the Bid will be delivering in the coming months as we demonstrate the global impact a city like Glasgow, with schools using more than 100 languages, can have through its Culture and Education Programme for the YOG.
“Underpinned by a compact and sophisticated masterplan, a YOG in Glasgow can build on London 2012 to deliver a bold vision for the Olympic Movement which will empower young people in countries across the world.”