Glasgow Rocks stars joined young players from a city primary school today (Monday) for a ‘three on three’ basketball match on a state-of-the art floor used by the sport’s biggest names at London 2012.
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore MP joined the Glasgow 2018 Bid Team as the city displayed its commitment to a version of basketball which enjoyed its worldwide debut at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore.
The Secretary of State pledged his support for the city’s Bid to host the 2018 YOG as he was welcomed to the Emirates Arena by Glasgow City Council Leader, Councillor Gordon Matheson and Scottish Minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games, Shona Robison.
Pupils from St Anne’s Primary School joined the Glasgow Rocks stars for the match on one of the courts now in use at the £113million Emirates Arena as a result of a London 2012 Olympic Games legacy initiative.
The London 2012 Basketball Arena was one of the largest temporary venues built for London 2012. On completion of the Games the arena was dismantled and reused at facilities across the country, including at the Emirates Arena.
Today’s session was the first time that ‘three on three’ basketball was played on the court, which was used by some of the biggest names in the sport at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Although the YOG has the same sports as The Olympics, it has a reduced number of events per sport and has the ability to introduce exciting new formats such as ‘three on three’ basketball, mixed National Olympic Committee events and mixed gender team events.
‘Three on three’ basketball is played on a half court with one basket. Each team has three players, with the game divided into two periods of just five minutes each. The first team to score 33 points wins.
The Emirates Arena is already home to a world-class sporting events programme. It will be a flagship venue for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games when it will host the badminton and track cycling events and is at the heart of the city's bid to host the YOG in 2018 when it will host ‘three on three’ basketball and badminton.
Michael Moore said: “Bringing the Youth Olympic Games to Glasgow in 2018 would be a huge opportunity to build on the UK’s recent sporting legacy. London 2012 showed we could hold world-class events which exceeded all expectations and we continue to build on that success in Scotland and throughout the UK. I know the Glasgow 2018 team will pull out all the stops to bring the event to the city which is well-equipped to host it, and I look forward to supporting the bid as it develops.”
Shona Robison, said: “Glasgow’s bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games could bring another world class event to Glasgow and the Emirates Arena. Hosting the Games will inspire the next generation to get active and different events, like ‘three on three’ basketball, are great for encouraging young people to try new sports, adding to their enjoyment of sport.”
Councillor Matheson, said: “Glasgow’s bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games seeks to continue the UK’s Olympic journey, building on the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games. That inspirational journey was evident today as we watched local school children play ‘three on three’ basketball on one of the courts that was used by some of the biggest names in the sport at London 2012. We want young people from across the world to experience what we have to offer as a city in 2018.”
Glasgow Rocks player/coach Sterling Davis: “There is a real excitement around Glasgow’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games and it is fantastic that basketball is at the heart of the bid. Sport is all about having fun and that is where ‘three on three’ basketball comes into its own – it is fast and action-packed. We have been lucky enough to play in front of packed crowds at the Emirates Arena and we know just how passionate the Glasgow fans are when it comes to basketball. That passion will help inspire the next generation of basketball players.”
Glasgow 2018 Bid Director, Paul Bush, said: “Glasgow’s expertise in staging world-class sporting events means we now have a chance to really concentrate on working with international sporting bodies to find innovative news ways to present sport and make sure we engage young people as we work to encourage them to lead healthier, more active lives. Winning the right to host the 2018 YOG will give us a chance to demonstrate that commitment in an unprecedented way.”