With the exciting announcements that London has been awarded the 2012
Olympic and Paralympic Games, and that Glasgow will bid for the 2014
Commonwealth Games, Scotland is celebrating, relishing the chance to
make the most of these once in a lifetime opportunities.
London may be the official host of the 2012 Games, but the entire
United Kingdom stands to benefit. Scotland will have the opportunity
not only to see our athletes compete on British soil, but to contribute
volunteers and host events and pre-games training camps.
When it comes to inspiring a nation to get active, there is no better
opportunity than the showcase for sport an Olympic Games provides. It
couldn’t come at a better time with sportscotland moving the
nation toward Sport 21, the national strategy for sport, with their
mission of ‘more people, more active, more often’ by 2020.
The existing passion for sport in Scotland, combined with the
unbeatable atmosphere of a home Games, can encourage the country to get
London 2012, and Glasgow 2014, have the potential to challenge our
existing sports culture, leaving a legacy of facilities, coaches,
athletes and structures to support generations to come.
It has been announced that Glasgow’s Hampden Park Stadium is to host
one of the group stages of the football competition. There is an
opportunity for us to host pre-games training camps at a number of our
top class sporting facilities. Family, friends and fans of athletes
will find it more accessible to support them as they compete on our
doorstep. For Scottish athletes, for Scottish supporters - London
2012 is a home Games.
It is expected that in the lead up to and during London 2012, some
70,000 volunteers will be needed to successfully run the Games –
requiring the biggest recruitment drive ever seen in UK peacetime. This
means thousands of Scots will have the opportunity to participate,
bringing home with them the skills and experience of supporting a
"By population ratio at least 10% of the potential volunteers for
London 2012 could be Scottish," says Christine Mullen, Partnership
Manager of volunteering at sportscotland.
As the media coverage of the Games highlights in excess of 30 different
sports, many young people will be inspired to try something a bit
"A major Games on home soil will certainly put some of the minority
sports in the media spotlight," says Katriona Bush, Head of Media at
"With more British journalists able to attend there will be a
significant increase in coverage, and evidence shows that this can lead
to a massive upsurge in interest and participation."
Everyone wanted to try curling following the success of Rhona
Martin and her team at the last winter Olympics. Our sports governing
bodies need to be ready to capitalise on these opportunities.
"The majority of Scottish athletes that will be competing in London
2012 will already be in the system," says Steve Paulding, Acting
Director for Achieving Excellence at sportscotland.
"We have the infrastructure and coaching practices in place to assist
our athletes to the world stage. As long as we continue to support our
athletes through a progressive player pathway, we have a strong chance
of medal success."
"Ultimately our aim is to get more Scots active. 2012 and 2014 can
leave in their wake an inspired generation of youth and a healthier
nation feeling the physical and social benefits of sports
participation," says Julia Bracewell, Chair of sportscotland.
"Its just a matter of Scotland as a whole making the most of these opportunities."