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Glasgow and Scotland must maximise Commonwealth of opportunity from Games

Glasgow and Scotland must maximise the opportunities of connections to the nations and territories throughout the Commonwealth created by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Tonight (Wednesday, March 13) at The Royal Commonwealth Society in London, Lord Smith, Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, will challenge business and civic leaders to use positive links developed through the delivery of one of the world’s great multi-sports games to stimulate enterprise both in Scotland and across the Commonwealth.

The event, hosted in the Commonwealth Club by Glasgow 2014 in partnership with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) and Scottish Enterprise, is part of the economic and cultural programme developed by the Royal Commonwealth Society to mark Commonwealth Week.

The Royal Commonwealth Society is the largest civil society organisation in the Commonwealth, with a remit to promote international understanding and the values of the association. Every year the Commonwealth chooses a theme to provide a focus for its activities. The theme is celebrated throughout the year, with special events taking place during Commonwealth Week, including the Commonwealth Day Observance and the Commonwealth Lecture. This year the theme will be ‘Opportunity through Enterprise’.

Tonight’s networking event will be attended by senior representatives of the Glasgow 2014 Games Partners, including Mike Hooper, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation; Shona Robison, Scottish Government Minister for the Commonwealth Games and Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council. Peter Kellner, Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Commonwealth High Commissions and members of the wider Commonwealth family will also be present.

Reflecting on the opportunities, Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee said:

“Our Games Partners have a shared desire to ensure Glasgow 2014 creates a prosperous and shared legacy. The work that is already under way is creating a springboard for jobs and business in Glasgow, across Scotland and around the Commonwealth.

“It is truly appropriate that this year’s Commonwealth theme is one of ‘Opportunities through Enterprise’ The Commonwealth represents a huge and growing corporate, cultural and consumer opportunity for us all.

“The scope to collaborate and exchange skills and knowledge is huge. Individuals, organisations and governments all have a role to play in maximising the economic and social potential of our Commonwealth family.”

Professor Lesley Sawers, Chief Executive of SCDI said:

“SCDI is delighted to be working with Glasgow 2014 to promote the opportunities that the Games and that the wider Commonwealth can deliver for Scotland's economy.

“With just under 500 days to go until the Games, we look forward to the eyes of the Commonwealth turning towards Scotland and ensuring that we maximise the economic potential for Scotland as part of the on-going legacy of Glasgow 2014.”

Jillian Moffat of Scottish Enterprise, Head of Commonwealth Games and major project benefits team said:

“During 2014, Scotland has an unprecedented opportunity to showcase itself on the world stage. Part of the support we can offer to our businesses is ensuring that they can capitalise on these global growth opportunities, through both direct and indirect benefits of the Commonwealth Games.

“There's also a fantastic opportunity for companies to collaborate and potentially explore opportunities that they perhaps wouldn't normally."

Peter Kellner, Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society said:

“Thirty percent of the world’s population live in the Commonwealth and of this 2.1 billion, over half are under the age of 30. During Glasgow 2014, this global and increasingly connected audience will come together to watch the Commonwealth Games. It is essential that beyond its sporting legacy, the Games looks to foster a broader agenda around peace and prosperity for the wider Commonwealth.

“The ‘Opportunity through Enterprise’ theme encourages Commonwealth citizens to maximise innovative opportunities and the Commonwealth business, governmental and civil society communities must now harness and celebrate the possibilities that Glasgow 2014 offers.”

To mark Commonwealth Day, (Monday March 11) Glasgow 2014 unveiled the International Sector Route of the Queen’s Baton Relay – one of the unique traditions of the Commonwealth Games.

The relay is a unique element of the Commonwealth Games which unites the two billion citizens of the Commonwealth in a celebration of sport, diversity and peace. It is the world’s most engaging relay where communities from every corner of the Commonwealth are invited. It also gives Glasgow and Scotland a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with all 71 nations and territories. Glasgow 2014’s baton will itself make history by being the first to visit Rwanda as the relay covers an epic 190,000 km over 248 days.

Later this year Glasgow 2014 will reveal the design of the baton as well as full details on how thousands of Scots can get involved in baton’s final journey across Scotland in the exciting last build-up to the Games.

Note to Editors

1. The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of up to 15,000 local volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.

2. Glasgow 2014 family of official sponsors is Longines, SSE, Emirates, Harper Macleod, Search Consultancy, Ernst & Young, Atos, Dell, Toshiba TEC, A.G. Barr, NVT Group, RGS and Trespass.

3. The baton will begin its epic international journey in Delhi, India the Host City of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

4. Internationally over 248 days it will visit the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth, and be the first Commonwealth Games baton ever to visit Rwanda.

5. The Queen’s Baton Relay will conclude its journey at the Games Opening Ceremony on 23 July 2014. The final batonbearer will proudly carry the baton on the final leg of its journey before handing it back to The Queen who will read Her message aloud and officially declare the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games open.

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