A YouGov poll has revealed that 69% of the UK believe that staging the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Glasgow would continue to inspire a generation of young people beyond London 2012.
This strong show of support for Glasgow’s Bid to continue the UK’s Olympic journey comes as Glasgow 2018’s young champions Mahad Ahmed and Jasmine Main flew to Lausanne in Switzerland today to deliver the Candidature File to the International Olympic Committee in time for Monday’s deadline.
They were waved off at Glasgow Airport by Olympic athlete and Commonwealth medallist Lee McConnell, Leader of Glasgow City Council, Gordon Matheson, Scottish Government Minister for External Affairs and and International Development, Humza Yousaf, and Chair of the British Olympic Association (BOA), Lord Colin Moynihan.
The poll also revealed that 62% of those asked supported Glasgow’s Bid, with that figure rising to 68% in Scotland. 68% of Scots also believe staging the YOG would continue to inspire young people to become more involved in sport and physical activity.
Glasgow 2018 is seeking to capitalise on the opportunities created by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, as well as the city’s ongoing international sporting events programme. Glasgow 2018 would be a tangible legacy for these major events, and a powerful catalyst for the next phase in the UK’s journey with the Olympic Movement by empowering young people to become champions in their lives.
The Bid is a strong partnership between the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and the BOA. Young people have also played a vital role in the Bid.
The poll comes after more than 5000 secondary school pupils pledged their support for the Bid so far during the Be a Champion in Your Life roadshow. The two-month tour of Glasgow’s 29 secondary schools and the city’s Gaelic School will see the 2018 Bid Team reach around 30,000 young people by mid-November.
Glasgow’s Bid has already won the support of the Prime Minister David Cameron and Olympians including Dame Kelly Holmes, Sir Chris Hoy, gold medallist rower Katherine Grainger and Glasgow’s silver medallist swimmer Michael Jamieson.
Lee McConnell, also a European and World Championship medalist, said: “Glasgow is a special place to compete in as an athlete so it is very exciting to think that the world’s best young athletes could get their first taste of the special nature of competing in an Olympic-styled event right here in front of such amazing crowds.
“To be bidding for the Youth Olympic Games after the wonderful scenes everybody enjoyed at London 2012 is a real opportunity for the UK to continue its Olympic journey and concentrate on the young people we all hope to inspire.
“Encouraging young people to be more active and to achieve their best through the power of sport is so important. In Scotland we are working really hard to make sure the Commonwealth Games in 2014 delivers this legacy for our young people and so to carry on to 2018 would be such a great opportunity.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Our submission to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games is a compelling one, and it clearly has the support of people across the UK.
“This Bid has young people at its very heart. It demonstrates the very best Glasgow has to offer on both a sporting and cultural level and reflects our reputation as one of the world’s leading sporting and cultural cities.
“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to continue the UK’s Olympic journey, building on the undoubted success of London 2012 and of course our own plans for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Hosting the 2018 Youth Olympic Games would allow us to take that journey to the next stage and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.
“Our Bid is based on a proven-track record of delivering international events and investing in world-class sporting facilities. But we are very much more than a safe pair of hands. We are ready to surprise the world in 2018.”
Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said: “This is a proud day for Scotland as we send off our young people to Lausanne to hand in what we hope will be a Bid that will win us the privilege of hosting the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
“Scotland has a growing and deserved reputation for staging successful world class events and winning the right to host the Youth Olympic Games would be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scotland on the world stage. Not only would it be an inspiring event, but it would help support jobs and growth in the tourism, service and event industries which are so important to our economy.
“Of course the Youth Olympic Games is all about young people and one of the key benefits of staging it would be the unique opportunity it provides for Glasgow to concentrate resources on young people and use the power of the Olympic Movement to help them fulfill their potential, develop their skills and empower them to become effective global citizens.”
Lord Colin Moynihan, Chair of the British Olympic Association, said: “The Glasgow 2018 Bid Committee understands that sport has the unique power to inspire young people to pursue their dreams, and to unite the youth of the world in a shared commitment to values that have never been more important than they are today.
“These principles are at the heart of the Candidature File that is being submitted today, and the British Olympic Association extends its congratulations to our partners at Glasgow 2018.”
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