Glasgow's bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) has been given the Royal seal of approval by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following a visit to the city today (Thursday).
Their Royal Highnesses met young people at the city's recently opened £113million Emirates Arena before visiting the Glasgow Club Donald Dewar where they launched a new sports coaching project for young people on behalf of the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
During the visit the Duke of Cambridge met Mahad Ahmed and Jasmine Main – two young ambassadors who have been at the forefront of the city's bid to host the 2018 YOG. The Duke of Cambridge also launched the Scottish pilot of Coach Core, which form an important part of the legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Glasgow 2018 YOG bid.
The Royal Foundation is partnering with Glasgow Life and the Hunter Foundation on the project as part of the national Coach Core initiative. The pilot will inspire and train the next generation of young sports coaches, working with young people to give them the skills and confidence to see sports coaching as a future career opportunity. Coach Core was launched in July last year, the day prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Duke of Cambridge said: “Glasgow is a city with a great buzz and enormous optimism. The Commonwealth Games here next year will be brought to life by Glasgow’s youthful energy, creativity, and its unrivalled cultural heritage. Glasgow would also be tremendous host – if successful, as we hope you are – for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, continuing the legacy from last year.
“The energy and brilliance of young coaches has the ability, like nothing else, to inspire others – to improve self-esteem and competitiveness, to channel natural aggression, to build respect for others and yourself, to improve health, and to teach new and creative ways of thinking. I sincerely hope that some of you here today will be inspired to begin to coach others, and – in so doing – sow the seeds for future generations to follow in your example.
“A modern, attractive, well run hub like the Donald Dewar Leisure Centre, under the Glasgow Life umbrella, provides the perfect setting for this Coach Core programme – and perhaps elsewhere across Scotland in the future.”
The Emirates Arena, which was built by Glasgow City Council for the people of Glasgow, is 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 Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
During the tour of the Emirates Arena the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched aspiring athletes and sports stars, including pupils from the Glasgow School of Sport, undertake training sessions in athletics, track cycling, badminton, football and netball. They then viewed a Glasgow 2014 exhibition.
Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games ambassador Jasmine Main said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to tell the Duchess of Cambridge about the city’s plans to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. The London 2012 Olympic Games really inspired the nation and we want to continue that journey right through to 2018.”
Glasgow 2018 Bid Director Paul Bush said: "Our bid to bring the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Glasgow has young people at its very heart so it was fitting that our Young Ambassadors were able to tell the Duke of Cambridge of our plans. We want to inspire young people to be champions in their lives and that inspiration was evident today as the sportsmen and women of the future showed Their Royal Highnesses what the world can expect from Glasgow in 2018."