Scottish Gold will play a key part in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and secure its place in Commonwealth history by appearing at all future Commonwealth Games, organisers today (Sunday, 13 April) revealed.
Around six grams of the rare 18 carat material has been sourced from the Kildonan Burn – which runs near Helmsdale in Sutherland – and was panned by hand by gold panners and local school children.
The gold was gathered from the burn at Baile an Or, Gaelic for ‘Town of Gold’ at the site of the original Scottish gold rush of 1868 when a local man first found gold in the water. Some 500 prospectors subsequently made their way to the Strath of Kildonan by the spring of 1869 in search of their fortune.
Thanks to the Timespan Museum and Arts Centre the gold has now been donated to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
It is currently being moulded to the shape of the official Glasgow 2014 logo by a skilled jeweller and will be permanently attached to a unique award presented by the CGF at every Games.
Known as the David Dixon Award, it is given to a single athlete chosen from the thousands who compete in the Commonwealth Games and is based on their performance, spirit of fair play and overall contribution to their team.
Named after the former honorary secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation, it was first introduced at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Previous winners include Jamaican Triple Jumper Trecia Smith (2010); Indian Shooter Samaresh Jung (2006) and South African Swimmer Natalie du Toit (2002).
David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive, said:
“Our deepest thanks go to everyone in Helmsdale, the school children and local people who were involved in not only gathering this special and unique gold, but in making this wonderful donation happen.
“What better way to ensure Scotland’s contribution to the Commonwealth Games movement lives on than with this tangible and glittering addition to the David Dixon Trophy.”
Louise Martin, Honorary Secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation, said:
“The David Dixon Award encapsulates all the values of the Commonwealth, rewarding one single athlete, not just based on their performance but on a wider contribution to their team and their commitment to the fair play spirit of the Games.
“The fact that this trophy will now carry a little bit of Scotland to all future Games will serve as a wonderful reminder of Glasgow 2014 and Scotland’s contribution to the Commonwealth Games movement.”
Retiring Chair of the Timespan Museum, Jean Sargent said:
"As Helmsdale is geographically remote, we are delighted to give a wee bit of Sutherland to Glasgow 2014 to make us feel connected with Commonwealth Games through the enduring legacy of the David Dixon Trophy. We are grateful to the Commonwealth Games Federation for helping to make it all possible."