Lord Coe, the Chair of LOCOG, has pledged to continue strengthening links between the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as he prepares to ‘Pass the Baton’ to Scotland.
Speaking at a major event in the Houses of Parliament hosted by Lord Smith, Chair of Glasgow 2014, Lord Coe stressed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for Scotland’s economy, athletes and communities from both major multi-sport festivals being staged in the UK within a two-year period.
At the ‘Pass the Baton’ event attended by key Games business and civic supporters, politicians and athletes, both Chairs pledged that their Organising Committees (OC) will continue to learn from each other to deliver these outstanding and memorable sporting moments. They will also ensure the close working relationship between the two OCs grows in strength as London 2012 draws closer. This unique cooperation will build on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between London 2012 and Glasgow 2014, which was signed in May 2010.
Former Olympic and Commonwealth athlete, Lord Coe said: “We don’t want the expertise and excitement that is generated from London 2012 to dissipate and together with Glasgow 2014 we will ensure that does not happen and a legacy from sport is created. As a result we have been working to pass the baton to our counterparts in Glasgow to ensure that legacy is tangible and long lasting.”
Lord Smith and Lord Coe highlighted how this active cooperation between the global two sporting events will maximise the opportunities for Scotland in terms of business opportunities, encouraging the next generation of athletes, growing the skills sector though greater major events experience and a rejuvenated interest in sport and healthy lifestyles across Scotland.
The MoU pledges to encourage information, knowledge and asset sharing in the areas of volunteering, first-hand experience for staff, fit-for-games equipment, ticketing and accessibility and inclusion.
Glasgow 2014’s Chair, Lord Smith said:
“What this unprecedented opportunity has meant is that both Organising Committees have been able to work together to maximise the benefits for the country of hosting these major sporting events.
“This Memorandum of Understanding delivers a key moment in Games history and underlines what a unique opportunity the Games would bring to the UK. This sharing of information, staff and assets provides support for London 2012, will prove invaluable for Glasgow 2014 and will ensure that both our organisations make the very most out of having two multi-sport Games within two years of each other in Great Britain.
“Following these very tangible exchanges there is also a greater legacy which will be left after these Games. This will be everything from the knowledge and skills learned by our people working on the events through to the businesses who will have had the opportunity to benefit by gaining Games-related contracts.”
Lord Coe, added:
“We have never seen the world’s greatest sporting events – the Olympic and Paralympics and Commonwealth Games – take place on these shores within such a short time. This now sets the stage for the UK’s ‘golden decade of sport’ with an extraordinary opportunity to inspire, develop and excite the next generation of young athletes.”
Former Commonwealth and Olympic athlete Allan Wells, also spoke at the event and welcomed the joint working. He said: “I am delighted there is strong cooperation between London 2012 and Glasgow 2014, as I know there is a lot to be gained from this positive and unique cooperation.
“Having competed in both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, I appreciate the enormous impact these can have on the individual athlete. However, it is also important that we make sure the impact and legacy of the Games are more far reaching and have a tangible effect on our economy and communities now and long after the Games have closed.”