| Written by Colin Hutchison
As a PR based in Scotland, it was incredible to watch the build up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Especially since I consider myself a veteran sports PR. At the time I was in what can only be described as career in media heaven.
In households across Scotland, 2014 Commonwealth Games medals now shine proudly within trophy cabinets, testament to the success of Team Scotland at a games billed ‘the best ever.’
Few would disagree; with excellent stadia, legions of passionate volunteers and an electric atmosphere having helped to propel the 310 strong Team Scotland to personal bests and a record haul of 53 medals.
Though the games baton has now passed into Australian hands, the feel-good factor continues to permeate through the streets of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. Little wonder agencies like EventScotland are focused on capitalising on the success of what was a sporting spectacular, showcasing the nation’s ability to host major events.
Amidst the backslapping and congratulatory parades, consider too that behind every Scottish athlete’s performance is a team of experts who quietly and wholly focused on giving Scotland’s athletes the edge in competition.
Dubbed the ‘Team behind the Team’, throughout the year (and not just at Games time) these sport science and sports medicine experts at the sportscotland institute of sport constantly monitor, review and analyse Scotland’s athletes, giving he or she the best opportunity to succeed on the world stage. From performance nutritionists to physios and strength and conditioning experts, they too can be proud of their role.
Of course, with the likes of Scotland’s swimmers and track and field athletes already in post Games major competition, it’s to be hoped the huge effort and cost of staging the Games will ultimately inspire more people of all ages to embrace the fun and health benefits offered by sport and physical activity.
Kids will hopefully want to try – or even compete in some of the sports they’ve been lucky enough to watch live or beamed into their living room. Older generations too may be motivated to renew an acquaintance with long neglected training shoes, swimming shorts and to dust down the trusty bike. Some may even want to help support their local club as a volunteer coach or administrator.
The Games have been a major success and for this the athletes, coaches, volunteers and innumerable agencies involved should be applauded. Yet not let anyone delude themselves that ‘it is job done.’
For ultimately, from these Games surely we want to see more people of all ages physically active - whether in stadia, streets, playing fields, rivers or the mountains of Scotland.
Now that would be a real game changer – and another achievement of which Scotland could be proud.
And to the team behind the team, I salute you.
You may wish to check out www.sportscotland.org.uk/unleash
By Colin Hutchison, 3x1 Public Relations Account Director, Edinburgh, Scotland