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Commonwealth Games (Glasgow)

Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

3. What progress has been made in his Department’s work with the organising company and the Scottish Executive on providing support for the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow. (182024)

We are committed to working with the organising company and all the key partners to ensure a successful Commonwealth games in Glasgow that can be enjoyed by the whole of the UK.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer and I hope that he will take the opportunity to visit Glasgow in the near future, and to see the benefits of the new facility provided by Glasgow city council. However, does he agree that the somewhat churlish attitude adopted by the nationalists in opposing the Olympics is counter-productive? The interest in sport that will be generated by the Olympics, and the knowledge and experience that we will gain from it, will be of direct benefit to Glasgow and to the games.

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for her comments. I note that not many Scottish Nationalists are in their seats this afternoon to talk about this important sporting issue. As the UK Minister with responsibility for sport, I am concerned that we have the unified voice that we need in promoting sport. The Commonwealth games will benefit the whole of the UK, and UK Sport contributes to the success of athletes, particularly Scottish athletes. We must make sure that there is no narrow nationalist line affecting sport’s ability to unite all our nations.

As a London Member, may I welcome Glasgow’s getting the Commonwealth games, which is every bit as much a national games as the Olympics in 2012? However, what plans are afoot to ensure that there is a specific national lottery game for the Glasgow Commonwealth games before 2012, as well as in the two-year period up to Commonwealth games?

The commissioning of new games is a matter for the National Lottery Commission. If such a game is needed, I am sure that discussions will be held about that. Clearly, we will want to work with the organising company when it is set up—it is in its early stages—and these are the sorts of issues that we will discuss.

Does my hon. Friend agree that the focus on the 2012 Olympics means there is a challenge in promoting the 2014 Glasgow games throughout the UK? Will he hold early discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government to promote across Wales the excellent prospect of a Commonwealth games in Glasgow?

Again, I would be happy to do that. I congratulate my hon. Friend on his work on all things sporting, not least his prowess on the football pitch for the parliamentary football team. He makes an important point. I shall have regular meetings with the Welsh sports Minister and the Scottish Executive sports Minister to ensure that we co-ordinate our response to the benefit of both the Olympic and Commonwealth games.

Members on both sides of the House have rightly emphasised the importance of the legacy of the Olympic games. Will there be a legacy of the Commonwealth games? What will Glaswegians benefit from after those excellent games in 2014 have ended?

I hope that Glaswegians benefit from the inspiration of sport—it can help people’s health and education. We are looking forward to a decade of sport. This is not just about the London Olympics in 2012 and the Commonwealth games in 2014, because from next year a major sporting event will be held in the UK every year. I hope that we can unite to ensure that all our different spheres benefit from making sport successful.