Countdown begins to best Games ever


With 100 days to go to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, at least 100 young people from across the Commonwealth will be celebrating today as they find out they will be attending a prestigious leadership programme for young Commonwealth leaders.

The 33Fifty programme, which is delivered by Common Purpose and the Royal Commonwealth Society, is part of the cultural agenda of the Games and brings together young people aged between 18 and 25.

In attendance will be Scottish nationals and other young people from across the Commonwealth with many either currently studying or living in the UK.

The aim of the programme is to help young people develop leadership skills to make a difference to their community, the Commonwealth and wider world, by accessing global networks and an alumni community of engaged Commonwealth citizens.

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sports Shona Robison said: “We all know sport has the power to change lives. 33Fifty aims to do this by embracing the size and scope of the Games, giving around 100 young people the learning experience of a lifetime. As we celebrate 100 days to go until the start of the Games, this is the perfect opportunity to look to the future, to consider how we will develop young leaders, to work together and bring about change.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a unique event which offers young people the chance to engage with peers from across the Commonwealth to work together.”

The programme will run over four days immediately prior to the Games across Glasgow and Edinburgh. Participants will tackle a challenge of fundamental importance to the Commonwealth – in this case – “What role does the youth of the Commonwealth need to play in progress toward low-carbon economies?”

The programme is a unique opportunity for young people to explore the topic and have in-depth conversations with leaders from all sectors as well as behind-the-scenes visits to incredible organisations and institutions on the cutting edge of the challenge including The Wheatley Housing Group and the Scottish Parliament.

On the final day of the four-day programme, the young leaders will present their responses to the challenge to ministers, entrepreneurs and world-leading experts gathered for the Games.”

Julia Middleton, Chief Executive of Common Purpose said: “Before the Glasgow 2014 Games, the 33Fifty participants from 41 nations and territories of the Commonwealth will join us to take part in an experience which will give them the inspiration, skills and Cultural Intelligence to become more effective global leaders and to make lifelong connections across the Commonwealth.

“I can’t wait to see how these innovative and inspiring young people learn from their interaction with UK and world leaders and from their practical engagement with real-world challenges. And to find out what they can teach us!”

Charlotte Kedslie from East Renfrewshire is delighted to have been chosen to take part in the 33Fifty programme. The 25-year-old, who currently works as an International Officer in External Relations for Edinburgh City Council, said she was looking forward to developing new skills and meeting new people from across the Commonwealth.

Charlotte said: “I was thrilled to receive my acceptance email to the 33Fifty Programme. I think this will be an invaluable learning experience for me and everyone else involved, and I am looking forward to putting all the new skills I learn in July to good use in the future.

“It will be wonderful to meet so many young people from across the Commonwealth as well and I am excited about learning about their many different cultures.”

Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Michael Lake, said: We’re delighted that the countdown to the Games is officially on, which means that we’re also now counting down the days until the start of 33Fifty – two occasions where we’re sure to see team spirit displayed on an international scale.

“We share in the excitement of all the bright, ambitious young people who will be joining us in Scotland in July and look forward to hearing their ideas and inspiring solutions to the challenge of promoting low-carbon economies in the Commonwealth. It’s bound to be a brilliant four days!”