Glasgow Intiate Pioneering Culture & Education Programme for World Youth Championships

April 24, 2013

Hundreds of young sports stars from across the world will take part in pioneering Culture and Education Programmes when they compete at two world championships in Glasgow this summer.

The city, currently bidding to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), will welcome the world’s best young track cyclists and netball players for what will be a month-long festival of sport in August. The £113million Emirates Arena will host both the 2013 Junior Track World Championships (JTWC) and 2013 World Youth Netball Championships (WYNC) as part if its international sporting events programme.

And in a boost to the city’s bid to host the 2018 YOG, organisers have confirmed that Culture and Education Programmes will be introduced at both world championships. While sport is at the very heart of the YOG, elite athletes remain at the Games for the entire competition to take part in a wide range of activities as part of a Culture and Education Programme. That same approach will be taken in Glasgow this summer.

During the two championship events young athletes will learn about the importance of pursuing a dual career and how to deal with the challenges of success in an increasingly global media environment. They will also learn about the dangers of over-training and issues around doping in sport. The Glasgow organisers will draw from work already going on in these areas to support the city’s young athletes at the Glasgow School of Sport.

During Glasgow 2018 the city’s status as a European cultural powerhouse and the fact its young people speak more than 110 languages would be utilised to make sure the Culture and Education Programme also empowered young people across the globe.

The city already works with organizations such as Unicef and the British Council to link with 95 countries across the world. And yesterday the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee announced a partnership with Unicef aimed at inspiring young people to be the best they can be. This partnership illustrates Glasgow’s ability to empower young people across the globe through proven links.

The JTWC, which takes place in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena between Wednesday 7 and Sunday 11 August, will showcase the next generation of track cyclists. Glasgow joins an elite list of JTWC host cities that includes Los Angeles, Cape Town and Moscow. Riders will go for gold in a range of events including the team sprint, keirin, individual pursuit, omnium, sprint, madison, points race, team pursuit, scratch race and various time trials.

Some of the world’s top track cyclists including the current golden girl of British cycling, Becky James, started on the road to glory at previous JTWC. James, who won gold in both the sprint and keirin at the 2009 JTWC, became the first British woman to win four medals at Track World Championship (TWC) level earlier this year. James took gold in the sprint and keirin as well as bronze in the 500m time trial and team sprint.

Former track star Kevin Stewart, who broke the British record in the 200metre time trial at the 2009 JTWC, before going on to ride for Team Scotland at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games is excited at the prospect of seeing the world’s best young track cyclists go for gold in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

He said: “The Junior Track World Championships is a fantastic event and will showcase our future World, Commonwealth and Olympic champions. To have an event of this magnitude and prestige at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will really demonstrate what a world-class facility we have in Glasgow. This is an event to be really excited about as the standard of competition is drawing closer and closer to senior level and this year will be no different with some sterling riders showing racing well beyond their years.”

At the WYNC, which takes place between 22 and 31 August, host nation Scotland will battle it out against 19 other countries in a bid to be crowned the best in the world at under-21 level. Among the nations already confirmed are netball giants New Zealand, England and Australia. The 10-day event, which is part of UK Sport’s £27million Gold Event Series, is the first world netball event to be staged in Scotland since 1987 and will take place less than a year before the sport takes centre stage at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow 2018 Bid Champion and Patron of Netball Scotland, Katherine Grainger CBE, said: “For many young players this summer’s World Youth Netball Championships will be the first step on a long and successful career in the game and it is fantastic they will be doing that in Glasgow. The event will bring together the best young players in the world for what will be 10 days of genuinely world-class action. 

“But what these events will also do is educate young athletes to help them handle the successes and pressures that can come with their careers, and make sure they are equipped to deal with them so they can fulfil their potential both in their athletic careers and beyond.”

Glasgow 2018 Bid Director Paul Bush said: “We are looking forward to an incredible summer of sport in Glasgow with two world championships taking place. Not only will the events showcase some of the world’s best young sports stars, they will also highlight the city’s commitment to enriching the lives of young athletes through exciting new Culture and Education Programmes.

“The fact that the 2014 Organising Committee has also shown its commitment to the development of young people across the globe is a reflection of Glasgow’s wider commitment to using its expertise and partnerships to make sure young people have the opportunities they need to become champions in their own lives.”