We worked with a wide range of partners during Legacy 2014 to ensure that our residents gained a lasting legacy from 2014 which was a big year for Scotland.
Glasgow hosted the XX Commonwealth Games, the 40th Ryder Cup teed off at Gleneagles, Homecoming Scotland 2014 was celebrated the length and breadth of the country and of course there was the referendum.
The XX Commonwealth Games event touched the lives of East Ayrshire residents in so many ways – our athletes and their families; our inspirational heroes who carried the Baton; our local volunteers who became Clyde-siders during the Games; and of course our many excellent sports clubs and their members who have been engrossed in what people are calling "the best Games ever!".
Have a look at Capturing East Ayrshire's legacy 2014 (PDF 46.17Mb) which provides only a snapshot of the range of legacy work was delivered across East Ayrshire.
Celebrate East Ayrshire
The first Celebrate events took place in Kilmarnock and Cumnock Town Centres during 2014 in celebration of the Commonwealth Games and has now expanded to over 40 events and thousands of people taking part in some amazing activities from community clean-ups to gala days.
These activities help boost community spirit and pride and helps make communities more connected and vibrant.
Maximising on the positive outcomes from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and ensuring that communities are seeing the benefits of ‘Capturing our Legacy’, Keiran McMaster and Sophie Smyth have the inspiring job remit of being sports mentors at East Ayrshire Council.
Keiran, who is a Scottish Champion and British silver medallist from Northwest Amateur Boxing Club, and Sophie, Scottish Champion and Commonwealth athlete from Kilmarnock Amateur Weightlifting Club, will work with local clubs and athletes to inspire, support and motivate others to emulate their success.
Read Sophie's story as a sports mentor
Queen's baton relay and events
The Queen's Baton Relay was intended to build excitement in the lead up to the Games and it certainly didn’t disappoint as it travelled through East Ayrshire on Saturday 21 June 2014.
Sunshine, big breakfasts, picnic lunches, gala days and action packed community events were the order of the day as the whole of East Ayrshire came out onto the streets to cheer on the Baton Bearers as they carried the Queen’s Baton through towns across East Ayrshire from Dalmellington to Kilmarnock.
Provost Jim Todd said:
This was a day for our communities. The people in our communities make East Ayrshire what it is and a strong community spirit was on display in abundance from 8am in the morning at Dalmellington right through to 7pm at Kilmarnock Cross. I couldn’t have been prouder of the people who made all these events happen; of the Baton Bearers who all have incredible reasons for being selected and of course, the people of East Ayrshire.”
Be part of it
Thanks to the XX Commonwealth games in Glasgow, so much has already been achieved in East Ayrshire amongst sportspeople and clubs, local attractions, schools, community organisations and much more. It really was a summer to remember.
Creating a lasting legacy is paramount and going forward we want to encourage local people and groups to create the kind of legacy they want for their communities.
We have invested heavily in sports facilities locally. Recognising the tremendous training facilities in East Ayrshire, Team Canada Boxing, Team Ghana Weightlifting, Team Scotland Weightlifting and Team Scotland Athletics, seized the opportunity to train at North West Boxing Club, Kilmarnock Weightlifting Club and the Ayrshire Athletics Arena.
A guide to training camp facilities in East Ayrshire (PDF 6.86Mb)
Receiving a warm welcome, Dr Pierce, an associate professor at LSU Shreveport, Louisiana; head coach for Team USA and key member of the International Weightlifting Federation, said:
I have been working with Team Ghana for some time now helping them to prepare for the Commonwealth Games. I have been living in Ghana since May and I am delighted to join them at the pre Games training camp in Shortlees. My good friend, and Team Scotland coach, Chick Hamilton, has welcomed us with open arms to their base and there is a really positive vibe in the gym during our training sessions.”
There is no doubt that having Commonwealth athletes training locally has further inspired our own local sports people as Graeme Marshall at North West Boxing Club points out:
I think it is important to remember that Canada is a huge country with a population of 35million people so when we say these boxers are at the top of their games, we mean it. It has been brilliant for our team to train and spar with boxers of this calibre; it is a level for our young people to aspire to.”
Making sure schools were involved was top priority and the Active School Co-ordinators produced a fantastic programme over school holidays and term time for pupils to enjoy. There were sports competitions, physical activity opportunities, athlete visits and even mascot competitions including visits by Clyde the official games mascot to many of our schools.
East Ayrshire were also the first local authority to ensure that all primary schools signed up to the Games On Challenge which supports teachers, school leaders and education managers in creating stimulating learning experiences for young people from 3-18 years using the Commonwealth Games as a context for learning.
Support a 2nd team
All local authorities in Scotland were matched with a 2nd team in a programme that is designed to extend the hand of friendship across the Commonwealth.
In East Ayrshire, schools and nurseries in Crosshouse were matched with Australia and Dalmellington Primary paired with the British Virgin Islands. These partnerships allowed a wide range of art, sport and culture projects to be delivered locally to enhance the education curriculum.
Friendly, enthusiastic Clyde-siders helped make the Games the incredible success it was and the volunteers from East Ayrshire who were lucky enough to take part thoroughly enjoyed the experience. For some Clyde-siders it was their first time volunteering and enjoyed the experience so much that they now looking for other volunteering opportunities.
Janice McAvoy, Clyde-sider said:
My time as a Clyde-sider was amazing and I would recommend everyone to try volunteering as it was such a gratifying and rewarding experience. Vibrant Communities offer a wide variety of volunteering options – if you have a spare couple of hours a week then it is well worth looking into.”
Opening and closing ceremonies
Several lucky people from East Ayrshire were fortunate enough to take part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games.
Paige McMahon from Doon Academy and Catherine Bacon from Grange Academy performed in the opening ceremony at Celtic Park while Eilidh Corrigan from New Farm Loch performed in the closing ceremony at Hampden.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and having the chance to perform in one of the world’s biggest events only 25 miles from my home was amazing.”