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New exhibition celebrates Scotland's links with the Commonwealth Games

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Commonwealth Games medal
The exhibition on the Commonwealth Games will be on show at the Pathfoot Building, within the University's main campus in Stirling, until Friday 18 July - before transferring to Glasgow's Old Fruitmarket.

A new exhibition showcasing Scotland's relationship with the Commonwealth Games has gone on display at the University of Stirling.

Hosts and Champions - featuring photographs, clothing, flags, medals and other memorabilia - charts the participation and achievements of Scotland in  the international sporting event, which launched as the British Empire Games in 1930. It also highlights Scotland's role as Games hosts in 1970 and 1986.

Displays have been drawn from the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive, which has been held by the University since 2011.

The exhibition will be on show at the Pathfoot Building, within the University's main campus in Stirling, until Friday 18 July - before transferring to Glasgow's Old Fruitmarket.

"We're delighted to be launching this exhibition in the run-up to Glasgow 2014," said University archivist Karl Magee.

"Our Commonwealth Games Archive covers more than 80 years of international sporting competition, beginning with the first Scottish team being selected in 1930. From a vast array of material, we've selected photographs, publications and objects for this new exhibition.

"We're previewing it on campus until 18 July. It will then transfer to Glasgow to be part of the official Festival 2014 programme. This enlarged version of the exhibition will run at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow's Merchant City from Thursday 24 July to Sunday 3 August.

"Admission to the Stirling preview - and the main exhibition - is free of charge and we'd encourage people to see this fascinating exhibition."

He added: "The exhibition has been supported by a £9,960 award from the National Lottery Celebrate Fund.  We'd also like to thank Commonwealth Games Scotland, Glasgow Life and our own Art Collection team for helping us deliver the exhibition."

The exhibition is complemented by a Sport Heritage blog set up by Richard Haynes, Professor of Communications, Media and Culture at Stirling, sharing Commonwealth Games pictures and stories.

Staff are also planning a series of talks at the Scottish Music Centre in Glasgow during the Games. Talks will include a round-table discussion on Scotland’s sporting archives with contributors from Scotland’s major libraries and museums, as well as specific talks on Scottish sport by author Ged O’Brien, Dr Fiona Skillen and Professor Haynes.

Professor Haynes said:  "It was not until after the first British Empire Games, on 30 April 1931, that the new Scottish National Sports Federation - now Commonwealth Games Scotland - was formed. It’s first Secretary, George Ferguson, took delight in the knowledge that Scotland had formalised its association with the Empire Games ahead of his English counterparts. 

"The Archive at the University encompasses records collected over the full period of the 84 year history of the Games - with thousands of letters, memoranda, minutes, publications, artefacts, film and press clippings documenting the activities of the Commonwealth Games movement, its philosophy, organisation and mission.

“It is one of the most substantive archives of sports administration in Scotland and unique as a record of the nation’s representation in multi-sports events. Host and Champions gives a small taste of this wonderful collection. I hope it will excite and inspire people."

Jon Doig, Commonwealth Games Scotland Chief Executive and Team Scotland Chef de Mission, said: “The Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive is a fantastic collection of artefacts which highlight how the Games have grown and Scotland’s involvement from the very beginning, with a big focus on the last two times the Games were previously here in Scotland. We are delighted these exhibitions will bring the archive to life for the Team Scotland athletes as they complete their final preparations on campus and for the general public to share in what makes the Commonwealth Games so special.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair Maureen McGinn said: "Through this Celebrate funding, visitors to the exhibition in Stirling and Glasgow will learn about Scotland's contribution to the Games, including the place Scotland has in the history of the Commonwealth Games movement. This project is an excellent example of a how a group can capture the spirit of the Commonwealth Games and I wish them every success with the exhibition."


  • Hosts and Champions: an exhibition of material from the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive is produced by the University of Stirling in association with Commonwealth Games Scotland, Glasgow Life and the National Lottery Celebrate Fund.
  • It will be exhibited at the Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling, until Friday 18 July 2014. The Pathfoot Building is open seven days a week to the general public: weekdays from 9am to 5pm and weekends from 11am to 3pm.
  • Details of the exhibition in Glasgow, from Thursday 24 July to Sunday 3 August 2014 is available here.
  • Professor Hayne’s sport heritage blog, originally set up with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, can be viewed at:
  • Celebrate is a £4.5 million joint awards programme from the four Scottish Lottery distributors: Big Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland Heritage Lottery Fund and sportscotland. Find out more at  


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