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Touring exhibition celebrates Scotland's Commonwealth Games links

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An exhibition celebrating Scotland's relationship with the Commonwealth Games will be touring Scotland over the next 12 months, opening next week in Irvine.

Drawn from the Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive held by the University of Stirling, ‘Hosts and Champions: Scotland in the Commonwealth Games’ celebrates over 80 years of participation and achievement by Scotland in the Commonwealth Games, from its origin as the British Empire Games in Hamilton, Canada, in 1930, through to Glasgow 2014.

The exhibition includes photographs, designs, clothing, papers and artefacts which evoke a rich story of Scotland's involvement in the Games, including as hosts in 1970, 1986 and 2014.

Richard Haynes, Professor of Communications, Media and Culture at the University of Stirling and academic curator of the exhibition, said: “We are delighted that North Ayrshire Council are the first to host our touring exhibition Hosts and Champions.

“Trinity Church in Irvine provides a wonderful venue for the touring exhibition, bringing together Scotland's sporting heritage with an iconic building in the centre of the town.

“I’d like to thank the Scottish Government's Legacy 2014 team for initiating and supporting the tour, and we hope local communities will enjoy and reminisce on some of Scotland's great sporting achievements at the Games, as both hosts and champions!”

Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, 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. We are delighted these exhibitions will bring the archive to life and allow people to share in what makes the Commonwealth Games so special.”

Representing the Scottish Government at the opening of the exhibition, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess said: “The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was the biggest sporting and cultural event Scotland hosted, and Scotland will continue to benefit from the best Games ever.

“Legacy Week is about celebrating the success of the Games and shining the spotlight on the legacy of the Games.

“This exhibition gives us a fascinating insight into Scotland’s Commonwealth Games story. It brings together a spectacular array of photographs, artefacts, and interviews with competitors and medallists from across Scotland, spanning more than 80 years of international sporting competition.

“However, the Games have not just left us a legacy of medals and memorable moments – their success will continue to be felt across Scotland for years to come, providing an unprecedented catalyst for regeneration, innovation and sustainable growth.”

Hosts and Champions will be displayed in a number of local authority cultural venues across Scotland in 2015 and 2016, opening with a preview event at the Trinity Church in Irvine on Monday 9 March, Commonwealth Day.

The exhibition will be on display to the public from Friday 13 March until Friday 17 April, on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am - 5pm.

The Provost of North Ayrshire, Joan Sturgeon, will attend the preview event, along with representatives of Commonwealth Games Scotland with the Queen’s Baton. Margaret Burgess, Minister for Housing and Welfare and local MSP for Cunninghame South, will also speak at the event.

The exhibition, developed with the support of Commonwealth Games Scotland and Legacy 2014, is curated by the University of Stirling Archives.