SPORTING stars and celebrities are to feature in a fundraising video in the Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony to help more children in Commonwealth countries out of poverty and encourage them to take up sport.
Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sachin Tendulkar and Nicole Scherzinger are some of the famous faces to take part in the video which is a partnership between Glasgow 2014 and Unicef.
The aim is to improve the lives of children in every Commonwealth country through raising money in the run-up to and during the Games, organisers said.
All funds raised by the opening ceremony appeal will go to Unicef’s Children of the Commonwealth Fund to help protect children from poverty, disease and exploitation, and give millions the chance to take part in sport, the charity said.
The personalities who are backing the appeal have visited some of the poorest parts of the Commonwealth for the film and a trailer introduced by Sir Chris, Britain’s most successful Olympian, has been released online.
The retired cyclist visited Malawi and said the experience will stay with him forever.
“In some parts of Malawi children are going hungry, but at school they are provided with a nutritious meal. Shockingly, for many of them it’s the only meal they will get all day,” Sir Chris said.
“Things we take for granted in the UK, like basic medicine, are not always available in Malawi.
“I was especially inspired by an incredible young health worker I met called Daniel, who delivers life-saving medicines to children and their families in some of Malawi’s most rural and remote villages - often located in forests and along unpaved roads which he travels by a personal favourite of mine, the humble bicycle.
“The opening ceremony will be a spectacular moment for Glasgow, Scotland and the Commonwealth as we attempt something that has never been done before; I’m so proud to be a part of that and I hope everyone will join us by watching on July 23.”
Pop star Scherzinger travelled to Guyana to see how the project is helping children and she urged people to watch the opening ceremony and donate to the project.
“I had the blessing of meeting children with disabilities who for most of their lives had been stuck at home or in schools without any accessible or welcoming outdoor space,” she said.
“But now these children have somewhere safe to play and I could see they had hope and happiness in their lives. And that means everything.
“The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony is going to be so exciting. Come on everyone, put July 23 in your diaries and tune in to help make the Commonwealth Games a life-changing moment for children.”
The opening ceremony will be attended by thousands of spectators and athletes and will be broadcast around the world.
A preview of the fundraising appeal can be viewed at unicef.org.uk/glasgowpreview.