Let us all celebrate the success of the record-breaking XX Commonwealth Games which delivered record attendances at every venue and a world record attendance at the Rugby Sevens event.
Furthermore, let us celebrate Scotland’s unprecedented success with 19 golds and the greatest ever tally of more than 50 medals.
Let us also celebrate England’s considerable achievement in finishing first in the table along with a wonderful showing from Wales and Northern Ireland.
The engineering brilliance of Hampden’s raised surface created a warmth and harmony between athletes and spectators.
The “People Make Glasgow” slogan was spot on, with thousands of Clydesider volunteers on the streets.
Their humour, friendliness and guidance chased the rain away in gales of fun and laughter. It was a golden time for sport, for Glasgow and for Scotland with a sense of national pride at what has been a magnificent achievement.
During the Games there was little politicisation other than David Cameron “flying the flag for Britain” – so it was “Haud Yer Wheesht”.
The joyous Prince Imran in his speech of thanks to Glasgow City Council and to the Scottish Government reasserted that it was Glasgow and Scotland’s Games and that they were the “best ever”.
The colour and joy of the closing ceremony from “pure dead brilliant” Glasgow, Scotland, to “anything is possible” Gold Coast, Australia, was magical. The sadness of parting expressed in Robert Burns’ Aye Fond Kiss to the excitement of meeting again in Australia and the music, dance and song of the global Kylie was truly memorable.
Finally, along with Dougie MacLean’s explicit love song to Scotland, Caledonia, let us continue to sing over and over again to the world Auld Lang Syne and Haste Ye Back accompanied by the pipes and the Hampden roar.
Scotland, congratulations. We can only deliver more as an independent nation on the world stage.
One of the important aspects of events in 2014 from the point of view of the Nationalist campaign was the celebration of the Battle of Bannockburn. That was a bit of a damp squib.
The second important element in the campaign was the hope that a good medal haul in the Commonwealth Games would inspire an upsurge in Nationalist sentiment across Scotland.
The thing that has struck me about the “Friendly Games” is that the strong impression left by the audience’s reaction to wins by all athletes, regardless of their nation, was sporting. I heard no boos and no expressions of anti-English sentiment.
The athletes themselves talked of the benefits to British sport of the Games and, it seemed, the crowd loved every performance that won gold, silver and bronze, whatever team the athlete represented.
I strongly suspect that the hoped-for partisan benefit the SNP expected to result from the Games is a no-go. Let the Games be remembered for good fellowship and good sport, not as a political event.
Andrew HN Gray
With Alex Marshall, gold medallist in the lawn bowls, leading Team Scotland into Hampden Park for the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, it is to be hoped that serious attention will be given to promoting this sport across Scotland.
The regional variation in investment across local authorities must be addressed.
The decision of Edinburgh city council, for instance, to allow Edinburgh Leisure to close another seven of the city’s public bowling greens in the past year, along with the closure of the only pay-as-you-go indoor bowling facility, formerly at Portobello, seems particularly shortsighted.
There is now no public indoor facility for bowlers with disabilities, another unfortunate outcome for those encouraging greater participation in sport in the city of Edinburgh. Maybe the current review of the refurbishment of the Meadowbank Stadium, a legacy itself from the 1970 Commonwealth Games, would provide a space for bringing back indoor bowling provision in the city.
When schools resume in August, with a bit of imagination and resources, there will be a few weeks for young people to try the sport on the public outdoor greens too, before the end of the season.
Let’s get started on investing in that 2014 Games legacy, while celebrating all the achievements of Team Scotland.
It IS reported that Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister of Scotland, claims that the “success of the Commonwealth Games in Scotland will help to propel the country towards backing independence”.
Of course, we always knew that the SNP hoped to bolster its case by staging the referendum so soon after the Games. Their success has certainly left a “feelgood factor”, as she says, but her hope that this will translate into votes for independence just shows the contempt with which the SNP regards Scottish voters.
We didn’t need the Games and Scotland’s medal haul to boost our confidence. Did the SNP so lack confidence in our nation as to be surprised at our good showing? Does the SNP think we are so stupid as to conclude that the success of the Games proves that we would be better to sever our union with the UK? Just the opposite.
What it proves is that we could display our national character, strut our stuff and take our proud place among the nations while preserving all the advantages of the most successful union of all time.
One gold medal has not been awarded but was the most deserved of all. It is to the mainly Scottish spectators.
Though naturally supporting Scottish athletes, they have shown fairness and encouragement to all athletes. Their appreciation of, and respect for, athletes from all the Commonwealth countries has been phenomenal. Well done, Scotland!
Don Rudston (Sassenach!)