Commonwealth Games medals for ‘unsung heroes’

THE headlines at Glasgow 2014 may belong to the world’s elite athletes, but it is an event where everyone will be a winner.
Jonathan Boyd wants to capture the unique character of Glasgow Picture: John Young/Young MediaJonathan Boyd wants to capture the unique character of Glasgow Picture: John Young/Young Media
Jonathan Boyd wants to capture the unique character of Glasgow Picture: John Young/Young Media

Organisers of the Commonwealth Games are to award thousands of commemorative medals to the “unsung heroes” who will help show off the best of Glasgow and Scotland to a watching world.

Some 10,000 medals have been commissioned by officials behind this summer’s Commonwealth Games in recognition of the people without whom the event “simply couldn’t happen”.

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They will be distributed to the likes of technical workers, officials from each nation’s team, and members of the organising committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Every athlete taking part in the 11-day event will also receive a medal.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014 said the gesture was designed to give thanks to the international community. She said: “The commemorative medals recognise and reward those athletes from across the Commonwealth for their dedication to sport and their selection to compete at Glasgow 2014.

“They are also a special memento for those technical and ‘back of house’ teams without whose hard work and dedication, the Games simply couldn’t happen.”

The commemorative medals will be created by Jonathan Boyd, the award-winning silversmith who was revealed last month as the official designer for the prize medals.

The medals are a Commonwealth Games tradition and will be unveiled later this year. Although the design is a close-kept secret, Glasgow 2014 officials said they will be either bronze or pewter and will “reflect Scottish cultural heritage”.

Mr Boyd, regarded as one of Scotland’s most talented young jewellery designers, studied at Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London.

He is now a lecturer at Glasgow School of Art and has won a number of awards, including the Donald Dewar award for exceptional Scottish talent. Last month, he won the silver prize at the 2013 Beijing International Contemporary Metal Art Exhibition for Clyde Built, a collection of oxidised silver jewellery.

The 29-year-old, originally from Aberdeen, uses advanced digital technologies in his work along with handcrafted skills and traditional metalworking techniques.

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He said he was delighted to be designing both the medals for the athletes and the people helping arrange the Games. “I hope in my design I can reflect Glasgow’s industrial past, capture something of the city that it has become and – more importantly – capture that uniqueness that Glasgow has.”

Professor Tom Inns, director of the Glasgow School of Art said: “It is an honour and a privilege that one of our silversmithing and jewellery lecturers has been commissioned to design the medals for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“I know that he will create a fascinating and innovative design for the medals that Glasgow and the Commonwealth will be proud of.”

Dundee-based jewellery designer Jane Gowans said the medals should reflect Scotland both old and new. “It is key to source inspiration from the heritage and modern-day culture of both Scotland and the Commonwealth whilst avoiding clichéd motifs,” she said.

“It is important to showcase the wealth of contemporary design talent that exists in Scotland and I feel that Jonathan’s use of new technologies within his process are particularly fitting.”