Glasgow 2014: Michael Cavanagh hopes for legacy

COMMONWEALTH Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh hopes the country’s Glasgow 2014 heroes will continue to enjoy their place in the limelight in the long term.

Michael Cavanagh hopes that Glasgow 2014's Scottish athletes enjoy long-term limelight. Picture: Getty

Numerous national heroes have emerged in the past fortnight in sports that normally struggle for attention.

Gold medallists such as swimmers Ross Murdoch and Dan Wallace, judokas like Chris Sherrington and boxers Josh Taylor and Charlie Flynn are among the gold medallists who have been catapulted into the hearts and minds of Scots.

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And Cavanagh believes the nation should relax its obsession with football to give such champions their rightful place after Team Scotland secured a record 53 Commonwealth Games medals.

“One thing the athletes talk about, and we have heard it a lot from other people, is just how much it meant to have the home crowd behind them,” Cavanagh told Press Association Sport.

“And sports where they normally don’t get much of a crowd, to walk out into full arenas and every time a Scot’s name was mentioned, for the place to go crazy, has actually really inspired our athletes.

“A lot of athletes say they have never experienced that and never expect to again.

“I hope these Games and what Team Scotland has done, does change a few things. I like football like lots of other people do but I actually think we do spend far too much of our time in this country focusing on football in the media.

“We have seen some amazing athletes across these 17 sports who I think deserve more attention.

“I hope this has been a game-changer for my point of view.”

Cavanagh, a former wrestler, is encouraged by the initial reactions.

“It’s early days but some of the feedback we have got from sports that were on early in the programme, that the demand from kids to participate in those sports is incredible,” he said.

“Judo delivered a fantastic medal performance and unsurprisingly they have been inundated with people who want to take up judo. So I hope we see that across all 17 sports.”