The International Children’s Games has drawn to a close, and been hailed a great success by all involved.
ICG President Torsten Rasch was fulsome in his praise, stating that Lanarkshire ”deserves a gold medal for presenting an oustanding childrens’ games.”
For three days children from across the globe competed in a variety of different sporting events, exhibiting skill, desire, enthusiasm and passion. Not even the wet weather could dampen the competitive spirit! The standard throughout was extremely high, and I am glad to report that Lanarkshire experienced considerable success.
In athletics Lanarkshire Boys’ 4x100m relay team won gold whilst Alec Thomas won silver in the boys’ 100m. Mhairi Hendry won silver in the girls’ 8oom with Emma Frame taking bronze in the girls’ long jump.
Meanwhile, Lanarkshire’s boys football teams carried all before them, racking-up a series of double digit victories before beating Sparta of Greece 4-1 to claim gold in the final, whilst Lanarkshire’s girls lost 2-0 to Seoul of South Korea in a close fought final to take silver.
In the golf, Innes Ferguson took gold and Fraser Innes took bronze, and Sebastien Potter, Ryan Ferrey, Neil MacDonald, and Gavin Logie all won bronze medals in the boys’ judo, with Amy Dougan and Michelle Boyle claiming gold in the girls’ event.
Last (but not least!) Emma Christie took bronze in the girls’ 200m backstroke. Full results can be found on the official ICG website.
However, despite the high standard throughout, it was the spirit of warmth and togertherness surrounding the games which made a lasting impression. All the performers acquited themselves well on that score, as did the local populace, who went out of their way to welcome competitors, coaches, and spectators alike.
I have always believed in the power of sport to inspire and unite, and the success of these games has only strengthened that belief. All the children involved excelled themselves, and I have no doubt that the courage and commitment they have shown will serve them well in the years to come. Now we must work to create an enduring legacy around these games, and ensure that children across Scotland have equal access to the coaching and facilities that will give them a chance to compete in years to come.
Last night I was delighted to be one of the 7000 people to attend the opening ceremony of the International Children’s Games at Fir Park in Airdrie.
The atmosphere was fantastic, with the competitors introduced by a fanfare from the North Lanarkshire Pipe Band before taking part in in the opening procession.
The 45th International Children’s Games is a cosmopolitan event, with over 1,300 competitors and coaches, representing 33 cities from 77 countries, descending on North and South Lanarkshire for the duration of the 3 day tournament.
Events beginning today include tennis, football, judo, golf, sailing and volleyball. Further details can be found on the official International Children’s Games website.