Commonwealth boost for Capital sports festival

Edinburgh’s fifth Festival of Sport kicks off this weekend with a suitably action-packed programme of free events planned for tomorrow's launch.

‘Sport with the Stars’ at Meadowbank (from 1–5pm) and ‘Sport with a Splash’ at the Royal Commonwealth Pool (5.30–7.30pm) will provide an opportunity for people of all ages to try new sports and meet local athletes gearing up for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Everyone who signs up for
Sport with the Stars prior to the event will be entered into a draw to win a Team Sky cycling shirt, signed by Tour de France winner Chris Froome.

Sports clubs are the foundation of the Festival of Sport and each year they open their doors, put on competitions and encourage the local community to give their sport a try.

Running until 8 September, the packed programme will feature 30 sports and over 100 individual events, including the first ever Edinburgh Sports Conference, the City’s annual Sports Awards and SkyRide Edinburgh, which returns for another year on 7 September.

The City's Festival and Events Champion, Councillor Steve Cardownie, expects the countdown to next year’s Commonwealth Games to create an extra buzz around the Festival.

He said: "With less than a year to go to Glasgow 2014, and tickets for the Games now on sale, I hope people will feel motivated to get involved. It’s fitting that Saturday’s launch events are taking place in Edinburgh’s original Commonwealth venues and, indeed, the Royal Commonwealth Pool will once again play host to the diving competitions next year.

"The Festival of Sport is a bumper fortnight of sport for everyone to get involved in. It’s the perfect opportunity to try new sports, find out about the sports clubs in your area and, of course, all activities are free. I'd encourage everyone to get out there and try something new.”

John Comiskey, Edinburgh Leisure’s Chief Executive, said: “Edinburgh Leisure is hugely excited to be hosting the ‘Sport with the Stars’ and ‘Sport with a Splash’ events this weekend. They offer the perfect opportunity for people of all abilities and ages to try something new, have fun and benefit from becoming more active.

“The Festival allows us to show off not only the great sporting venues we have in the City but also demonstrates the huge range of sports that are available. I would really encourage as many people as possible to come along, see what it’s all about, have a go and have some fun.”

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: "With the theme around “One year to go”, the Games for Scotland programme encourages communities across Scotland to feel part of the excitement building around the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Thousands of people are able to join in this fantastic opportunity to celebrate our modern and vibrant culture, helping to deliver a legacy that Scots everywhere can feel proud of.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with Edinburgh in the delivery of what promises to be a fantastic event. Sport with the Stars and Sport with a Splash epitomises what the Games for Scotland programme has been designed to accomplish; inspiring, motivating and engendering pride amongst the people of Scotland.

“With one year to go, the diverse programme of sport and dance events taking place across the country as part of the Games for Scotland project are undoubtedly extending the legacy of the Games far beyond the host city to the benefit of communities throughout Scotland.”

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