April 25 - Glasgow 2018 has unveiled plans to develop unused spaces across the globe based on an existing Urban Games programme created by young people in Glasgow to promote participation in Olympic sports around the world.
The Scottish Youth Olympic bid team will use the "Sport Spaces" initiative to help nations develop Olympic-themed activities, which can be played anywhere under any circumstances across the five continents, to attract young people who feel the Games and sport in general are not relevant to their lives.
Glasgow 2018 explains the scheme will encourage increased participation in the face of rising obesity and a drop in activity levels among young people and has proposed that the programme be developed in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"This concept proposes an exciting opportunity for young people and sporting bodies to work together in partnership with the Olympic Family towards a key objective of the YOG [Youth Olympic Games] – to create new ways to attract young people to a wide range of sports and so lead healthier and more active lives," a Glasgow 2018 statement read.
The plans also explain that should Glasgow win the 2018 Games it would stage "Sport Spaces" festivals encouraging the participation of local young people alongside the elite athletes as part of the Culture and Education Programme created for the visitors during the Youth Olympics.
The young athletes would then be encouraged to go back to their home countries as ambassadors for an ongoing "Sport Spaces" programme to develop a legacy from the 2018 event.
Young people in Glasgow, led by a group of Sport Young Leaders, have already chosen two sites in the city to develop their Urban Games concept after research indicated a significant number of young people in the city are taking part in informal street sports and the city has now committed itself to helping develop these activities.
"Glasgow is already showing its commitment to using innovation to increase participation in sport, particularly those for whom traditional structures do not seem relevant, through its plans to use wasteground, riversides, motorway underpasses and parkland," bid director Paul Bush claimed.
"Should we win the right to host the YOG in 2018 we will have the capacity to work in partnership with sporting bodies and the Olympic Family to make a real global impact in this area as we all work together to help young people lead healthier more active lives."
Glasgow is up against the Colombian city of Medellín and Argentinean capital Buenos Aires to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, with the winning city due to be unveiled on July 4 this year in Lausanne.
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