By Tom Degun

Glasgow 2014_logoOctober 27 - Glasgow 2014 are today celebrating 1,000 days to go to the Opening Ceremony in the Scottish city by launching a competition for children to design the official Commonwealth Games mascot for the event.

Organisers are running the five-week competition in conjunction with the BBC, the domestic broadcast rights holder for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with coverage of the mascot design contest set to feature on several platforms including television, radio, online and popular children's programme Blue Peter.

The winner of the competition will not only have the honour of designing the Glasgow 2014 mascot but will also be given four tickets to the Opening Ceremony which is due to take place on July 23 at the 60,000 capacity Celtic Park, which is also the home of Glasgow Celtic Football Club.

"This is a great opportunity for someone to become part of Commonwealth Games history by designing our mascot, which will welcome spectators and athletes from all over the world to the Games," said Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg.

"Designed by young people, for young people, the mascot will be very important to the Games and to Scotland.

"We believe that one very special person will put pen or paintbrush to paper and come up with something totally original for us to have as our friendly face of the Games."

Glasgow 2014 is looking for an original mascot that is a made-up character, animal or person, easy to recognise as the official mascot for Scotland and the Commonwealth Games, appealing to young people, friendly and incorporates the Glasgow 2014 red, yellow, green and blue or all of these colours.

The entries will be judged in three age categories of 6-8, 9-11 and 12-15 with children from all over the UK encouraged to enter the competition.

Entries must be sent in on an A4 piece of paper and must be either drawn or painted by hand.

When the competition closes at the end of next month, ten of the best entries from each age category will be selected in the first round of judging.

These will then be shortlisted and judged a second time before a final winner is chosen from a judging panel made up of BBC and Glasgow 2014 staff and external experts.

The winner will be announced following the conclusion of the London 2012 Paralympics in September next year, where the winning mascot will be unveiled.

The competition has received the backing of London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe who emphasised the importance of his Olympic and Paralympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville.

"We've seen the role the mascots can play with young people," said Coe.

"The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville have been visiting schools across the UK inspiring young people to choose sport."

Keyano _Edmonton_1978_mascotMascots have become a major part of the Commonwealth Games since the event's first mascot Keyano (pictured), a grizzly bear, made a successful appearance at the Edmonton 1978 Games in Canada.

The Glasgow 2014 mascot will be a significant personality in the run-up to and during the Games where it will be used to welcome visitors and spectators, visit schools and community events and appear on signage.

"BBC Scotland is delighted to be involved with the search for a mascot for Glasgow 2014," added Director of BBC Scotland Ken MacQuarrie.

"This is an exciting opportunity for young people across the UK to get involved with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and contribute a lasting legacy."

The announcement comes with Glasgow 2014 officially on track and on budget ahead of the event which takes place from July 23 and August 3 and will see 72 Commonwealth teams compete across 17 sports.

For full details of the Glasgow 2014 mascot competition, including how to enter, click here.

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