By Tom Degun

Lord Coe_Lord_Smith_and_Allan_Wells_12-01-12January 12 - Sebastian Coe (pictured left) has insisted that it is vitally important for London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 to work closely together to ensure the strongest possible legacy for the Olympics and Paralympics in England and the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

The London 2012 chairman made the comments at a major event at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster titled "Pass the Baton" which was hosted by Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Smith (pictured centre) and attended by key Games business and civic supporters, politicians and athletes.

Coe stressed the importance of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for Scotland's economy, athletes and communities from both major multisport festivals being staged in the UK within a two-year period and promised to continue to work closely with Glasgow 2014.

"We don't want the expertise and excitement that is generated from London 2012 to dissipate and together with Glasgow 2014 we will ensure that does not happen and a legacy from sport is created," said Coe.

"As a result we have been working to pass the baton to our counterparts in Glasgow to ensure that legacy is tangible and long lasting.

"We have never seen the world's greatest sporting events – the Olympic and Paralympics and Commonwealth Games – take place on these shores within such a short time.

"This now sets the stage for the UK's 'golden decade of sport' with an extraordinary opportunity to inspire, develop and excite the next generation of young athletes."

The Pass the Baton event comes after Coe and former Glasgow 2014 chief executive John Scott (pictured below left) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2010 to encourage information, knowledge and asset sharing in the areas of volunteering, first-hand experience for staff, fit-for-games equipment, ticketing and accessibility.

John Scott_signs_MoU_with_Sebastian_Coe_at_Glasgow_2014
The timing of the latest event is particularly significant because Scottish independence from the United Kingdom is at its highest on the political agenda since the Union with Scotland Act was passed in 1706.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, wants to hold a referendum on the matter in 2014, which critics claim is partly to ride on what he hopes will be the success of Glasgow 2014, an event where Scotland compete as a separate nation.

But Smith highlighted how this active cooperation between the two global sporting events will maximise the huge opportunities available to Scotland from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"What this unprecedented opportunity has meant is that both Organising Committees have been able to work together to maximise the benefits for the country of hosting these major sporting events," said the Glasgow 2014 chairman.

"This Memorandum of Understanding delivers a key moment in Games history and underlines what a unique opportunity the Games would bring to the UK.

"This sharing of information, staff and assets provides support for London 2012, will prove invaluable for Glasgow 2014 and will ensure that both our organisations make the very most out of having two multisport Games within two years of each other in Great Britain.

"Following these very tangible exchanges there is also a greater legacy which will be left after these Games.

"This will be everything from the knowledge and skills learned by our people working on the events through to the businesses who will have had the opportunity to benefit by gaining Games-related contracts."

Allan Wells (right in top pictured), the 1980 Olympic 100 metres champion and a former British teammate of Coe's, also spoke at the event.

"I am delighted there is strong cooperation between London 2012 and Glasgow 2014, as I know there is a lot to be gained from this positive and unique cooperation," said Wells, who also won a total of six Commonwealth Games medals during his career competing for Scotland, including two gold at both Edmonton in 1978 and Brisbane 1982.

"Having competed in both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, I appreciate the enormous impact these can have on the individual athlete.

"However, it is also important that we make sure the impact and legacy of the Games are more far reaching and have a tangible effect on our economy and communities now and long after the Games have closed."

This is only the second time an Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games has been hosted within two years of each other in the same country, the first being in Canada when they hosted both the Montreal 1976 Olympics and the Edmonton 1978 Commonwealth Games.

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