From Athens to Lanarkshire

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By Jennifer Russell

The International Children’s games 2011 will be hosted in Lanarkshire after a joint bid from North and South Lanarkshire Council was successful. This will bring the worlds biggest youth sporting event to Scotland for the first time. Up to 1,500 competitors aged between 12-15 from more than 70 countries will descend on Lanarkshire in August 2011.

In June this year it was hosted in Athens and Scotland is proud to be hosting the next event.

Both North and South Lanarkshire council believe the 2011 games represent a unique opportunity to encourage young people to take part in sport. The hope is that many children taking part in the Children’s Games in 2011 will go on to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth games in 2014.

The first International Children’s Games took place in Celgic, Slovenia in 1968 and more than 40 years later they are still going, growing from strength to strength with each new vision from the each new host.

In a statement to the Lanarkshire Children’s Games Committee, Alex Salmond, First Minister, stated, “We are looking forward enormously… to starting a process of great sporting events in Scotland over the next few years, with the Children’s Games in 2011, culminating in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the Ryder Cup of 2014. So from all of Scotland, we wish North and South Lanarkshire well … and we look forward enormously to the Children’s Games of 2011.”

The range of facilities in Lanarkshire are extensive. From new sport facilities being built on the Ravenscraig site which will hold Judo and Badminton events, to the Esporta Health and Racquets club home to the seven indoor tennis courts and 3 outdoor courts, Lanarkshire has a lot to offer.

With the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Scotland’s Sporting calendar is full. We have great events to look forward to that will really put Scotland on the sporting map.