Students to represent Scotland in Commonwealth Games closing ceremony

11 June 2010

Students to represent Scotland in Commonwealth Games closing ceremony

NINE Glasgow Caledonian University students are looking forward to the experience of a lifetime as they prepare to represent Glasgow and Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games flag handover in Delhi in October.

Four of the university’s students – Danielle Borrett, Gemma Hammond, Keri McDonald, and Sophia Wiederman  – will be part of the 348 strong Scottish cast who will perform a mass choreographed dance routine at the spectacular closing ceremony for Delhi’s Games, while four BA (Hons) Entertainment and Events Management students – Cheryl Galbraith, Jade Gallagher, Martin Malone and Gemma Porter – and Sports Management student Alison McArthur have been successful in achieving coveted work experience as Cast and Project Co-ordinators for the event.

The handover ceremony and performance in Delhi will showcase Glasgow as the next Commonwealth Games host city in four years time. It is part of the closing ceremony which traditionally has a celebratory festival feel, uniting athletes, audiences and organisers together for one last time at the end of the events.

Cast members will perform a mass choreographed dance routine to represent Glasgow and Scotland in front of the 60,000 capacity crowd at the ceremony, while Cast and Project Co-ordinators will work with Culture and Sport Glasgow and gain valuable work experience helping with the planning and delivery of cast activities and taking care of cast member needs from now until they return from the event in Delhi. 

Planned and organised by world leading talents such as Creative Director Mark Fisher who was chief stage designer for the Beijing Olympics handover ceremony in 2008 and has staged major concerts for megastars Pink Floyd and U2, the event is expected to be nothing less than spectacular.

Cast member Danielle Borrett is in the third year of her fashion business course and is a volunteer with the university’s international student support service. She says: “I am passionate about travel and culture so I’m very excited about this opportunity to perform in Delhi. I have met many of the international students at our university through the international student support service and am looking forward to being able to tell them all about my experiences in India! 

"I hope the show will be amazing and believe that my experiences in the student leadership programme and as a class representative mean I will be a good ambassador for the university. University has taught me how to make the most of your time and I think that will help me have the best experience I can while in Delhi!”

Dr David McGillivray, Senior Lecturer in Event Policy, Glasgow Caledonian University’s Department of Cultural Business said: “We are delighted that so many of our students will be in Delhi representing the university and the City of Glasgow.  It is particularly pleasing that five of these students are working with the Delhi Flag Handover Team in project and cast coordinator roles. 

"We were one of only two HE institutions in the city that were given these opportunities thanks to our close working relationship with Culture and Sport Glasgow’s events team over the last few years.  The successful students are a credit to the department and to the university as they had to undertake a competitive interview process to secure their places on the plane to Delhi in October and many were successful at interview because of the work experiences they have accrued as part of their degree programmes. 

"Our students must secure a minimum of 300 hours of work experience before they graduate, an approach that makes us unique in Scotland and which is being followed in many UK institutions delivering event management education”. 

Professor Gayle McPherson, Head of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Department of Cultural Business said: “The university has strong links with Culture and Sport Glasgow and we have developed a Memorandum of Understanding between us. 

"This arrangement involves Culture and Sport Glasgow staff teaching our students and our students and staff working with Culture and Sport Glasgow.  I was Cultural Advisor in the bid stage for Glasgow 2014 and the university is always keen to ensure that our high-level staff contacts are used to benefit our students in their learning and future careers. 

"We are delighted to have been able to secure this once in a lifetime opportunity for so many students.” 

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