GCU research builds on 2014 Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup excitement

12 September 2013

Dr John Harris, Reader in International Sport and Event Management, has presented a paper at the UACES annual conference, the University Association for Contemporary European Studies, focusing on the role of the Ryder Cup in promoting European identity.

Dr Harris’ research has analysed the impact of the unique golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States on European identity, including the heavy presence of the European flag alongside country flags which presents national identities as part of a wider European identity.

For the first time since 1973, and for only the second in the history of The Ryder Cup, Scotland plays host to the golf tournament in 2014.

2014 is already an important year for sports in Scotland, with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games. Tender opportunities available to businesses for the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup 2014 are worth £50 million.

Dr Harris said: “This will be the biggest year for sport that Scotland has ever had. It could give businesses a window to Europe, North America and beyond, exposing them to new opportunities for brand positioning.

“With the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup returning to Scotland next year, there has never been a better time to look at what sport means and the role it plays in shaping identities.”

GCU is building on the energy and excitement surrounding the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games, with new Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes preparing graduates for working in international sports management, international tourism management and international events management. GCU is also working with visitors, athletes, scholars and students for Glasgow 2014.

Another recent development is the creation of the GCU Sport and Identities research group, an interdisciplinary collective of scholars with interests and expertise related to the sports world.

This research group has an international focus and a commitment to the study of sport 'in the round' transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries and critically assessing the ways in which sport really matters. 

Meanwhile, tourism experts from Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development were called on to assess the feasibility of converting an historic building into a mountain biking and sports resource centre, linking with the Cathkin Braes mountain bike tracks and the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

A £500,000 grant has been awarded to help transform St Martin's Church in Castlemilk. The church is one of 10 projects to share £2.6m from Historic Scotland.