Wanted: Community heroes worthy of free tickets for Games

GOLD dust tickets for the Common­wealth Games are up for grabs by Glasgow's unsung heroes.

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The Evening Times has 12 pairs of tickets to give away to worthy members of the community.

Up to one million briefs for the sporting extravaganza sold out in the first and second ticketing phases last year and it is impossible to buy a seat for any of the 17 sports at the Games.

But, thanks to the Scottish Government's Legacy Ticket scheme, we are able to reward those who are most deserving with a seat at the big event.

We are searching for young sports fans involved in sport at school, in the community or in a local club, the dedicated volunteers who make sport happen, those who work to improve their community more generally and disadvantaged people who do not have the opportunity to experience the Games.

As excitement builds ahead of the spectacle, groups and individuals across the city are working hard to make sure the benefits are felt for years to come.

They are working on everything from art and theatre performances to new sports clubs and dance classes to get people moving.

First Minister Alex Salmond said Glasgow 2014 was a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to secure a legacy for communities across Scotland.

He said: "The Scottish Government is delighted to work with the Evening Times as we encourage you to identify and nominate someone in your community who you feel deserves to experience the Games first hand."

In the East End, legacy project Active East is working tirelessly to create opportunities for young people to get involved in sporting and recreational activities.

It is offering £70,000 a year for five years in small grants to fund grassroots initiatives and has already supported dozens of opportunities across the area.

The project has identified 55 people, aged 14 to 25, to work as Active Champions, learning the skills they need to lead the way in their communities now and in the future.

Since February last year, the volunteers, who work across 29 different groups, have given more than 5000 hours of their time to sports initiatives in the East End.

But Kirsty Partridge, Active East's programme manager, said many of the young volunteers had been unable to get tickets because they could not afford them or did not have bank accounts to buy them.

She said: "One of the bugbears has been trying to get the tickets for the Games. We were not successful in getting any tickets for the Active Champions.

"For some of the young people there is a barrier to the Games because not having a bank account meant they could not get tickets.

"Getting tickets would be the icing on the cake and let them go along and be part of the Games.

"It would mean the world to be part of the Games that is happening on their doorstep. Being able to talk about being there would be an inspiration to the community."

Monday marks 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremony and this week we are asking people to nominate those working hardest in their community for a pair of tickets to the Games.

All you have to do is write, in about 100 words, why the person you have chosen is worthy of one of the last remaining seats.

Mr Salmond said: "You will know the unsung heroes who are already making a difference - whether it is a young person involved in sport, someone helping to make sport happen by volunteering or someone making your community a better place.

"As the excitement and enthusiasm builds, we can look forward to a Games that will welcome friends from around the world and will shape memories for us all."

To nominate your unsung hero, please email 100 words explaining why they are worthy of the tickets to great.giveaway@heraldandtimes.co.uk putting SPORTS in the subject line.

The deadline is Wednesday, April 30.

matty.sutton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Sport

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