It still hasn't sunk in that my team won the gold award

I WAS invited by the University of the West of Scotland's Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Craig Mahoney, to attend the prestigious Games Changer Awards Ceremony at the City Halls earlier this month.

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I also currently assist with a university's research project that is looking at Glasgow 2014 in relation to the Para-Sports movement.

The Game Changer Awards was hosted by Universities Scotland and Colleges Scotland.

They had teamed up to host a one-off award ceremony that recognises and celebrates the many contributions that staff and students in Scotland's further and higher education sectors are making to ensure that Glasgow 2014 is a fantastic success and will deliver an enduring legacy for Scotland's people.

It attracted more than 110 entries from staff and students from colleges and universities across Scotland with a total of 21 institutions producing winning entries.

The ceremony was attended by more than 275 people.

Guests included, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell, Glasgow 2014's Chief Executive David Grevemberg, former First Minister Rt Hon Henry McLeish and Glasgow 2014 mascot, Clyde.

The winners were announced by the host of the evening, Scottish stand-up and broadcaster Fred MacAulay.

There were six different categories that recognised the vast contribution further and higher education intuitions are making between Glasgow 2014 and it legacy.

We were finalists in the Research Impact Contribution alongside entries from Glasgow University, as well as a collaboration between the universities of Stirling, Dundee and Glasgow.

This award recognised the impact of research relevant to the Glasgow 2014 Games, its legacy and the enhancement of sport or our understanding of the Commonwealth in Scotland.

The Leveraging ParaSports Events for Sustainable Community Participation is a collaborative research project between the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and University of Western Ontario.

It aims to examine how the hosting of integrated or non-integrated sports events for people with a disability are being used to create opportunities for community participation and to influence attitudes towards disability.

This study will contribute to the ongoing debate about integrated or separate sports events and the literature on the wider social value of hosting sporting events.

The Research Impact category was decided by experts from Research Councils UK.

There was fierce competition in our category and then Fred announced there were two gold and one bronze.

We were one of the teams to scoop gold.

It still hasn't sunk in that my team, led by Professor Gayle McPherson, chairwoman of events and cultural policy at UWS, Dr Laura Misener (University of Western Ontario), Professor David Legg (Mount Royal University) and Professor David McGillivray of UWS, has won the gold award.

I feel extremely privileged to have joined this team on contributing to an international project.

I wish to thank Professor Gayle McPherson for letting me part of a renowned team which has been an exciting undertaking so far.


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