It will be up to the Clyde- siders to make the city's reputation for friendliness a reality for visitors

THE Commonwealth Games moved another step closer last week with the unveiling of the uniforms that will be worn by the 15,000 Clyde-siders - the volunteers who will be the friendly face of Glasgow this summer and vital to the smooth running of the biggest sporting event the city has ever hosted.

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Just as the London 2012 Games Makers stole the show at the Olympics and won the hearts of visitors from around the world, the Clyde-siders' job will be to welcome visitors to our city with a smile and help give them an experience to remember.

The first sighting of the Clyde-siders' outfits was always going to be an exciting moment in the countdown to the opening ceremony and it didn't disappoint - in my view, the design and colours are great.

I'm also very pleased that they were designed by a company based in my constituency.

Trespass, the outdoor clothing company based in the South Side, is run by two of the nicest guys and proudest Glaswegians you could meet, Afzal and Akmal Khushi.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Trespass brand, so 2014 was always going to be special for the company - it is extra special that it has also been able to celebrate it by playing such an important role in the Commonwealth Games. Last week's unveiling - and the start of the orientation courses for the Clyde-sider volunteers - was an important reminder that, for Glasgow, the Commonwealth Games are more than just a sporting occasion, vitally important though the sport will be.

They are also a chance to showcase a modern, vibrant city and to draw attention to all of the attractions Scotland has to offer.

One of the attributes Glasgow is best known for all over the world is the friendliness of her people.

It will be up to the Clyde-siders to make that reputation a reality for those who are visiting the city.

The investment in sporting facilities and in the East End generally already means that winning the Games has paid off for the city.

If we can make those people who visit Glasgow this summer, some of them for the first time, fall in love with the city and want to come back, that will be all the better. It will mean that Glasgow will get a financial return on the Games for many years to come.

Other parts of Scotland will benefit too if we can encourage those who visit Glasgow to venture further afield to enjoy our stunning scenery as well.

With only 134 days to go until the opening ceremony, there is definitely a growing sense of anticipation in the city.

We live in tough times, there is no doubting that, but for 12 days this summer, we have a chance to show the world what a great city Glasgow is and what a great country Scotland is.

We have the chance to put ourselves on the map in a way that can bring benefits for a long time to come. We must make the most of it.


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