IT is hard to believe that five years have passed since Glasgow joined the numbers of cities that play host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but it’s the truth.

Described by many as the ‘best Games ever’, the lasting legacy of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has been transformative to so many lives throughout the city.

So what really has changed in the five years since the Commonwealth Games first kicked off in Glasgow?

Since 2014, Glasgow Life has assisted in the creation of 18 Community Sport Hubs across the city to remove barriers for local communities to get fit and keep active.

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The Community Sports Hubs aim to develop and sustain an engaging, affordable and accessible programme of activity to encourage the inactive population to become and remain physically active.

The Community Sports Hubs have been a huge success, and a big increase in membership numbers have been recorded in the past five years. From 1,360 members in 2013/2014, the year where the Games began, there are now 10,361 members. Similarly, the number of coaches has also increased – from 49 coaches in 2013/14 to 1068 coaches in 2018-19.

Glasgow Club usage figures have also increased by more than one million since 2014, going from 5,569,977 in 2014/2015 to 6,941,711 in 2018/2019. Junior membership has also increased by 350% since 2009 and is sitting at 21,000. It is now Scotland’s largest public health and fitness network.

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Programmes such as Learn to Swim and gymnastics are among the most popular, and the Scottish Household Survey now reports that more people in Glasgow are taking part in sporting activities than in the last ten years.

In 2007/7, only 68.2% people living in Glasgow took part in sporting activities. Last year, the percentage increased to 78.2%.

The amount of people taking part in sports in Glasgow is increasing, of course: as a city, Glasgow boasts some of the most fantastic sporting facilities than in any other Commonwealth city.

The Games themselves were a fantastic demonstration of this: the largest multi-sport & cultural event held in Scotland, over 7000 athletes and team officials took part. 71 nations and territories competed in the 17 sports and 261 medal events as well as the 22 medal events over five para-sports.

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And the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games still ripples through many pockets of the city to this day.

According to Councillor David McDonald, the Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, around 10,000 people are employed in the sports sector, with a Gross Value Added contribution to the economy of around £368million.

Further sporting events have been hosted in Glasgow, such as the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the 2017 TOTAL BWF Badminton World Championships, and the inaugural 2018 European Championships which was hosted jointly with Berlin.

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David said: “We’re also set to host some spectacular events in the near future as we look forward to the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships in December of this year, the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship kicking off in March 2020, and Hampden Park hosting four matches as part of UEFA EURO 2020: events which would not have been possible had Glasgow not hosted and expertly delivered the 2014 Games."

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Partly, this is due to Glasgow’s world-class portfolio of sporting venues – the latest being the Olympic-standard Glasgow BMX centre. Of this, David said: “Upon completion of this facility, we became the only city in the world capable of hosting all Olympic cycling disciplines within the city boundary: a fact which played an integral role in Glasgow and Scotland being named the hosts of the first-ever UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023.”