By James Crook

glasgowyouthMarch 28 - Glasgow will have an opportunity to show off its credentials for its bid to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games to host the event as it prepares to host Scotland's largest multi-sport event for young people later this year.

The Glasgow Youth Games will see around 3,000 schoolchildren compete over two designated primary and secondary school days, giving up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to compete at two of the city's top sporting venues: Scotstoun Stadium and the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena.

All Primary 5, 6 and 7 and all S1 and S2 secondary school children in Glasgow will receive an invitation from event organisers Glasgow Life, giving them the opportunity to take part in "come and try" sessions in any of the 13 sports on offer.

The aim of the Glasgow Youth Games is to inspire youngsters to take part in sport and to take up new sports, as well as giving them a taste of competing at top-class sporting venues.

With the Commonwealth Games taking place in Scotland's largest city next year and a strong bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in progress, the next few years mark a major opportunity for Glasgow to enhance its already flourishing reputation as a city with sport firmly at its core.

109750024Glasgow schoolchildren will have the opportunity to compete at the Scotstoun Stadium during the Glasgow Youth Games

Elsa Castle, headteacher of local school Mosspark Primary, said: "These Games are so important.

"For many of our pupils this is their first opportunity to join in a sporting occasion on this grand scale.

"The feedback after last year's event was wonderful; the kids were bright red, but beaming from ear to ear and keen to show off their certificates.

"But most importantly it encouraged many of the children to carry on with the sports they tried. It is always a great day."

Glasgow 2018 Bid Director Paul Bush spoke of how the event would provide the perfect platform to showcase the city's ambition and desire to host the third Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018 as the date of the announcement of the winning bid city draws ever closer.

"Over the years Glasgow has shown a real commitment to getting young people more involved in sport and the Youth Games is a perfect example of this." he said.

"It will be fantastic to see so young people taking over the city's world-class facilities during the event, showing the power of sport and showing what the city has to offer in 2018."

The Glasgow Youth Games were incepted in 1996 and will be run in association with Glasgow Airport for the tenth year this year.

"The Glasgow Youth Games is a fantastic event and one we have been proud to be associated with for 10 years." said Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport

"As we draw ever closer to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Youth Games will provide the perfect platform to promote sport for all and hopefully encourage the 3,000 participants to try a wide variety of events with the added incentive of performing in two of the city's world class venues."

The primary school event will take place on 17 May, with the secondary school event due to take place on May 31.

Glasgow faces stiff competition from the Colombian city of Medellin and Argentinian capital Buenos Aires in the race to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, with a decision on the host city due to be announced on  July 4 in Lausanne.

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