Extravagant displays at Falkirk High

Young dancers prepare to take part in 'Commonwealth is Coming ...'
Young dancers prepare to take part in 'Commonwealth is Coming ...'

Dancing athletes, rugby players and gymnasts were just some of the talented youngsters taking part in a performance last week.

But instead of the running track, pitches or sports centres, they were taking a bow on the stage at Falkirk High School.

The young people, aged five to 18, were involved in one of the free dance and sports activities being organised as part of the build-up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Falkirk Community Trust Arts Development and Active Schools secured £10,000 in funding from EventScotland’s ‘Games for Scotland 2013’ programme to enable youngsters to take part.

‘Commonwealth is Coming ...’ was a one week intensive dance programme which interpreted selected sports including gymnastics, athletics, judo, netball and rugby sevens, culminating in a public performance.

It was an opportunity for the young people to be put through their paces by professional dance artists and sport coaches.

Kirsty Wallace, Falkirk Community Trust’s active schools co-ordinator said the overarching theme will be the countdown to Glasgow 2014, incorporating the “physicality of the sports while exploring the passion and drive of the athletes”.

The dance artists also explored the cultures, music and traditional dance of selected countries The Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas, as well as Scotland.

Rehearsals and the final performance were filmed with the film to be shown at Falkirk Council and Community Trust venues, as well as those operated by Falkirk Delivers, to continue the local promotion of the 2014 Games in the area.

Kirsty said: “We are delighted to deliver the ‘One Year to Go ... Commonwealth is Coming’ project in Falkirk this summer. It is a fantastic opportunity for children of different ages and abilities to work with professional dance artistes and sport coaches, and for senior pupils to develop their leadership skills; all dancers and athletes alike will showcase their own talents and celebrate the countdown to Glasgow 2014.”

The initiative has already included ‘One Year, One Vision’ which saw dancers from Indepen-dance working for four weeks with pupils from Carrongrange School.

Again the youngsters put on a performance for their peers and family and friends with the event being filmed.

‘Commonwealth Countdown’ saw youngsters take part in week-long taster sessions for 12 sports which are part of the Games, while a ‘Mini Commonwealth Games’ has taken place at five centres across the district.

Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: “With the theme around ‘One Year to Go’, the Games for Scotland programme encourages communities across Scotland to feel part of the excitement building around the 2014 Games.

“Thousands of people are able to join in this fantastic opportunity to celebrate our modern and vibrant culture, helping to deliver a legacy that Scots everywhere can feel proud of.”

Paul Bush of EventScotland said: “We are delighted to be working with Falkirk Community Trust in the delivery of what promises to be a fantastic event. ‘One Year to Go ... Commonwealth is Coming’ epitomises what the Games for Scotland programme has been designed to accomplish; inspiring, motivating and engendering pride amongst the people of Scotland.”