Glasgow Games ceremony to be UNICEF fundraiser
22 July 2014, 19:32
Glasgow - The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow will partly be a UNICEF fundraiser, with the agency hoping the move encourages other sporting events to use showpiece occasions as charitable platforms.
The Celtic Park spectators and the millions watching the games curtainraiser on television on Wednesday will be asked to support charitable projects in the Commonwealth of former British colonies by donating to UNICEF.
"There will be a moment where everybody involved the athletes, the audience in the stadium and the people watching on TV will have the opportunity to support us by text or through online donations," UNICEF UK chief operating officer David Sparkes. "But it's not going to be a traditional telethon."
With around 2,000 people even donating during a rehearsal, UNICEF hopes FIFA will be inspired to follow their lead at the 2018 World Cup with a similar charitable endeavor.
"It will sound slightly hubristic, (but) I think tomorrow night will prove that something is possible that will be picked up and used at every sporting event," said UNICEF ambassador David Puttnam, a UNICEF ambassador, who produced the athletics-themed film "Chariots of Fire."
"I cannot imagine the next football World Cup (in 2018) not finding a means of engaging people globally by getting them to contribute to (charity)."