Ninety primary school children from across Edinburgh will strut their stuff in Festival Square, Edinburgh on Thursday 14th October as they perform a special ‘sport dance’ to celebrate the Delhi Commonwealth Games Handover Ceremony taking place at this year’s Commonwealth Games. The Edinburgh Commonwealth Games Handover event, which is part of EventScotland’s Games for Scotland initiative, is one of a number of events taking place across the country designed to create a sense of pride around Scotland’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

The children from Stenhouse, Prestonfield and Royal Mile Primary Schools have been training hard with instructors from Dance Base, national centre for dance, to prepare for their Games for Scotland dance exhibition. Their dance will be performed in front of the Big Screen before the Delhi Handover Ceremony is broadcast live from India.

Sport Dance involves using sports skills choreographed into a dance routine.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop will introduce the young dancers’ performance.

Ms Hyslop said: “This handover ceremony will mark the start of the official countdown to Scotland hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The Games present an unrivalled opportunity to show the world what our nation has to offer and to create a lasting legacy for the whole of Scotland.

“Already the Games are inspiring Scots to get involved and to get active. It is fantastic to see so many communities joining in the celebrations as we start our push to Get Scotland Dancing and create an Active Nation.”

The Games for Scotland event in Festival Square has been organised by the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games Legacy Group, namely: the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Leisure, NHS Lothian, Festivals Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh and Stevenson College.

Edinburgh’s three Delhi handover ‘cast members’, who were selected to represent the city in the Games’ mass-choreographed closing ceremony, have produced a video blog diary of their time at Bootcamp. This will also be broadcast on the Big Screen on Thursday afternoon.

The Handover Ceremony marks the Flag Handover from Delhi to Glasgow, and includes an eight-minute creative programme to showcase Glasgow and Scotland to the rest of the world. The performance, which will involve a mass choreographed dance routine, will take place in the spectacular Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in front of a stadium audience of 60,000 during the Closing Ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The performance will be beamed live across the Commonwealth to an estimated audience of 1 billion people.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convenor for the City of Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh has forged a reputation as one of the World’s leading destinations for major sporting events and we’re committed, through our successful Activcity programme, to harnessing the excitement of these occasions to inspire residents of all ages to discover the benefits of a healthy active lifestyle. We and our partners, including Edinburgh Leisure, are already working extremely hard to ensure that the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games leave a lasting, valuable legacy for future generations to come. This handover ceremony celebration in Festival Square is an excellent way of publicly demonstrating this commitment.”

Edinburgh Leisure Legacy Officer, Shelagh Jackson, said: “Edinburgh Leisure is delighted to be a key partner in this exciting and energetic event which marks the official handover of The Commonwealth Games to Scotland.  Edinburgh Leisure’s core purpose is to ensure as many people in Edinburgh become and stay active and we look forward to exploring the wealth of opportunities to inspire the people of Edinburgh to take part in physical activity that becoming host nation to The Commonwealth Games will bring.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said: “The Edinburgh Commonwealth Games Handover Event is a fantastic event which we are delighted to be supporting as part of the Games for Scotland programme. The event will provide local community members with the opportunity to unite and take pride in Scotland’s role as host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is a fantastic example of Edinburgh Council’s contribution to making Scotland the perfect stage for events.”

Minister for Public Health and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “I’m delighted to see all 32 local authorities taking part and joining in the celebrations around the handover of the Commonwealth Games to Scotland. The range of these events will help make the Handover a memorable occasion across Scotland and build real excitement and involvement in our communities as we take a significant step to hosting the Games in 2014. We want to create a lasting legacy from the games and we want to get the country involved. The events will be a chance for Scots all over the country to join in, be inspired and get active.”