33Fifty, a key legacy programme of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, was officially launched in Edinburgh on 28 November 2013 by Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport.

At the launch, the Minister spoke about why 33Fifty will contribute to the global legacy of the Commonwealth Games. Guests at the event included senior executives of international organisations, Youth Legacy Ambassadors and Commonwealth representatives.

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The Minister said: “Scotland is gearing up for what will be the greatest Commonwealth Games ever and young people should seize the opportunities that it provides. The Scottish Government has invested £60,000 in 33Fifty as we feel it is important to invest in young people and develop the next generation of leaders, both in Scotland and across the Commonwealth.

“The 33Fifty programme embodies our ambitions to connect knowledge across nations and to inspire the next generation of leaders. This is a once in lifetime chance for young people across Scotland and the Commonwealth.”

Over four days in Glasgow and Edinburgh the participants will tackle the challenge “What role does the youth of the Commonwealth need to play in progress toward low-carbon economies?” The programme will see participants present their reports to Commonwealth Sports Ministers, International Development Ministers or Heads of State who will be gathered for the Commonwealth Games.

“33Fifty not only gives young people the opportunity to develop themselves, increase their Cultural Intelligence and build bridges across the Commonwealth, but also to tackle a challenge which they have been left the responsibility of facing.” said Chief Executive of Common Purpose Charitable Trust, Julia Middleton.“The development of low-carbon economies is one which is vital and yet has not been given enough focus by my generation; I’m interested to see what the next generation of leaders have to say about that.”

Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Michael Lake, said: “This Glasgow Games youth leadership programme provides an important platform for bright, conscientious young Commonwealth citizens to come together to affect positive change in their communities and around the world. This programme builds on the Royal Commonwealth Society’s previous experience with young people, giving them a unique space to collaborate and to come up with tangible solutions to a particular challenge facing the Commonwealth as a whole.”

33Fifty is sponsored by The Scottish Government, Weir Group PLC and De La Rue PLC. The University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh are the host partners of 33Fifty and will provide accommodation and venue space for the programme. Speaking at the launch, Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice Principal Public Policy and Impact at The University of Edinburgh, said"We are delighted to be a host partner for this initiative which ties in closely with the University's own efforts to promote educational and cultural exchange across the world.  We look forward to welcoming the young Commonwealth leaders to the City in July 2014". 

Applications for 33Fifty are open until 16 March 2014 and 100 participants will be chosen from across the Commonwealth.In addition, organisations can also get involved by sponsoring a young person to come to the programme.

Ellie Bird, CSCLeaders and Common Purpose alumnus, said: “I would encourage people who are in a position to sponsor those young people to give them a chance. From my experience if you give young people an opportunity, if they’ve got the wherewithal to grab it, they will just be turned into the most tremendous amazing people, and I really would encourage people to get involved.” For more information on how to sponsor a participant, please email info@33fifty.org.