The Commonwealth Games effect

Speaker Dr Robert Rogerson at Glasgow's Tollcross pool, where the Commonwealth Games swimming events will be held
Speaker Dr Robert Rogerson at Glasgow's Tollcross pool, where the Commonwealth Games swimming events will be held
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A talk in Galashiels next week will centre on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games which will take place in Glasgow later this year.

The Royal Scottish Geographical Society’s (RSGS) winter programme continues in Galashiels on Tuesday when RSGS board member and the games’ legacy research coordinator, Dr Robert Rogerson will speak about Planning Legacy: Glasgow 2014 and the City’s Future.

He will examine the impact of the games on the economic and social health and well-being of Glasgow and Scotland, focusing on sport and physical activity, cultural heritage, crime, and community engagements.

He told The Southern: “I will explore how the planning for legacy associated with the 2014 Commonwealth Games is unique, much more organised than any previous events, including the London 2012 Olympics, and how there is a specific Glasgow model to legacy which links with the wider priorities and strategies for social and economic development.

“I will also talk about what people in the local communities as well as in the city council and the organising committee consider is legacy. And I will consider different options on how the future for Glasgow and its citizens may be shaped by this legacy – from one option where all the aspirations are met to other options where there is no follow-through after a successful summer of sport.”

A similar talk he gave last year attracted one of the RSGS’s largest afternoon audiences: “It’s clear the topic is of great interest and relevance.”

The Glaswegian geography graduate, whose doctoral research was into glacial geomorphology, was head of Strathclyde University’s geography department for eight years, before becoming deputy director of the Institute for Future Cities, an international research unit within the university exploring the development of sustainable cities.

The former Scottish Veteran marathon and half-marathon champion chairs RSGS’ research and scientific advisory committee. He is lead coach and race organiser for his local athletes’ club, Kirkintilloch Olympians, and has, in the last five years, competed at international level for Scotland in road and cross-country events.

He said: “Running provides the opportunity not only to keep fit, but also to appreciate the many aspects of the natural and built environment which we miss in other ways.

“I get absorbed into the places where I run and seek out new routes so that I can see new places, meet new people.

“I love the thrill of exploring pathways, having time to note features of the landscape I miss as I drive past and I love communicating that to others.

“I organise running events to give others the chance to feel this, and select routes as coach for my local club to ensure others get a chance to explore places too.”

Married to fellow outdoors enthusiast, Abi, the pair also ski and cycle.

Dr Rogerson is also an advisor to Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government on legacy, and is a member of the Glasgow Legacy Board.

Tickets for the talk at the Heriot-Watt Netherdale campus from 7.30pm are available at the door: £8 for adults, free for students, under-18s and RSGS members.