Glasgow’s commitment to delivering world-class sports facilities and creating coaching opportunities for young people has been given the Royal seal of approval by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they launched a new coaching programme in the city today (Thursday).

Their Royal Highnesses spent the morning meeting young people at the city’s recently opened £113million Emirates Arena before visiting the Glasgow Club Donald Dewar where they launched the Scottish pilot of the Coach Core programme on behalf of their Foundation, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry (The Royal Foundation)

The Emirates Arena, which was built by Glasgow City Council for the people of Glasgow, is home to a world-class sporting events programme. It will be a flagship venue for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games when it will host the badminton and track cycling events and is at the heart of the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Later this year it will be home to the Junior Track World Championships and World Youth Netball Championships.

During the tour of the state-of-the-art facility The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched aspiring athletes and sports stars, including pupils from the Glasgow School of Sport, undertake training sessions in athletics, track cycling, badminton, football and netball. They then viewed a Glasgow 2014 exhibition where they met young people including Beth Gilmour who designed Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde and apprentices who were employed as part of the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative.

Their Royal Highnesses also met Mahad Ahmed and Jasmine Main – two young ambassadors who have been driving the city’s bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games – and young City Building apprentices who worked on the construction of the Emirates Arena.

At the Glasgow Club Donald Dewar Their Royal Highnesses launched a Scottish pilot of the innovative Coach Core project. The Royal Foundation is partnering with Glasgow Life and the Hunter Foundation on the project as part of its national Coach Core initiative. The pilot will inspire and train the next generation of sports coaches, working with young people to give them the skills and confidence to see coaching as a future career opportunity.

The Royal Foundation launched Coach Core in July last year, the day prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games and it is hoped that the Glasgow project will form an important part of the legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

Chief Executive of The Royal Foundation Nick Booth said: “Inspiring young people to be able to fulfil their potential in life is at the heart of everything that The Royal Foundation is seeking to achieve. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Glasgow Sport and the Hunter Foundation on this pilot of our Coach Core programme and to be able to contribute to training the next generation of inspirational young sports coaches for Glasgow and for Scotland.”

Chair of Glasgow Life and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “This visit highlights our shared vision and commitment to sport in Glasgow, from investing in world-class facilities such as the stunning new Emirates Arena through to our partnership with The Royal Foundation, which will create coaching opportunities at a grassroots level.

“The Emirates Arena was built for the people of Glasgow and it is local people who use it on a daily basis. At the same time it is hosting a series of international events, helping inspire the next generation of sports stars and athletes. That will be the real legacy of this venue.

“Sports coaches are at the very heart of sport in Glasgow we are honoured that Their Royal Highnesses chose the city to launch the Scottish pilot of the Coach Core initiative. London 2012 inspired a generation and we want to continue that journey through the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Coach Core will help us do that.”

Sir Tom Hunter, Chairman of The Hunter Foundation, said: “Coach Core is an exceptional model of positive social intervention in that it uses sport to enable lasting change at a grassroots, community level.

“As a Foundation we are delighted to have supported The Royal Foundation in bringing this important initiative to Scotland; our hope is that the apprentice coaches employed by Glasgow Life each year will deliver transformational change in their communities through sport development… as importantly we’d like to see Coach Core delivered over time in every local authority in Scotland through the leadership of The Royal Foundation and Glasgow Life.”

Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: “We were absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to show the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge how young people are an integral part of the journey towards the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the biggest multi-sport event Scotland has ever seen.

“Young people have been involved in all of our major milestones from the creation of our Official Games Mascot, Clyde, to the design of the Official Glasgow 2014 Tartan and right through to the Commonwealth apprentices who work on delivering the Games at our Glasgow headquarters.

“Scotland has a growing reputation for staging successful world-class events and we hope that today gave Their Royal Highnesses a glimpse of what the venue will be like at Games time and how we are working towards delivering an outstanding Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.”

Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games ambassador Jasmine Main said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to tell the Duchess of Cambridge about the city’s plans to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. The London 2012 Olympic Games really inspired the nation and we want to continue that journey right through to 2018.”