On Thursday August 21st a number of our research participants attended our latest focus group meeting in Parkhead Library in the East End of Glasgow. This was the first meeting since the Commonwealth Games and provided a good opportunity for us all to hear and share out experiences and views of the Games – and their impact on the East End and on Glasgow more widely.
Together with the many research diary entries that we have received thus far, it is clear that the Glasgow Commonwealth Games have provoked very different experiences for individuals, for different groups of people and for different parts of Glasgow. For some of our research participants, the Games were a rare opportunity for Glasgow to be shown to a global audience in a new light – challenging some of the age-old and enduring legacies of the city as run down place of deprivation, disadvantage, despair and delinquency. Some of those attending the meeting and contributing to our Beyond Stigma research project through email and frequent diary entries had other views – notably that the East End and many of the people within it felt ‘excluded’ from the Games – and thought that it has ‘passed them by’. ‘It wasn’t for the likes of us’ was one comment.
As might be expected, there were other views that while also sceptical about the longer term legacy of the Games, nonetheless felt that the event was generally positive and while short-lived – would have positive effects in the future.
All agreed that within a few weeks since the end of the Games, perhaps it is too soon for anything concrete to emerge. Some concerns were raised that the Athletes’ Village will not be available for social housing for another two years while others commented that the East End was still facing some degree of disruption, with road closures and the like.
We are delighted with the contributions made by our research members and look forward to seeing all their diaries in due course.
Thanks to everyone who attended and to others unable to attend who have sent us some valuable contributions.
Gerry, Kirsteen and Vikki