Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony first to feature a Commonwealth-wide fundraiser for children

TORONTO, July 23, 2014 /CNW/ - International singing superstar Nicole Scherzinger and cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy are two of the star-studded names who will appear in a global fundraising first at the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony on 23 July to help UNICEF save and change the lives of millions of children across the Commonwealth.

Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and UNICEF have forged a ground-breaking partnership, with the ambition of improving the lives of the most vulnerable children in countries in the Commonwealth through raising money for the Children of the Commonwealth Fund, in the run-up to and during the Games.

Spectators, athletes and an expected one billion viewers from across the Commonwealth, including from Canada, will all have the chance to play their part in the ceremony and be invited to Put Children First by making a donation which will create a powerful Games legacy for children.

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony will air LIVE on CBC and via cbc.ca on July 23 at 3:30 pm ET. Canadians can also follow the events on Twitter #Glasgow2014 or #PutChildrenFirst and can make a donation to the Children of the Commonwealth fund by texting "SPORT" to 45678 or by visiting www.unicef.ca.

Exclusive footage which captures the stars and the children they met across the Commonwealth will feature in the Opening Ceremony, culminating in this unique and unifying fundraising moment.

Speaking about his trip to Malawi, Sir Chris Hoy said:
"Meeting children whose lives have been so hugely improved by UNICEF was an incredible experience that will stay with me forever.

"In some parts of Malawi children are going hungry, but at school they are provided with a nutritious meal. Shockingly, for many of them it's the only meal they will get all day.

He added: "The Opening Ceremony will be a spectacular moment for Glasgow, Scotland and the Commonwealth as we attempt something that has never been done before; I'm so proud to be a part of that, and I hope everyone will join us by watching on 23 July."

Sharon Avery, UNICEF Canada's Chief Development Officer said:
"We believe that sport has the power to change children's lives. As a Commonwealth nation, we are incredibly proud of the partnership of UNICEF and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to mobilize athletes, fans, coaches, parents to help put children first. As the largest humanitarian organization for children, we strive to help children and their families to ensure children survive. Through this global sporting event we will be able to leave a legacy for children of the Commonwealth by a collective effort to raise funds."

Note to Editors

  1. Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games Federation and UNICEF have partnered to create the Put Children First Appeal.  All donations to the Appeal will support UNICEF's Children of the Commonwealth Fund, which aims to reach children in every Commonwealth country by the time of the next Commonwealth Games in 2018.

  2. The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of 15,000 volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.

  3. Glasgow 2014's official partner level sponsors are Longines, SSE, Virgin Media, BP, Emirates and Ford. For more information on Glasgow 2014's full sponsor family, please visit http://www.glasgow2014.com/games/our-sponsors

  4. Audiovisual assets:

    For high resolution photos of Nicole Scherzinger and Sir Chris Hoy in action, please use https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rqa4n50yyslbdur/AACe7t0W0grpyxH28tDeMivva

    The full 90 second film, including Chris Hoy introduction and trailer film, is live at http://www.unicef.org.uk/glasgowpreview

    The 30 second UNICEF Canada PSA is available at www.unicef.ca/sport

About UNICEF
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

For further information: Layal Horanieh, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Canada, lhoranieh@unicef.ca, (514) 482-6552 ext. 8425; Cell: (514) 232-4510 or Kirsten Ferguson, Commonwealth Games Communications Manager, UNICEF UK, kirstenf@unicef.org.uk, +44 7979 159 221. From Glasgow 2014, Kate McCheyne, PR Manager, kate.mcheyne@glasgow2014.com + (44) 30 2014 0176 / 7557 565 423