Support for East Dunbartonshire’s second team is not flagging

The Queen's Baton visited Pioneer Park Primary School, Windhoek, Namibia, on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.
The Queen's Baton visited Pioneer Park Primary School, Windhoek, Namibia, on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

‘Thanks for backing us at the Commonwealth Games’ - this is the message from Namibia to East Dunbartonshire this week.

Namibia is one of the area’s ‘second teams’ - along with Jamaica and Norfolk Island. Locals have been asked to roar them on at the Glasgow Games as part of the ‘Support a Second Team’ campaign - a programme of events to engage the cultures of the Commonwealth and develop further links.

There might be more than 5,500 miles between East Dunbartonshire and the Namibian capital Windhoek, but that hasn’t stopped a firm bond being created.

The Balmore Coach House near Milngavie is planning to display art produced by talented Namibians in the run-up to the Games, which take place from July 23 to August 3. The Coach House Trust has a strong relationship with Namibia and is keen for people to rally behind the country at the Commonwealth Games.

Acclaimed artist John Muafangejo is from Namibia and Balmore Trust chairman John Riches has a number of his works - as well as prints by other artists from the country.

Mr Riches also hopes to show some of the artworks in Milngavie, Kirkintilloch and perhaps a local school.

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: “It’s wonderful to see that the people of Namibia are keen to build links between their beautiful country and East Dunbartonshire.

“I was delighted to see young people in Namibia ‘fly the flag’ for East Dunbartonshire and I’m sure we will return the favour when the Games begin on July 23.

“Excitement is really building as we get closer and closer to the Commonwealth Games. It’s going to be a thrilling celebration of sport and also a great opportunity for local young people to learn about different cultures and countries.

“I look forward to cheering on Namibia - as well as Scotland and our other ‘second teams’, Norfolk Island and Jamaica - when the Games kick off.”

The Queen’s Baton Relay is due to arrive in Jamaica on April 5.

Meanwhile, people in East Dunbartonshire are being urged to apply to join the cast of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games.

This is your chance to play a part in one of the biggest parties Glasgow has ever seen.

Both the opening and closing ceremonies will be performed in a stadium to live audiences in excess of 40,000. In addition, hundreds of millions of people will be watching the ceremonies on television across the world.

No previous experience or specific skills are required, just enthusiasm and commitment. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, February 14.

The opening ceremony performance will take place on July 23 at Celtic Park while the closing ceremony takes place on August 3 at Hampden Park. A cast of up to 3,000 volunteer performers will be needed. Visit for information.