Published On: Wed, Jul 23rd, 2014 at 8:45pm

UNICEF the winner at the Commonwealth Games

International singing superstar Nicole Scherzinger and cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy are two of the star-studded names appearing in a global fundraising first at the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony this evening 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 children in every country 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 will all have the chance to play their part in the ceremony and be invited to Put Children First by making a donation via a text number or url which will create a powerful Games legacy for children.

Sir Chris unveiled the first glimpse of some of the legendary personalities involved in making the Opening Ceremony a unique and momentous opportunity for children in a short film.

It shows Nicole and Chris, along with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, footballing supremo Sir Alex Ferguson and Line of Duty actress Keeley Hawes, as never seen before, exploring different regions of the Commonwealth over the past three months to witness UNICEF’s life-changing work.

The 90 second trailer film, introduced by Chris Hoy, gives a taster of Glasgow 2014 and UNICEF’s joint ambition to make these Commonwealth Games a unique opportunity to change the lives of children across the Commonwealth.

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 her trip to Guyana in Latin America, singer Nicole said: “It was wonderful to see how UNICEF is transforming children’s lives. I had the blessing of meeting children with disabilities who for most of their lives had been stuck at home or in schools without any accessible or welcoming outdoor space. But now, these children have somewhere safe to play and I could see they had hope and happiness in their lives. And that means everything.

“The Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony is going to be so exciting. Come on everyone, put 23rd July in your diaries, and tune in to help Keeley, Sachin, Sir Chris, Sir Alex, me, and many, many more, make the Commonwealth Games a life-changing moment for children. Together, wherever we are in the world, we can make sure children come first.”

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.

“And things we take for granted in the UK, like basic medicine, are not always available in Malawi. I was especially inspired by an incredible young health worker I met called Daniel, who delivers lifesaving medicines to children and their families in some of Malawi’s most rural and remote villages – often located in forests and along unpaved roads which he travels by a personal favourite of mine, the humble bicycle.”

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.”

Speaking about his involvement with UNICEF, Sachin Tendulkar said: “I am proud to be part of the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony in support of UNICEF’s global appeal for children. I’ve witnessed how UNICEF makes such a difference to children’s lives, and I hope that everyone will tune in to the Opening Ceremony to be part of a Commonwealth-wide moment that has never been done before.”

All money raised by UNICEF and Glasgow 2014 through the Opening Ceremony will go to UNICEF’s Children of the Commonwealth Fund and  will help protect children from poverty, disease and exploitation, provide life-saving food and vaccines, and give millions of children the chance to take part in sport – many for the first time.

 

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