UWS won a gold medal in the Research Impact category of the Game Changer Awards, which took place at a ceremony last night, Thursday 3 April 2014, at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow.

The Game Changer Awards, organised in collaboration by Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland, and backed by Legacy 2014 and the Scottish Funding Council, celebrate the many and varied contributions made by Scotland’s colleges and higher education institutions to the success of the Games and to ensure a lasting legacy for the nation.

The event saw gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded. UWS won a gold medal award for its project, Leveraging Para-sports Events for Sustainable Community Participation.

This collaborative project between UWS and University of Western Ontario aims to examine how the hosting of integrated or non-integrated sports events for people with a disability are being used to create opportunities for community participation and to influence community attitudes towards disability. This study will contribute to the ongoing debate about integrated or separate sports events and the literature on the wider social value of hosting sporting events.

Professor Gayle McPherson, Chair in Events and Cultural Policy at UWS, is heading up this project. The project also sees key input from Professor David McGillivray of the University’s Creative Media Academy.

Professor McPherson said: “We are delighted to have won a gold medal in the Research Impact category of the Game Changer Awards. Our project focuses on how the catalyst effect of the Games can be used to leverage social change. This is the first research study that has sought to take a comparative approach to large scale sporting events focusing on Glasgow 2014, which is an integrated games, and next year’s Pan/Para Pan American Games in Toronto.”

The Research Impact award recognises the impact of research relevant to the Glasgow 2014 Games, its legacy goals and/or to the enhancement of sport or understanding of the Commonwealth in Scotland.