The XX Commonwealth games are drawing to a close in Glasgow in just a few days time. And as you’d expect at any international competition, the quality of sport across the board has been exceptional.
But there’s far more to the Commonwealth games than just sport. The competition is as much about the 53 Commonwealth member states and their history; Empire and independence, culture and nationhood.
Yet despite their differences, the Commonwealth is a family of nations who, like any other family, have their disagreements but come together when it counts. Perhaps this is why the Glasgow games in particular have struck resonance with the question of Scottish independence.
Forgetting all the economic and political arguments of the Yes and No Campaigns, it is clear that the home nations have a unique bond. Our histories and cultures are so complexly intertwined that it is no surprise that we find ourselves willing our fellow home nations on in competition, enjoy their success as much as our own, and are as protective of them as we are of ourselves.
True, there is a sense of comradery between many of the Welsh, Scottish and English athletes because they train together, but the Scottish crowds have been equally accommodating to home nation visitors and athletes.
Whether you’re in favour of Scottish independence or not, it is difficult to ignore the sense of national pride that the games exude. What is not so clear however is how, or even if the Glasgow Commonwealth games will affect how Scotland votes on the 18th September later this year…