Michael Cavanagh Receives Commonwealth Order of Merit 

December 20, 2023

Former Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland, Michael Cavanagh OBE, has been awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Order of Merit for significant contribution to the Commonwealth Sport movement. Recognised at the Commonwealth Games Federation’s General Assembly last month, he was presented with his award by Katie Sadleir, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, at the Scottish Sports Awards on 7 December. 

Reflecting, Michael said “I’m very pleased and proud to have been recognised for my contribution to Commonwealth Sport and to be awarded the Commonwealth Order of Merit, It was very special to be awarded it officially at the Scottish Sports Awards in Glasgow. 

“The Commonwealth Games has been a significant part of my life, starting with me being taken to see the Opening Ceremony of the 1970 Games in Edinburgh, which inspired me to try to become a Team Scotland athlete in my sport of wrestling, which I succeeded in achieving for the 1982 Games in Brisbane. 

“Everyone involved in the planning and delivery of the 2014 Games can be very proud of what was achieved and I am certainly proud to have played my part in delivering the ‘Best Games Ever’, which also included the best medal performance by Team Scotland at a Commonwealth Games. 

“I feel privileged to have had so many fantastic experiences by being involved in sport and the Commonwealth Games for more than 50 years and want to thank all who have supported me along the way, particularly my family.” 

Congratulating Michael, Jon Doig OBE, Chief Executive of CGS said: “We are absolutely delighted that Michael has been awarded the Commonwealth Order of Merit. He has given so much to sport in Scotland and the Commonwealth and has now been rightly recognised for his leadership and commitment to the Games movement.  

“In his role as CGS Chair, Michael made a significant contribution not only to Team Scotland’s unprecedented success at Glasgow 2014, but to the overall delivery of a Games that will live long in the memory.” 

Michael has given over 40 years of service to sport and the Commonwealth movement, including as a Games athlete, Team Manager, Coach and CGS Board Member.  

Awarded an OBE for service to sport and the Commonwealth Games movement in 2017, Michael was appointed a CGS life member in 2023 in recognition of his service to Commonwealth sport in Scotland. He currently serves on the Board of the Team Scotland Youth Trust, a registered charity that supports talented young Scottish athletes through financial awards and educational experiences. 

After becoming a CGS Board Director in 2003, Michael was elected Chair in 2007, just 20 days after the bid to host the Glasgow Games was won. He remained in post until 2015, completing the maximum two terms, leading the organisation’s preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. As CGS Chair he played a key role on the Board of the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee and was Chair of their Sport Advisory Group

Michael also managed British teams at World Wrestling Championships and was the 2004 Olympic Wrestling Team Manager. He is a former President of the Scottish Wrestling Association and a former director of the British Wrestling Association Ltd. 

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