IT is fair to say the Commonwealth Games isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

To many killjoys on the Left, they are a throwback to the bad old days of empire when the colonisers set up a games competition every four years to prove their superiority.

Others decry the games as an irrelevance due to the fact that many of the sporting superpowers such as the US, China and Russia are not eligible to take part.

Of course, these are the same people who then Tweet their pride when one of the athletes from a home nation scoops a gold at squash, judo or tiddlywinks.

But what actually sets the Commonwealths apart from other global sporting events is that many of the medal winners seem to be normal people who can inspire us all to get out and learn a sport.

Take Dumfries pensioner Rosemary Lenton, for example, who became the Commonwealth Games’ oldest gold medallist when the 72-year-old helped Scotland win the Para women’s pairs bowls.

Rosemary Linton and her partner Pauline Wilson, 58, have a combined age of 130 and are part of Team Scotland’s Para-bowls team.

Rosemary reinvented her life when routine surgery led to an infection and a series of other operations.

She only took up bowls as a social activity but now finds herself a global gold medallist and, as she is also a curler, she may even go for a Winter Paralympics medal, too.

Their success comes amidst much gnashing of teeth about the legacy of UK cities hosting major events in the last decade.

It has been 10 years since London hosted the Olympics and eight since Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games.

Many decry the events’ lack of legacy due to obesity levels rising and the lack of people from the most deprived areas taking up serious sport.

To them, this is the only measure by which to judge their success, so both events have been a failure.

But is that really the case?

The answer is undoubtedly no, as the medals keep rolling in for the home nations across all sports and for people from all social backgrounds.

World-class facilities, which were once the preserve of elite universities, are now commonplace in cities such as Glasgow and are open to the public for general use.

In Manchester, Edinburgh and London it is the same and will be in Birmingham when the games are over.

To paraphrase the words of Kevin Costner in the film Field of Dreams: “If you build them, they will come”.

There is nothing better for inspiring children than watching elite athletes in the flesh. Now they can use the facilities just like their heroes.

Next summer, Glasgow will host the UCI World Cycling Championships, which is unique as an event in the world as it is the only one that features can host every discipline in the one sport within the same city.

Glasgow can host every discipline, from BMX and mountain biking to road races and all the track events in the velodrome.

This would not have happened without the Commonwealths and offers a glorious chance to inspire youngsters to literally get on their bikes to take part.

Bikes are not that expensive for parents either and most kids will already have one anyway.

But for a genuine legacy to be transformational, everyone must be on board and that includes parents and schools.

It is, after all, pointless having world-class facilities in Glasgow, such as the Pinkston water sports centre, if parents and schools do not use them.

It is them that hold the true legacy in their hands.

Schools must take sport much more seriously as part of the curriculum and also far more after-school clubs should be set up.

There were far more in the recent past and pupils didn’t even have the luxury of world-class sporting facilities back then, just windswept blaes pitches in the rain.

More parents should also play their part.

Many do, of course, and the result is the continuing success of our athletes on the global stage across a huge range of sports.

The facilities are there for all – you don’t have to have Judy Murray or Liz McColgan as your mum to be a success.