Borders pupils catch Olympic fever

Dylan MacKenzie (6) tries basketball at Kelso HIgh School as part of the Borders Sport & Leisure Olympic Passport Scheme

Dylan MacKenzie (6) tries basketball at Kelso HIgh School as part of the Borders Sport & Leisure Olympic Passport Scheme

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THOUSANDS of primary school pupils from across the Borders are getting into the Olympic spirit this week by participating in a host of sporting activities as part of Borders Sport & Leisure’s (BSLT) Olympic Passport scheme.

The initiative was introduced earlier this year through BSLT’s Active Schools team and gives all pupils in Primary 4 to 7 the chance to try out a diverse range of extra-curricular activities – 24 in all – through Olympic sessions.

Leigh Anderson (9) tries tennis at Kelso HIgh School as part of the Borders Sport & Leisure Olympic Passport Scheme

Leigh Anderson (9) tries tennis at Kelso HIgh School as part of the Borders Sport & Leisure Olympic Passport Scheme

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure, commented: “Children and parents have really embraced our Olympic Passport scheme since we launched it at the start of the year.

“Activities on offer have included athletics, archery, basketball, canoeing, diving, equestrian, fencing and taekwondo.

“To date we have had more than 2,500 attendances across the various sessions during the summer holidays, with children from all over the Borders taking part.”

BSLT has provided every P4-P7 pupil in the region with one of the special passports and each time they take part in an activity it is signed and they are awarded points.

The scheme will end with the closing ceremony of the Games in August when the childrens’ points will be totalled. Those who have attempted a sport will receive a certificate. Bronze, silver and gold medals will be presented to children who have gained enough points.

Mr Jackson added: “The response to the scheme from parents, children and coaches has been incredible. Once the real Olympics are over we will be preparing to hold our own medal ceremonies and have already had to order 2,000 medals, in anticipation, to give to the children who have been involved.”

Over the next few weeks the sessions will continue with youngsters being offered the chance to try out many of the sports they will see during television coverage of the Games.