Scotland’s record rugby cap holder Chris Paterson, hockey Olympian Janet Jack and motor racing star David Wagner attended this year’s Champions in Schools Showcase, the highlight of the Borders Champions in Schools Programme.
Over 100 people gathered at the Volunteer Hall in Galashiels to hear the athletes outline their personal involvement with the project and to see pupils present their views on the scheme.
Organised by Borders Sport and Leisure’s Active Schools team, the Champions in Schools programme was developed by the Winning Scotland Foundation and involves Scottish sporting heroes visiting classrooms to inspire children in goal setting, healthy lifestyles and adopting a winning attitude in life.
Ten sports personalities participated in this year’s event and visited schools across the region. They included Paralympic silver medallist Libby Clegg, ocean rower Leven Brown, rugby stars Ross Ford and Greig Laidlaw, hockey player Derek Salmond and judo expert Sarah Adlington.
Paterson said: “It’s fantastic to have been able to play an active role in Champions in Schools for the last four years in the Borders.
“The enthusiasm shown by the pupils as they set and achieve personal ambitions, pursue a healthy lifestyle, and appreciate the value of hard work in order to achieve success has been great to see.
“The showcase event has been a really good way to bring everybody together to celebrate the programme and most importantly, hear from young people as they share their experiences.”
Ewan Jackson, chief executive of BSLT said: “We have been working with the Winning Scotland Foundation for four years to deliver the Champions in Schools Programme and 43 schools have participated to date. It is a truly inspiring initiative that has a major impact on the young people involved and helps them to expand their horizons and look towards achieving their dreams.”
Rick Orr, Winning Scotland Foundation added: “Sportsmen and women are so valuable to society, because they can pass on crucial life messages to young people – such as the importance of working hard, setting targets, overcoming obstacles and of course, looking after yourself physically.
“We are extremely grateful to have Borders Sport & Leisure on board as partners – their messages and priorities mirror our own, and together we are committed to helping young people make the right lifestyle choices.”
The 12 schools that were visited by a sporting hero as part of the initiative this year were: Kingsland Primary School (Peebles), Clovenfords Primary School, Lilliesleaf Primary School, Drumlanrig Primary School, Morebattle Primary School, Lauder Primary School, Duns Primary School, Howdenburn Primary School (Jedburgh), Coldingham Primary School, Hawick High School, Jedburgh Grammar School and Eyemouth High School.