BORDERS hockey legend Janet Jack scored plenty of goals in her international career, but it was a different kind of goal she was talking about when she visited Primary 6/7 pupils from Philiphaugh Community School in Selkirk.
Instead, Jack offered advice on personal goal-setting as part of the Champions in Schools role-model programme, running for its second year through the Active Schools network.
Champions in Schools, developed by the Winning Scotland Foundation, takes Scotland’s high-performing athletes into the classroom to deliver inspirational workshops to pupils over three visits.
Each athlete builds a rapport with a targeted group of 20-30 children, discussing the importance of goal-setting, nutrition and physical activity in everyday life and sharing a belief that the adoption of a positive winning attitude offers long-term benefits on and off the sports field.
After meeting with the pupils at Philiphaugh for the first time and telling them about her life as an athlete, Jack explained to her eager audience that it was goal-setting that helped her to reach the status as one of Scotland’s most capped female hockey players (172 Scottish and 21 GB caps).
“In my sporting and personal life, I am always setting goals and it has consistently helped me to achieve my ambitions,” she said.
“It is essential for every young person to follow their dreams, but the way to go about that is by setting small, gradual targets and ticking them off one by one. That’s the lesson that I am passing onto the pupils – to aim big, but start small. I have tasked them with each achieving a small goal between now and my second visit, which will be in January.”
Councillor Graham Garvie from Scottish Borders Council said: “We’re delighted to be running Champions in Schools again this year. Sport is a fantastic mechanism for young people to learn about life, and in tandem with the Active Schools initiatives, this programme is offering those opportunities for school pupils in the region.”
Other athletes visiting schools in the Borders include John Collins (football), Libby Clegg (athletics), Ross Ford and Chris Paterson (rugby), Sarah Clark (judo) and Euan Dale (swimming).
The programme has seen pupils from 13 Borders school enjoy the experience, with a further 11 schools set to take part this year.