Passport wins pupils’ stamp of approval

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COMMONWEALTH GAMES hopefuls Sammi Kinghorn and Jo Pettitt turned out at the Queens Centre in Galashiels on Friday to inspire primary school children from all over the Borders.

Taking part in the launch of Border Sport and Leisure’s 2014 Commonwealth Passport scheme Sammi, from Gordon, and Jo, from Peebles, encouraged the local kids to participate in all kinds of sporting events from now until August and earn themselves Gold, Silver or Bronze medals in the process.

A total of 34 children from nine local cluster schools took part in the launch of the scheme which offers 13 sporting opportunities to primary 4-7’s and seven to primary 1-3’s.

Wheelchair racer Sammi, who has already been selected to compete for Scotland in the 1500 metres at the Glasgow Games, told TheSouthern: “I’m so excited to have been given the opportunity to compete at my home Games.

“I would say to these kids today, don’t ever give up.

“Life is never a flat playing field and is full of ups and downs so you need to try different sports and keep striving to achieve.”

Scottish Commonwealth Games netball long squad member Jo added: “It’s the greatest honour to be representing your country.

“My advice to these children today would be work hard, enjoy it and go for your goals.”

Selection for the final 12-member netball squad will be made in May.

In the run up to the Olympic Games a similar scheme proved highly popular with both the children and local clubs, many of whom benefitted from new members, and Active Schools manager Graeme Murdoch hopes that even more primary school pupils will get on board for the Glasgow event.

“We had over 1,000 kids, from primary 4-7, taking part in the Olympic Passport scheme and we hope to be upwards of 2,000 this time around,” he told us.

The initiative is designed to encourage children to enter into the Commonwealth Games spirit and take part in sporting activities outside of school hours.

All primary school aged children in the Scottish Borders will receive a passport and be encouraged to participate in a range of sporting sessions held on the run up to the 2014 Glasgow Games.

A varied schedule of activities featuring a variety of Commonwealth sports will be available across the Borders from now until the Games’ closing ceremony on August 3. Children will be awarded points on their passport for each session they take part in.

Depending on the number of points a child accrues they could receive a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal to mark their efforts.

There will be two versions of the passport scheme available, one for all P1-P3 children and another one for all P4 – P7 children.

Local clubs can still get involved by contacting Graeme at graeme.murdoch@bslt.org.uk