Friday, May 27, 2016

Scots on Team GB Inspire at Awards Launch

“Being named as the Scottish Sportsperson of the year last year was one of the highlights of my career." Robbie Renwick

Scotland continues to punch above its weight on the international sporting stage, with 24 athletes already selected for Team GB and Paralympics GB going to Rio this summer. Launching the new Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards today, Paul Bush OBE, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland called for all Scots to get behind the athletes just as they did for Glasgow 2014 and celebrate a summer of exciting sporting action.

Ross Murdoch, the new 200m breaststroke European Champion, teammate Robbie Renwick, 200m freestyle relay World Champion, along with multiple Paralympic and European medallist in judo, Sam Ingram, all took time out from their final Games preparations today, to visit pupils at St Ninians Primary School in Stirling.

St Ninians has become well known for its commitment to regular physical activity with its innovation of the ‘Daily Mile’, where all school pupils run, jog or walk around the school grounds for 15 minutes, which averages at around a mile every day. The simplicity and effectiveness of this pioneering programme has caught on and schools throughout Britain are now successfully following the Stirling model. The school has also teamed up with a local school in Gold Coast, Australia and will be amongst the most active supporters of Team Scotland for the next Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, in less than two years’ time.

Today, Ross, Robbie and Sam joined excited pupils on their brisk walk around the playground, before showing off their medals and answering questions from a special whole school assembly held to welcome the athletes.

With next Monday (30 May) marking 100 days to go to the Paralympics and only 67 days before their Olympic counterparts are in action, Team Scotland already has plans underway to officially welcome home the athletes on Wednesday 28 September.

The new Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, will celebrate the sporting achievements of Team Scotland in its widest sense, with recognition of the stunning achievements of our Olympians and Paralympians alongside individuals, schools, clubs and teams across the whole of Scottish sport, with 12 new award categories.

The evening, which will be hosted by Shirley Robertson OBE, double Olympic sailing gold medallist and TV presenter for BBC Sport in Rio and the legendary Scottish comedian and presenter Fred MacAulay, will culminate in the presentation of the Emirates Lonsdale Trophy, awarded to the best of the best – the 2016 Scottish Sportsperson of the year.

Speaking at the launch today, Paul Bush said: “There is a hugely exciting summer of sport ahead, with many of Team Scotland’s athletes from Glasgow 2014 already selected for Team GB and Paralympics GB. I really hope that the Scottish public will get behind them all and cheer them on both in Rio and when they come home to Scotland.

“The new Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards will recognise and celebrate their achievements, along with those of a wide range of young people, athletes, coaches and administrators in Scottish sport in our most inclusive sports awards ever. I am particularly pleased that a school like St Ninians will now have the opportunity to be nominated for one of the new Scottish Sports Awards, as they are a shining example to everyone of what is possible with a little imagination and a firm commitment to keeping children physically active and getting them involved in sport.”

Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Convener Corrie McChord said:

“I am very pleased that Stirling will be so strongly represented as part of Team GB at Rio this year and I’m sure the children have been inspired by today’s visit. Stirling has demonstrated international sporting success many times, but we’re also very proud that whatever their age or ability, everyone who lives in Stirling has the opportunity to take part in healthy activity, and the Daily Mile is a great example of that.”

The public will also have a chance to get involved and vote for their favourite ‘sporting moment of the year’ from a shortlist, during August and September and undoubtedly there will be some special moments to choose from.

Fresh from his success in London last week, Commonwealth and European Champion, Ross Murdoch said: “It has been fantastic to come here today to meet the children at St Ninians. I know when I was their age, how much I looked up to my sporting heroes and it is humbling to think I am now in a position where I can inspire others to get involved in sport.

“I can't wait to compete at the pinnacle of my sport and swim my best in in Rio knowing that we have the support of the public behind us - it really makes a difference. It will be fantastic to come back and join in the celebrations at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in September.”

Robbie Renwick, who won Commonwealth Games gold for Team Scotland in 2010, is one of only six athletes to have won the coveted title of Scottish Sports Person of the year in 2015, added: “While we are firmly focused on making our final preparations for the Olympics, it is amazing to hear that plans are already underway to recognise Scots on Team GB, as well as the many other people who achieve so much for Scottish sport.

“Being named as the Scottish Sportsperson of the year last year was one of the highlights of my career and I am sure there will be lots of athletes worthy of consideration for the overall title this year, as well as for all the new awards categories.”

At Rio 2016 Sam Ingram will represent ParalympicsGB for the third consecutive Games. A bronze medallist at Beijing 2008 and claiming silver at London 2012, Sam is the most decorated athlete on the British Judo Paralympic programme and is an inspiration for the younger athletes on the team.

Enjoying his visit to St Ninians today, Sam added: “It has been great to come along and take part in the ‘Daily Mile’ and get a feel for how excited the children are about sport. It means a lot to know that they will be watching us in Rio and cheering us on all the way and I hope I can give them something to shout about.

“It’s going to be great to come back in September and share our experiences with everyone at the Awards night and I really like the idea of the public voting for their ‘Sporting Moment’ of the year.”

Full details of the awards categories, how to make a nomination or how to book a ticket/table to attend this prestigious event can be found at