Medals up for grabs in summer

Active schools coordinator Magnus Moncrieff
Active schools coordinator Magnus Moncrieff

Berwickshire pupils are being encouraged to get active and enjoy a range of Olympic sports in the run up to London 2012.

Thanks to a new Active Schools initiative - the Olympic Passport, Great Britian’s sporting stars won’t be the only ones hoping to earn medals next summer.

The project has been created to encourage young people to get active and enjoy a range of Olympic sports, from football to sailing and taekwondo to tennis.

Pupils in P4-7 will receive an Olympic Passport next month, and will be encouraged to try as many Olympic sports as possible between January 1 and August 12 2012. They will be asked to present their passport at sessions for coaches to sign and will be rewarded for the more sports they do.

Berwickshire Active Schools co-ordinator Magnus Moncreif said: “With London 2012 on the horizon the excitement surrounding the Olympics and Paralympics is truly starting to build up here in Berwickshire.

“The Borders Sport & Leisure Trust’s (BSLT) Active Schools team are taking full advantage of this and getting children excited about the games.

“All P4 to P7 aged pupils in the Scottish Borders will be given their own passport and will be encouraged to attend sports clubs in their community and have their passport signed by a club coach.”

Children will be awarded between five and 15 points for attending various Olympic Sports from January 1 up to the closing ceremony in August 2012.

On completion of the passport, the children who have taken part will be awarded medals based on the total points they achieved for attending local sports clubs.

“This will hopefully encourage children to continue the new sports that they have attended,” Magnus added.

“One of the priorities of Active Schools is to develop strong school-club links to ensure children are aware of and have the opportunity to continue their involvement in sport.

“This requires forming strong partnerships with local clubs - the Olympic Passport will strengthen this partnership and increase children’s awareness and involvement in different sports in their local area and thus increase participation.”

Olympic Sports such as judo, rowing, tennis and triathlon are listed in the passport with a space for children to get each sport signed off by club coaches or instructors when they try it.

Each sport is allocated points based on ease of access, so target sports such as swimming or football carry less points than more unusual events like fencing or beach volleyball.

Children can accumulate points from when they receive their passports in January, until the closing ceremony in August, when they will then be presented with gold, silver or bronze medal depending on the number of points they’ve gained.

Graeme Murdoch, assistant Active Schools manager, said: “The 2012 Olympic Passport project is now at the stage where we are ready to get going.

“Passports have been delivered and will be distributed to all P4-7 pupils in the first week and a half back in January.”

He added: “Obviously, there are some sports with not much pathway (beach volleyball/volleyball etc).

“But Active Schools will still look to put some of these sessions on as taster sessions and create a bit of a buzz around the Olympics.

“The whole point is that kids try different activities and maybe get hooked into a new activity within the community.”

The sports listed on the Olympic Passport are: archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, sailing, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, Ttennis, triathlon, volleyball, water polo and 2012 Club.