Strip designs shortlisted

Designs by no fewer than seven Borders pupils have made the 30-strong shortlist for the Forest Pitch strip design competition.

Pupils across Scotland were invited to create designs for the strips that will be worn by teams playing in a major Cultural Olympiad event which will take place near Selkrik on July 21, on a newly created football pitch set within the forest, which is being created in celebration of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The football strip design competition was run in partnership with Education Scotland. Pupils were asked to respond to key themes being explored in Forest Pitch, which is one of 12 lead projects commissioned by the UK Arts Councils’ flagship project for the Cultural Olympiad, to complement the London 2012 Olympics and Paralypmic Games.

The main themes included diversity, mythology and collective memory, national identity, the power of sport and environmental impact/sustainability. But above all it was a chance for young people to demonstrate their creativity.

Designs by pupils from Earlston, Lilliesleaf, Melrose, Ettrick, and Kirkthorpe Primary Schools all made it onto the shortlist.

Artist Craig Coulthard, who designed the forest pitch. said: “I was overwhelmed by the response to the competition and fascinated by the many different ways in which the pupils responded to the brief. I want to congratulate all the young people who took part and hope that through the competition they have also enjoyed the opportunity it gave them to explore issues such the environment, the power of sport and Scottish identity.

“It was incredibly challenging to select the short-list,” he added.

Four winning designs will now be chosen from the 30-strong shortlist - one for each of the four teams that will play in the Forest Pitch football matches that will be staged in the Borders this summer. The winners will be announced at the Scottish Football Museum by Shona Robison MSP, Minister for Sport and the Commonwealth Games, on Tuesday (February 7).