Top athletes deliver inspirational workshops
Published:  31 January, 2013

Scottish rugby player Chris Paterson delivered an interactive workshop and cookery demonstration at Jedburgh Grammar School on Monday as part of the Champions in Schools Programme.

Paterson has been one of the role models who have taken part in the Champions in Schools Programme, supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

The programme is from the Winning School Foundation and focuses on athletes reaching their highest levels and emphasises the importance of a healthy, balanced diet.

More than 130 athletes are participating in the inspirational programme, which gathers Scotland’s top international athletes to take part in a range of workshops with pupils, who will be taught how to set and achieve goals, the value of hard work and a good attitude.

Twenty to 30 pupils will be chosen for three workshops set six to eight weeks apart over this academic year. Between each visit, the pupils will be set ‘Champion’s Challenges’, designed to motivate them to work hard between the workshops.

More than 130 top athletes from a wide range of sports will take part in this programme, including the most medalled Scottish athlete in history, Lee McConnell, British downhill mountain biking champion, Ben Cathro and world record-holder for the ladies’ highest jump in kite surfing, Holly Kennedy.

“I’m extremely proud to be a Champion,” said Paterson. “It’s very rewarding to have the opportunity to come into schools and motivate and encourage kids to be active, eat a healthy, balanced diet and be the best they can be.”

Quality Meat Scotland’s health and education coordinator Jennifer Robertson stated: “We are delighted to continue our support of the Champions in Schools programme for the fifth year. The programme is a great extension to our existing health and education activities, including our Red Meat Voucher scheme for schools, our free cookery demonstrations and our Go for it Scotland! Bursary.”

She added: “The interactivity of the workshops meant the pupils had the opportunity to ask Chris about his diet, the part red meat plays in meal plans and the nutritional benefits it provides.”

Richard Orr, senior programme manager for Champions in Schools, said: “Sportsmen and women are so valuable to society, because they can pass on crucial life messages to young people – such as the importance of working hard, setting goals, overcoming obstacles and, of course, looking after yourself physically.

“That’s why, with fantastic athlete role-models, such as Chris, we are working to deliver Champions in Schools across Scotland. We have already impacted more than 5,000 young people across 200 schools. By 2014, we aim to be delivering the programme in every Scottish local authority region,” he added.

Commenting on the collaboration with QMS, Orr stated: “We are extremely grateful to have QMS on board as partners – their diet and exercise messages mirror our own – and together we are committed to helping young people in Scotland make the right lifestyle choices.”