FOUR-TIME Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy has saluted seven Wishaw primary schools after officially declaring Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week open on Monday.
Berryhill, Calderbridge, Cambusnethan, Morningside, Newmains, Overtown and St Brigid’s primary schools are seven of 1400 schools - almost twice last year’s total - from throughout Scotland taking part in a range of activities, including opening and closing ceremonies and torch relays.
Sir Chris met more than 700 of the 330,000 children involved at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Stadium on Monday, when he was joined by fellow Olympic gold medallist Jason Gardener and three-time Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger.
He said: “It’s fantastic for all of these Wishaw primary schools to be involved in National School Sport Week.
“It is a great event for children across the country to be trying new things and being involved in sport.
“There are double the number of schools involved in the week than there were last year so it is a huge event and is gathering momentum, which is fantastic. It’s great to see so many people involved.”
He added: “School is crucial and I was very lucky in my sport that they pushed and gave me the opportunity.
“I can’t overstate the importance of sport in terms of your development and life and fitness in general.
“There’s so many positive things that you can get from it so it’s great to see so many schools involved in the week.”
Sir Chris, not only a four-time Olympic champion but a 10-time world champion, added: “It’s a fantastic week, promoting sport for kids in school.
“Getting them to try things that they might not necessarily have tried before is a great idea.”
“If they find out that they like a particular sport, then they can carry that on in the future, which is great.
“Cycling is quite a niche sport and if I hadn’t had the chance to try it then I wouldn’t be doing it now.”
The Bank of Scotland National School Sport Week uses London 2012 to inspire children to achieve a personal best in Olympic and Paralympic sports.
The event, delivered in partnership with sportscotland, opened with 160 pupils breaking the world record for the most people to run 100m in a one-hour relay.
Visit www.bankofscotland.co.uk/nationalschoolsportweek for more details.