Delight for Clydebank kids as Olympic legends Sir Chris Hoy and Katherine Grainger pay surprise visit

HUNDREDS of unsuspecting youngsters were surprised by a school visit from two Olympic legends.

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Sir Chris Hoy and Katherine Grainger delighted pupils with a surprise visit
Sir Chris Hoy and Katherine Grainger delighted pupils with a surprise visit

Champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and rowing ace Katherine Grainger came to St Peter the Apostle High School as part of a Winning Scotland event.

The scheme is aimed at ­inspiring children to be the best they can be, and the athletes spoke to them about the highs and lows on the road to becoming gold medallists.

The pupils from Clydebank were joined by children from across the country, including the Borders, Aberdeen and Shetland, at the event hosted by comedian Sanjeev Kohli.

Katherine said: "One of the most important things about being an athlete is, it's great when people see the success and the medals, but for young people the danger is that they just see the success.

"They don't see the journey behind it.

"We've all struggled and failed and that's how you learn.

"If you think there never will be set backs then you probably will give up but if you ­accept that's part of it, you'll go on."

Chris said: "It's a great charity, doing good work to inspire kids to get the best out of themselves. It's not just about sport, it's also about arts, music and schoolwork.

"It's just showing kids they can achieve things if they work hard. All of the athletes here didn't all start as champions, we started because we loved the sport."

Head teacher Linda Booth said the opportunity was ­"absolutely unbelievable" for the children.

She added: "What an experience for all of the young people in the school. We knew we had big names coming but it was all top secret.

"To see athletes of this calibre talking this morning about how resilience, hard work and effort is important in achieving your goals is great as that's a big message we promote."

Second year pupil and athletics fanatic Magda Madejska got the chance to chat to Katherine and Chris with two fellow pupils before the event kicked off.

Magda, 14, said: "It was such a surprise meeting her and such a privilege because not many people got to meet her. We feel really lucky and it was such a good experience.

Tony Gallacher, 14, who is captain of his school football team, said: "We were asking her questions and speaking about our own sporting achievements. I was a bit starstruck as they are a real ­inspiration to me."

More than 30 athletes attended the event, including wheelchair curler Aileen Nielson and retired badminton player Susan Eglestaff, who ran workshops throughout the day.

hannah.rodger@eveningtimes.co.uk

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