Schools in bid for Games legacy

Newbattle High School's head of PE Bob Foley, David Wilkie (olympic gold medalist swimmer) and George Falconer, head of PE at Lasswade High.
Newbattle High School's head of PE Bob Foley, David Wilkie (olympic gold medalist swimmer) and George Falconer, head of PE at Lasswade High.

Two Midlothian high schools were the only schools invited to the recent star-studded launch of a new scheme for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

PE heads Bob Foley from Newbattle Community High and George Falconer from Lasswade High School were at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh for the introduction of the £10 million Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund.

The scheme is part of the Scottish Government’s legacy programme for the Glasgow games.

Joining them were a host of sports stars past and present, including Olympic gold medallist swimmer David Wilkie.

Mr Foley was delighted that the pair had been invited and believes it is in recognition of the schools’ work with the London 2012 legacy programme.

He said: “We were quite honoured by that, I think it goes back to the outstanding work that George and ourselves have done working with the Olympics and African schools.

“We are already part of ‘Lead 2014’, we’ve got kids involved. But I think they are about to re-name it ‘Game On Scotland’. We are registered for that so we can get involved, and I would encourage all schools to sign up and be part of something that is unique.

“We host a conference in March, and our fourth year pupils will be trained to be games’ leaders and ambassadors.

“They are in a promotional video aimed at inspiring younger pupils, which will be shown in schools in the run-up to Commonwealth Games 2014 to show what the schools can do. We hope to get a copy very soon.”

The new legacy fund offers grants of between £10,000 and £100,000 to help communities build or upgrade local facilities or new projects within school estates.

Bob said: “We are very interested in that. We will have to be very clever and think about what we can move over to the new school. George is the same as they are moving to a new school too.

“So we can’t get stuff that is stuck down, it has to be mobile. Things like mountain bikes could be a good thing to apply for funding.”

Bob hopes Scotland makes the most of such a big sporting event coming to the country in two years time, and he praised the council for providing top-quality sporting facilities in the district.

He said: “It’s an amazing opportunity to create a legacy to get people involved in sports, and to show we are an active nation, not a sofa nation. It can only be good for the health of the nation and the future of our sports stars, making us healthier and fitter.

“As a county, nobody can ever say that Midlothian as a council isn’t investing heavily in sport.

“We are a small county, but my goodness, we have got some incredible sports facilities and we have a lot more coming in the next few years with the new schools to be built. Well done to the council.”