The National Lottery today took Britain’s most successful ever female Olympic rower, Katherine Grainger, to share her story and meet youngsters at a Lottery-funded project in Colinton, Edinburgh.
Glasgow-born Grainger, who won Olympic Gold in the double scull rowing with partner Anna Watkins at London 2012, joined junior members of St. Andrews Boat Club and pupils from the local Longstone Primary School at a Community Sport Hub to provide inspiration and take part in one of the training sessions the centre offers.
Supported by sportscotland with National Lottery funding, the Community Sport Hub (CSH) at Meggetland Sports Complex has been bringing local people together to participate in sport, and providing a home for local clubs and sports organisations.
Four-time Olympian Katherine Grainger said: “It’s been a wonderful experience to visit this Community Sport Hub at Meggetland Sports Complex and to meet some of the youngsters that are able to benefit from this facility.
The 37-year-old continued, “National Lottery funding changed my life, it allowed me to train full-time at superb facilities and receive world-class coaching and medical support which resulted in success during the summer. The National Lottery has been changing lives for 18 years and it’s not just athletes that benefit. National Lottery players should be proud that they are helping to create facilities such as Community Sport Hubs and funding thousands of other good causes all over the country.”
sportscotland is investing £1.5 million per annum of National Lottery funding into the Community Sport Hubs programme, which is a key part of the 2014 Games Legacy Plan. The initiative is already providing more opportunities for communities to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle, and for people in Scotland to enjoy sport in excellent facilities.
Edinburgh Leisure Head of Sport and Physical Activity Development Helen Macfarlane said: “We have enjoyed having Katherine Grainger join us today. Having such a successful Olympian visit will certainly inspire the young people who attend this Community Sport Hub. There has been a large investment in this project providing more opportunities for local people to get involved in sport and physical activity – Katherine has been a huge inspiration for those youngsters today.”
There are currently more than 60 CSHs up-and-running and by 2016 there will be 150 in operation across Scotland’s 32 local authorities, with at least 50% of these based in schools. Each CSH will provide better support for a number of local sport clubs to grow and develop. This growth is essential to achieve sportscotland’s aspiration of developing a world-class sporting system at all levels in Scotland.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “Community Sport Hubs are a key legacy component of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, and it is terrific that Katherine has been able to come and meet the people involved with the Hub at Meggetland in Edinburgh.
“Our Olympians and Paralympians excelled at the London Games, and stars like Katherine can help inspire Scotland’s children and young people to emulate their sporting heroes.
“Investing in Community Sport Hubs, with the help of the National Lottery, is improving sporting opportunities for people of all ages in communities across Scotland.
“Every CSH works on the same basic principles but each has the flexibility to identify the needs of their community. This focus on local needs ensures that all partners get behind the approach and the work they do has the biggest impact.”
Grainger is one of 1,200 National Lottery funded elite athletes. The funding allows her to compete and train full time to the highest of international standards. The National Lottery invested up to £2.2 billion in London 2012, allowing our athletes, venues and volunteers to shine on the world stage.