Chris Paterson MBE, Scottish rugby’s highest ever points scorer, visited Jedburgh Grammar School yesterday (28 January 2013) as part of the Champion in Schools Programme which is supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
Champions in Schools is a role-model programme from the Winning Scotland Foundation that places Scotland’s top international athletes in the classroom to deliver a series of inspirational workshops. A healthy, balanced diet is an key message conveyed by the athletes who also educate pupils on how to set and achieve goals, appreciate the value of hard work and adopt a positive, winning attitude.
Over 130 athletes covering a broad spectrum of sports are involved in the programme including: Ben Cathro, British Downhill Mountain Biking Champion; Holly Kennedy, World Record Holder for Ladies Highest Jump, Kite Surfing; and Lee McConnell, the most medalled Scottish (track & field) athlete in history.
Champions deliver three workshops to a selected group of 20-30 young people over the course of an academic year. Each visit is approximately 6-8 weeks apart and pupils are set 'Champion’s Challenges' to work towards between each visit.
Chris delivered an interactive workshop to a large group of pupils at Jedburgh Grammar School, followed by a cookery demonstration, supported by Perthshire-based chef, Steve Craik, where pupils had the opportunity to make and taste Scotch Beef steak fajitas.
“‘I’m extremely proud to be a Champion”, said Chris. “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."
Jennifer Robertson, Quality Meat Scotland’s Health and Education Coordinator, added: “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.
“The interactivity of the workshops meant that 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.
“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.”