Bridge of Don Academy Pupils Meet Olympian and Paralympian Medalists – by Amie Flett
Bridge of Don Academy were specially selected out of all the schools in Aberdeen to attend a homecoming celebration for Scottish Olympians and Paralympians on the 28th of September. A team of 20 pupils set out at 8:30am and headed down to Edinburgh to attend the special event at Heriot Watt University and meet a variety of successful athletes from team GB. Among these athletes included gold medalist Katie Archibald, silver medalist David Florence, Paralympic gold medalist Joanna Butterfield, Paralympic silver and gold medalist Gordon Reid, silver and gold medalist Callum Skinner and many, many more.
During the event the pupils had the opportunity to meet and greet with all the attending athletes and ask any questions they had and take pictures with them. The event also included sporting activities, for all the pupils who attended, to take part in such as basketball, rowing, tennis and judo. After having the opportunity to mingle with the Olympians and Paralympians, the pupils were invited to take a seat for a congratulating ceremony and a Q and A with team GB.
Before this however the First Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, took the time to congratulate the team and included some inspirational words for the young people who attended the event. She said: ‘For team GB and Paralympics GB, as we’ve heard, Rio was record-breaking, the best performance in terms of medals in a long, long, long time, in some respects the best ever. Scotland really played its part in terms of the number of athletes competing across the number of sports winning a record number of medals so we should be really proud that we contributed at a huge amount to the overall success of the GB efforts, both in the Olympics and the Paralympics.’
She also added some encouragement and inspiration for the pupils: ‘To all of you young people here today, think about what you can achieve in the future, I’m pretty sure as I look around here right now, that in this room, here and now, there are Olympic champions and Paralympic champions of the future.’
It’s fair to say that Bridge of Don pupils were feeling very inspired and motivated by these Scottish athletes after hearing about their stories and understanding that they go through the same things as we do, they have good days and they have bad days but that never stops them from achieving what they wish to achieve and reaching their ultimate goal, which is shown by the amount of gold medals seen around the necks of multiple Olympians and Paralympians. It is also fantastic to know that no matter what goal in sport you are aspiring to achieve, the whole of Scotland are behind you supporting you by what Nicola Sturgeon assures us.