Today (October 16) Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, meets Scottish Olympians and future sporting and skills hopefuls.
He is visiting the Badenoch and Strathspey region to unveil a tribute to the area’s Olympians in Aviemore town centre.
During a packed tour of the region, Seb is also visiting youth sports activities at the recently opened Craig McLean Leisure Centre in Grantown-on-Spey; meeting the two Scottish members of the British Team competing at the World Skills Championship at Drumintoul Lodge; meeting young Scottish athletes for a question and answer session at Glenmore Lodge one of sportsscotland’s three national training centres.
Seb said: 'I am delighted to be here in Aviemore to celebrate local Olympians. It is truly remarkable that there are so many Olympians from a population of 10,000 people. I hope that the tribute will inspire current and future generations of athletes to achieve their best.
'The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games represents a once in a life-time opportunity for the whole of the UK that has to be seized both on and off the sporting field.'
Julia Bracewell OBE, Chair, Scottish Steering Group for London 2012 said: 'The London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will help generate enthusiasm for sport among our young people. It will inspire people to get involved from grass roots to the highest level.
'Scotland has a proud tradition of producing world class Olympians and London 2012 will provide yet another opportunity for our country’s talented athletes to shine on the world stage.'
For the first stop on his tour of the region Seb is visiting the recently opened Craig McLean Leisure Centre - incorporating a four court sports hall, swimming pool and a gym. Seb will see local youngsters being coached in Football, Athletics and Gymnastics, Golf and Rugby.
Seb then unveils the tribute for fourteen local Olympians in the newly developed village green in Aviemore town centre. From a population of only 10,000, the Badenoch and Strathspey area has produced fourteen athletes who have represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games.
The bronze sculpture representing the Olympic ideals of ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ is mounted on Cairngorm granite. The names of the fourteen Olympians are engraved on a plaque with space for future Olympians to be added. The sculpture is also a tribute to the athletes’ families, coaches, schools and communities who supported their journeys and success.
Seb goes on to meet the two Scottish members of the British team who will be competing at the WorldSkills Championship in November where he will share his experience of international competition with Julie Doig (Catering) and Chris Blake (Painting and Decorating).
Glenmore Lodge, one of sportscotland’s three national training centres, is the final stop on Seb’s tour where he will meet up-and-coming athletes from the area together with former Scottish Olympians for a question and answer session.