Media Release: Minister meets inspirational winners of QMS/sportscotland healthy living bursary


MiINISTER for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, today heard the inspirational stories of some of the winners of a new bursary to encourage healthy, active living in Scotland.

The ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary was launched earlier this year by Quality Meat Scotland, working with sportscotland. Individuals, groups and clubs were invited to apply for the 20 £500 bursaries which will now be awarded annually in the run up to Glasgow 2014.

The bursaries have been won by applicants from throughout Scotland taking part in activities ranging from netball and hockey to baton twirling and synchronised swimming and further award winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

Almost a 1,000 people are set to benefit from the awards distributed in year one of the bursary and the successful applicants from central Scotland who met the Minister today included 14 year-old karate enthusiast, Rebecca Stewart from Drumchapel, volunteers and skiers from Disability Snowsport Scotland who train at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre, members of the junior Edinburgh-based Inverleith Hockey Club, youngsters from the Glasgow Riderz cycling club and junior members of the Dunbar Running Club.

Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, said: “We are determined to leave a lasting active legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and these awards are helping to break down barriers and ensure continued participation in sport.

“This bursary is a great way to support people of all ages and abilities and will help them to pay for essentials. I am delighted to meet some of the successful recipients and wish them all the very best of luck in their chosen field.”

Anyone can apply for a ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary, provided they live and train in Scotland and their sport or healthy activity increases their heart rate.

The bursary can be used to fund equipment, specialist clothing, travel, training, nutrition, coaching or to set up or develop a new or existing group or club.

‘Uel Morton, QMS chief executive, said: “This is the first year of the bursary programme and we have had a really fantastic response. We received over two hundred applications and, as they were all of a really high standard, it made the final selection a tough job for the judging panel.

“Applications reflected a wide range of interests, from synchronised swimming to modern pentathlon, and we are delighted the twenty successful bursaries will benefit almost a thousand people, either as individuals or members of groups or clubs from as far afield as Orkney in the north to Ayrshire in the south.”

QMS already undertakes a range of activities to encourage awareness of the importance of good nutrition and a healthy diet and lifestyle and the bursary programme enhances the work already being done.

Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland and a member of the judging panel, said: “As the national agency for sport, sportscotland was delighted to enter into this partnership with Quality Meat Scotland to support the ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary programme.

“We are passionate about encouraging people to become more active and the applications certainly reflected the enthusiasm and commitment people have for sport in this country. Meeting some of the winners today who represent such a diverse range of sporting activities was really inspiring.”

sportscotland works with partners like Quality Meat Scotland, to develop and support a world class sporting system at all levels – investing in and joining up the people, places, partnerships and planning that makes sport happen.

Caption: Some of the central Scotland winners of the first QMS/sportscotland ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary pictured with Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, ‘Uel Morton, chief executive of Quality Meat Scotland, Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, Jennifer Robertson, QMS Health and Education co-ordinator and triathlete, Catriona Morrison.


For further press information, please contact Carol McLaren, QMS on 0131 472 4112. Mobile: 07739 900653 Email:

Notes to editors:

The Winners

Rebecca Stewart – 14 year-old karate enthusiast from Drumchapel, Glasgow

In support of her application, Rebecca said: “I have been practicing Shotokan Karate for 2 ½ years and achieved my 1st Dan Black Belt in October of 2011.”

“I have achieved at least one first place trophy in every competition I have entered and my ambitions are to take part in competitions around the world and to be able to teach.”

“I would love to have the opportunity to participate in the WUKF 2012 European Championships as I would represent Scotland to the highest standards I possibly can.”

Rebecca qualified for the competition and her £500 bursary will go towards the costs of her travel and accommodation to Serbia, where the competition takes place this October.

Disability Snowsport Scotland – training based at Midlothian Snowsports Centre

The group was represented by: Les Cashin – adult volunteer (lead), Ben Golding (adult volunteer) Lauren Henderson (teenage volunteer) Blair Henderson (junior stand up skier) Patrick Knox (adult wheelchair skier) and Tobi Heitkamp who is Patrick’s carer turned volunteer.

The club has been running for almost 20 years and provides opportunities for people with disabilities to take part in skiing and snowboarding. Currently, they have 15 adult and 15 junior members and are hopeful of repeating the successes of past members by being selected to take part in the Special Olympics.

In support of their application, the club said: “This funding would allow us to provide transport for our skiers to get to events which would not only allow them to experience competing against other skiers, but would also allow them the chance to ski in front of coaches who make selections for the British adaptive team and development squads.

“Many of our members have made huge progress since joining the club, both in their ski ability and socially. Taking part in race leagues would be another way for them to both push their skiing, and for them to socialise with other skiers with disabilities.”

Inverleith Hockey Club

The club was represented by two Scotland internationalists, Thomas Barton (under 18s), Eilidh Thomson (under 16s) and club president, Robin McLaren.

The club was established in 1917 and has a long history of Scottish Internationalists and several GB players. Their player base is mainly developed through the junior section which currently has 80 members and their application stated: “Grants such as this help us to sustain our activities and keep the club alive.’’

The club will use the ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary to provide equipment and coaching materials for the junior section.

Glasgow Riderz

The club was represented by Gregor Robb (8), Ellie Park (11) – Ellie is the Scottish National Track Champion U12 Girls and Scottish Skinny Tyres National Road Champion U12 Girls – and Rosie Ritchie (10).

Glasgow Riderz is a cycling club with a membership of 50 youngsters from five to 16 years of age. The club promotes high quality cycling techniques and provides opportunities to try track cycling and mountain biking in a car free environment.

When asked to describe how the club would use the ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary, they stated: “Coaching is undertaken by a group of highly motivated volunteers.

“To enable Glasgow Riderz to continue to build on its cycling achievements and produce the next generation of Commonwealth and Olympic Champion cyclists, we need to invest in training more coaches, especially track and mountain bike coaches to enable Riderz to train and compete on the new velodrome opening October 2012.

“We also need to purchase club clothing to give our Riderz a club identity.”

Dunbar Running Club

The club will be represented by Coaches Rodger Maguire and Ross Combe, Katrina Maguire (12), Linda McAndlish (12), Emily Wilson-Beales (15) and Gemma Bolton (15).

The club has a membership of 50 youngsters, aged nine  to 18 years and in the application, Rodger stated that the club strives to ensure that all youngsters are encouraged to perform to their own highest level and to take part in competitions with a positive yet sportsmanlike approach towards winning or losing. He continued: “It is a source of great pride that we have helped form healthy, confident and well-rounded individuals who are better equipped to undertake the challenges that life may throw them (both on and off the track).”

The club will buy athletics equipment and safety clothing with the £500 ‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary.

Quality Meat Scotland

‘Go for It Scotland!’ bursary programme

  • Scotland’s very own ‘Iron Lady’, triathlete and Texas Ironman champion, Catriona Morrison, launched the ‘Go for It Scotland!’ sport and healthy activity bursary programme in January 2012.
  • Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is the public body responsible for helping the Scottish red meat sector improve its efficiency and profitability, and maximise its contribution to Scotland’s economy.
  • Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork have whole chain assurance with six assurance schemes behind the brands, covering areas such as production, feed, haulage, auction marts, processing and animal welfare.
  • QMS undertakes a range of health and education activities. The aim of these initiatives, along with our free publications, is to encourage awareness of the importance of red meat in a healthy, balanced diet and an understanding of where food comes from.
  • QMS offers free education sessions and interactive cookery demonstrations to both primary and secondary schools –


  • sportscotland is the national agency for sport and the lead agency for the development of sport in Scotland.
  • sportscotland passionately believes in the power of sport and the unique contribution it makes to Scotland’s economy, health, communities and lifeskills.
  • sportscotland invests its expertise, its time and public funding in developing a world class sporting system at all levels.
  • sportscotland works with partners to develop this sporting system, investing in and joining up the people, places, partnerships and planning that makes sport happen –

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Contact: Carol McLaren
Phone: 01314724112