Mandela legacy gets off the mark with bursary plan

A vigil for Nelson Mandela in Nelson Mandela Square in Glasgow.  Picture Robert Perry The Scotsman  6th Dec 2013
A vigil for Nelson Mandela in Nelson Mandela Square in Glasgow. Picture Robert Perry The Scotsman 6th Dec 2013
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The legacy of former South African president Nelson Mandela is set to be marked by West Lothian Council.

At a full meeting of the authority next week, councillors will discuss a motion which, if approved, would result in officers developing proposals to create a sports bursary in his honour.

Its aim would be to encourage the participation in sport by an individual or organisation in West Lothian.

If the motion is approved, council officers will discuss proposals at future meetings of the culture and leisure policy development and scrutiny panel.

Former President Nelson Mandela died on December 5 2013, aged 95.

After 27 years in prison for his political activities, Mr Mandela led South Africa’s transition from white minority rule in the 1990s.

Dave King, executive councillor for culture and leisure, said: “I’m happy to see this motion come forward in support of such a great man.

“The death of Nelson Mandela was, of course, very sad but it reminded the world what a great man he was and the enormous role he had in breaking down racial barriers and discrimination.

“It is fitting any bursary focuses on sport given Nelson Mandela’s great love of sport and its impact on inspiring and uniting people.

“In his youth, Mr Mandela was an avid long-distance runner and boxer and sport played an enormous part in his life.

‘‘It seems only right that, when we honour Mr Mandela, we honour him through sport.”