Pupils meet Olympic medalist

Great Britians Olympic gold medal winner Katherine Grainger meets up with some of the pupils during her visit to Linlithgow Academy to help launch this years Children in Need campaign.
Great Britians Olympic gold medal winner Katherine Grainger meets up with some of the pupils during her visit to Linlithgow Academy to help launch this years Children in Need campaign.

Pupils from Linlithgow Academy met up with their Olympic sporting hero as they launched their ‘Big Spotacular’ fundraising campaign.

Katherine Grainger, who is Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, spoke to pupils last Friday ahead of their Children in Need epic.

The Spotty Rowing Challenge will see teams row the length of the famous Panama canal – a mammoth 77km to help raise money for the children’s charity.

The pupils, who were all at competition level across various rowing and sailing disciplines, enjoyed quizzing Katherine on training tips, endurance and what it feels like to bring home five Olympic Games rowing medals.

Katherine, who won gold for Great Britain in the double sculls event at London 2012, said: “It was such a fun day. I loved chatting with everyone about all their spotty sporting ideas to help raise money for BBC Children in Need this year.

“It’s really inspirational to see children step up to lead challenges with the aim of helping others less fortunate than themselves and the encouragement provided by the upper school is fantastic, there is such a great feeling of team spirit.

“I hope everyone across the UK gets involved and does what they can to help fundraise for this great cause!”

Linlithgow Academy is participating in the ‘Big Spotacular’ – a new initiative to encourage schools across Scotland to raise money for disadvantaged children and young people.

Karen Jarvis, headteacher, said: ”It was wonderful to have Katherine here to help plan our Big Spotacular fundraising activity.

“We are very excited about developing our Spotty Rowing challenge for ‘The Big Spotacular’ and hope to raise lots of money for Children in Need.”

The high school is one of thousands of schools across the UK which are helping to raise money for Children in Need in the weeks leading up to appeal night, with children and teachers dressing in spots, selling spotty cakes and goods, and taking part in spotty themed challenges.

The Children in Need appeal will air on BBC 1 on November 18.

Last year £37.1 million was generated, breaking the record for the most money raised on the night.

Send us in pictures of your fundraising activities and events to editorial@journalandgazette.co.uk.