AN OLYMPIAN inspired Inverclyde schoolchildren to get sporty during a motivational visit to the area.
Eilish McColgan, who competed at the London Games in 2012 and went on to reach the final of the 5,000m at Rio 2016, visited Clydeview Academy and Inverclyde Academy.
The Tele had the chance to meet the sporting star during her visit to Inverclyde Academy and the 26-year-old, daughter of running legend Liz McColgan, said she was delighted to come to the area.
She said: “Hopefully I can inspire some of these kids to get involved in sport.
“It doesn’t have to be running.
“It’s just really important to be active.
“I hope they believe in themselves that they can do something.”
Keen rugby player Marco Zavaroni, who is in sixth year at the school and studying Higher PE, said Eilish encouraged him to follow his dreams.
The 16-year-old said: “I play rugby for the Greenock Wanderers and I would like to progress through that and get better and reach a higher level.
“Eilish spoke to me about how she trains.
“It takes a lot of work to get to her level so if I want to progress then I’m going to have to up my game.”
Chloe Havlin, a PE teacher at Inverclyde Academy, is confident Eilish’s drive and determination will rub off on her hard-working pupils.
She said: “Having one of our role models here is great to inspire the pupils.
“We tell them that coming last in a race is not a bad thing, so having someone like Eilish saying she has been there is very inspiring.
“We are so lucky to have so many pupils who are interested in all areas of sport, so it’s a case of trying to get them to keep going and progress.”
Eilish has a busy six months of training ahead before the Commonwealth Games in Australia next April.
She added: “I have got a couple of road races coming up and the world indoor championships in Birmingham and I’m looking forward to the Commonwealth Games.”