Swimmer David Carry, who catapulted to fame with double gold for Scotland at the 2006 Melbourne games, is helping promote the Commonwealth Games to Scotland’s school kids on a tour with the Glasgow 2014 mascot, Clyde.
Along with former badminton player Susan Egelstaff, a bronze medalist in the women’s singles in Melbourne, the three-times Olympian will end a circuit that started in Rothesay with a visit to his former school, Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen on Friday.
“It’s been great,” said Carry as he started on the leg to Kilbowie Academy. “Our first visit was on the first day of term and the trip includes schools in West Dunbartonshire, Clackmannanshire and then north to places such as Elgin and Aberdeen.
“Clyde’s tour is all about getting the message across – he is a very active mascot, loves all sports and dancing.”
At the Games, starting on 23 July, there will be dedicated kids’ tickets – and Carry and Egelstaff are hoping that many of the 5,000 plus they visit on the Tour will be heading for Glasgow next summer.
“It is a great chance for them to see world-class athletes on their doorstep,” continued Carry, a Games Ambassador who took part in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
On the Tour, Scotland’s elite pair have been able to inspire the youngsters with their personal stories.
Egelstaff has told them how she battled through serious injury to achieve her Olympic dream with selection for London 2012 – Carry also tells a tale of how he overcame adversity to make it to the top.
“In my first competition in Aberdeen, I was really nervous,” he recalled. “One of my fellow competitors threw up before the start and another ran away. I didn’t come close to winning anything that day but I took part and the message I put across is, no matter how you feel, be willing to give everything a real go.”
Carry is one of Scotland’s most successful sportsmen, but clearly not all the youngsters were quite tuned in to who he is or what he has done.
“The visits can be quite hilarious and lot of fun,” he admitted.
“One of the best questions I was asked was ‘are you really David Cameron?’”