Sir Andy Murray a ‘bravery icon’ for Scottish youngsters

Sir Andy Murray was ranked as one of the top ten brave inspirations for Scottish kids.
Sir Andy Murray was ranked as one of the top ten brave inspirations for Scottish kids.
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Sir Andy Murray has been voted as one of the top icons of ‘modern-day bravery’ by Scottish youngsters in a new poll.

The two-time Wimbledon champion ranked ahead of former US president Barack Obama and English rapper Stormzy as the top brave inspirations of 2019 as part of a new survey commissioned by the Roald Dahl Story Company.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg topped the poll, ahead of Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, former US President Barack Obama and rapper Stormzy.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg topped the poll, ahead of Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, former US President Barack Obama and rapper Stormzy.

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg topped the list, closely followed by Dahl’s fictional character ‘Matilda’ and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

The research also found Scottish children now value bravery as top characteristic to have - over being popular and successful.

The survey was commissioned ahead of the release of ‘Matilda’s How To Be Brave’ book on September 13 - the 103rd anniversary of Dahl’s birth.

Olympic champion Murray placed sixth in the top ten, behind singer Ariana Grande and boy wizard Harry Potter - the highest ranking fictional creation on the list.

Youngsters praised Murray’s resilience in returning from injury this year after a career-threatening layoff.

Murray made his return to singles action at the Cincinnati Masters last month after competing in Wimbledon’s mixed doubles alongside Serena Williams, but was defeated by Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round.

Katniss Everdeen, central character in the Hunger Games series and Dustin Henderson from the Netflix science-fiction series Stranger Things were the other fictional characters on the list.

Obama placed eighth, while Stormzy rounded off the top ten for using his platform to speak out about topics including racial discrimination.

Meanwhile, the research also revealed that children value bravery more than traditionally admired traits like intelligence and popularity, with over 70 per cent Scottish children stating that bravery is the most important attribute to have.

Other attributes ranked highly by young people today included kindness, creativity and confidence.

When asked to define what they felt it meant to be brave, responses varied from “pushing myself to do something even when I am a little bit scared about” to “standing up for what is right”.

Young people also believed bravery was imperative in the face of the challenges of the world in 2019 - with 86 per cent of Scottish children saying that being brave and speaking your mind could help tackle issues like climate change.

Bernie Hall, brand director at The Roald Dahl Story Company, said: “It’s great to see that kids today place such a high value on bravery and standing up for what they believe in.”

“We are thrilled to have Matilda take her place alongside real-life inspirations Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai as well as fellow fictional powerhouses like Katniss Evergreen as a modern-day icon of bravery.”

“Matilda’s character and story serve us a powerful reminder that even the smallest people have the power to make a BIG change in the world around them.”