Ryder Cup: Celebrity ambassadors start countdown

A SCOTTISH school was brought to a standstill by next year’s Ryder Cup captains yesterday as they took the famous golf trophy on a local tour.

Ryder Cup ambassador Jodie Kidd visits Auchterarder school. Picture: SNS

Tom Watson and Paul McGinley visited the Community School of Auchterarder in Perthshire, a shared campus that includes a nursery, primary and secondary schools, as they visited the area surrounding Gleneagles where their teams will compete for the trophy next year.

They were joined by the competition’s celebrity ambassadors, football pundit Alan Hansen, model Jodie Kidd, former footballer Ruud Gullit and actor James Nesbitt.

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Excited youngsters waved flags as the captains and celebrities were piped into the school grounds.

The captains were shown around the school and saw pupils making a plastic golf club with a 3D printer in the technology department, and were presented with a special cake decorated with the US and European flags by home economics students.

The golfers joined Sports Minister Shona Robison in launching an educational resource based around the Ryder Cup. The online site helps teach pupils about subjects such as history, science, physical education and event management through golf-related topics and is part of the new curriculum for excellence being followed in most Scottish schools.

The resource is part of a legacy plan from hosting the Ryder Cup, which has grown to become one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

Watson said: “This is a programme of practical application, and we need to do more things like this in the States. The skills they can pick up aren’t only to do with the Ryder Cup or golf but can be used every day, so it’s a good thing.”

The visit was part of the “year to go” events before Europe and the US play at Gleneagles next year.