Portree pupils with the coaches

Skye high

Portree Primary pupils benefit from coaching session with football icons

Pupils from Portree Primary School on the Isle of Skye landed a football lesson from former Rangers captain Lee McCulloch and former Hearts player and manager Robbie Neilson in a new initiative led by sportscotland and BBC Scotland.

McCulloch, Neilson and Ross County community coaches Gordon Duff and Ryan Farquhar visited Portree to offer a professional coaching experience that highlighted the importance of sport within the school’s curriculum.

The high-profile personalities took to the field along with 34 boys and girls for the training session on the 3G pitch. The children were given hints and tips and heard tales from the duo’s experiences in football.


Commenting on the training session, former Kilmarnock manager Lee McCulloch said: “Coaching the children in Skye has been brilliant, they are incredibly enthusiastic and willing to listen and learn new skills. I found the whole day really positive and it was great to work with such a keen and talented group of young footballers.”

The pupils were also given an insight into the important role of sport in the media as BBC Scotland's evening radio show, Sportsound, was broadcast live from the school.

Lee McCulloch leads the training session

Hosted by Kenny Macintyre, the panel comprised McCulloch, Neilson, football broadcaster Chick Young and BBC Scotland's chief sports writer, Tom English.

Pupils, parents and staff took part in a Q&A session with the sporting personalities live on air, asking about their career highlights as well as discussing Scotland’s sporting landscape.

Gold standard

Portree Primary holds the sportscotland Gold School Sport Award, which recognises innovation and achievement in delivering physical education and extra-curricular sport.

The school’s head teacher, Sara Matheson, said: “The sportscotland and BBC Scotland partnership has created a wonderful opportunity for our children and we have used it to celebrate sport and reach out to our community.

"Working together to bring this coaching experience to our pupils and the chance to get involved in a live radio broadcast is something the children will remember for years to come.

“It gives us a chance to bring people together through sport in an innovative way and the pupils are really excited to get involved in an event like this. This is an excellent example of partnership working to improve the learning experience for our pupils.” 

Sportsound on the road

As the national agency for sport, sportscotland is building a world-class sporting system and is working in partnership with BBC Scotland to raise the profile of sport across the country. The aim of taking Sportsound on the road is to give young people a memorable experience whilst engaging in sport.

Chief executive Stewart Harris said: “At sportscotland, putting young people at the centre of our efforts is a crucial part of what we do. Working in partnership with colleagues at the BBC, we hope to raise the awareness of sport and the openings that are available.

"It’s fantastic that the pupils at Portree Primary had the chance to train with players who have performed at the very highest level.

“Through our Active Schools, School Sport Award and Young Ambassadors programmes, we hope to create closer links between physical education, school sport and club sport which benefits young people by providing more and better opportunities to take part in sport.”

Find out more

Investigate football opportunities in your area from the Scottish FA.

Learn more about the School Sport Award at the sportscotland website.

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