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DREW HENDRY: Right environment can foster greatness in young people

By Drew Hendry

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Matthew Knapman.
Matthew Knapman.

When we look to our young people here in the Highlands, there is much to be proud of. I regularly take inspiration from their determination, courage and talent.

I had the pleasure of recently meeting with two Inverness High School pupils, Lily and Majka, who are leading the way in campaigning for positive change, through calling for improvements to their PE facilities.

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Speaking about their campaign, Majka said: “Lily and I are running this as we believe that physical education is so important to everyone, and we want our voices to be heard so that we can give everyone the chance at physical education that they deserve. We want to show everyone how beneficial it is, especially as Lily and I both know how positively it has affected us both over the past few years.”

I think we can all agree their passion and drive is admirable, and I hope that they are successful in their campaign; one which I am proud to support.

There’s no shortage of inspiration to be had though; and Matthew Knapman, from Inverness Royal Academy, gives us this in spades. At just 17 years old, Matthew took an incredibly difficult incident and turned it into an act of kindness and hope for others. Following a mountain biking accident, Matthew was inspired to volunteer with Assynt Mountain Rescue leading him to become one of Scotland’s youngest mountain rescuers, a remarkable achievement.

It takes a real level of strength to take a negative situation and turn it into an act of kindness towards others; a good reminder for all of us to take with us.

Many of you might also be familiar with the Inverness Lions basketball club; their recent success comes from Molly Alexander, Holly Welch, Callum Dalgarno and Darcey Woodman who were selected to represent Scotland at the Four Nations Tournament in Dundee earlier this month. Their hard work and commitment has really paid off and given us all a reason to be proud and I look forward to following their continued achievements.

This also goes to show the importance of Lily and Majka’s campaign for better sporting facilities – given the right environment we can foster greatness, not only through sporting success but across all areas, and it’s important that all young people are given equal opportunity to do so.

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