Scottish swimmer and Olympic double silver medallist Duncan Scott has taken a trip down memory lane by returning to his former school, Strathallan, to share with pupils his experiences of competing in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
Duncan, 19, who left Strathallan in June 2015, won silver medals for Team GB in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle swimming events in August. His visit to Strathallan this Wednesday reunited Duncan with his school swimming coach, Elaine Johnston, who coached him throughout his years at the independent school, as well as the various teachers who supported him in his formative years.
Duncan kicked-off his visit by attending a Q&A session at Riley, Strathallan’s junior house, with younger pupils asking him an array of questions about his experiences in Rio. Questions ranged from his finding out about his experiences in the Olympic Village to who his favourite teacher was when he was at Riley.
The day was followed with a visit to his old dorm room as a border in Riley, a mixture of Q&A sessions with various pupils throughout the school, lunch, a visit to his former school house, Simpson House and a session in the pool with Strathallan’s current swim team, alongside Elaine.
Duncan had a lot of fun during his visit and especially enjoyed being able to inspire pupils with his Olympic experiences. Duncan said:
“It has been great coming back to Strathallan to share my experiences of competing in Rio with the pupils and my former teachers. Strathallan was always so supportive of me throughout the seven years I was here and it means a lot being able to give something back by returning and helping to motivate and inspire the next generation. I was just like the pupils here not so long ago and have many happy memories of my time here.
“Seeing Elaine, Miss Sime and so many other teachers has been really nice too. The teachers were brilliant while I was here, helping me to balance my school work and going to competitions. Nothing was ever impossible here.”
Since leaving Strathallan last year, Elaine has kept a proud and watchful eye on Duncan’s progress and is delighted to have welcomed the Olympian back to school for the day. Elaine said:
“Everyone has been so excited about welcoming Duncan back to Strathallan this week. Duncan was just 11 when he first arrived here and, from the minute he stepped into the pool, I knew he’d go far. It has been wonderful to see him perform so well on the greatest stage of all – and he’s still only 19 years old, so his career is only just beginning. It has been fantastic for pupils to see Duncan again and hear about his Olympic experiences.”
Audrey Sime, Director of Sport at Strathallan believes that Duncan’s success will inspire many pupils with dreams of sporting success. Audrey commented:
“To have somebody come back to Strathallan with two Olympic silver medals just 18 months after leaving school is so inspiring for the pupils. A lot of them know Duncan and know how committed he is to swimming, so the new generation of sports people coming through the school know what can be achieved with hard work and belief.
“When pupils come to Strathallan we see which sports they’re good at and enjoy, then we try to find a pathway for them to develop in whatever sport it is. When Duncan came into the school he entered our Talented Athlete Programme. He wasn’t a Sports Scholar, but we looked to develop him from a swimming perspective, but also focused on his fitness and nutrition as well, so he learned exactly what it takes to be a top sports person. We could not be more proud of what he has achieved.”
To find out more about Strathallan or to arrange a visit, got to www.strathallan.co.uk