The Sunday Post (Dundee)

Kids eager to emulate their heroes


following a dramatic final, had already sparked a huge leap in interest in the sport.

He said: “There’s been a real social media buzz from Team GB’s success and we expect to see youngsters coming along to try out the sport as a result.”

It isn’t just youngsters who have been captivated by Team GB’s performanc­es.

Last week, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan said the achievemen­ts of Scottish athletes in Brazil illustrate­d just how poor Scottish football was in comparison.

The 59-year-old heaped praise on the country’s swimmers and cyclists but, on a negative note, argued that Scottish footballer­s no longer had the in-built character to push themselves to the max.

He said: “As a national side we struggle because we’re not athletic enough, we don’t push ourselves enough as a team sport.

“The cyclists have got it, I’ve watched them training, so do the swimmers – we don’t have it in team sport.”

But while football lags behind, other sports are capitalisi­ng on unpreceden­ted popularity.

Peter Jardine, spokesman for Scottish Athletics, said national events had already benefited from higher levels of interest following London 2012 and Glasgow 2014, and further growth was now expected.

He said: “With 15 track and field athletes in Brazil, there was the biggest Scottish representa­tion in Team GB and NI at an Olympics for more than a century. People like Eilidh Doyle, Laura Muir, Lynsey Sharp, Andrew Butchart and Eilish McColgan are huge role models and watching them compete in finals at the Olympics is definitely an inspiratio­n for the next generation.”

Kirstin Phillips, spokeswoma­n for Scottish Swimming, said local clubs were hoping to see a huge surge in interest when they start back next week.

She said: “We hope that seeing Hannah Miley and Duncan Scott in Rio will inspire the next generation of swimmers.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoma­n for Tennis Scotland said former US Open champion Murray’s victory in Rio would build on the excitement created by the success he and wheelchair tennis star Gordon Reid enjoyed at this year’s Wimbledon.

She said: “Andy Murray’s gold medal win at Rio will definitely add to the cumulative effect his success is having on tennis in Scotland.”

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Bradley Wiggins.

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